A top Army official will speak Friday to the 1,050 members of the Command and General Staff College's most recent class of graduates at Fort Leavenworth.
Dr. Joseph Westphal, undersecretary of the Army, will be the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony for the 10-month Command and General Staff Officer Course, scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Eisenhower Hall at Fort Leavenworth's Lewis and Clark Center.
Westphal will speak to the graduates, among them 68 international officers representing 63 different countries, 16 civilians from various government agencies and mid-career officers from all branches of the American Armed Forces on what is considered an important occasion to the installation ― the 238th birthday of the Army, founded June 14, 1775.
According to information from Fort Leavenworth's Combined Arms Center, that birthday will play a part in Wetphal's address and the ceremony as a whole. He is also expected to address the “posture of the Army for the future,” the current health of the branch and leader development ―the core mission of the CGSC.
Westphal is the 30th undersecretary of the Army and the force's first chief management officer. He spent years in academia as chancellor of the University of Maine System and was a professor of political science at the University of Maine and professor and later department head of political science at Oklahoma State University.
Westphal was named the acting secretary of the Army in 2001 and served at the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works form 1998 to 2001.
The international officers who are part of the class will be recognized in a badge ceremony 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Eisenhower Auditorium, a practice dating back to 1964, though the tradition of international students studying alongside their U.S. counterparts at the CGSC is linked to the arrival of Swiss Lieutenant Henri LeComte in 1894. More than 7,500 have taken part in CGSC classes since then.