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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • CGSC kicks off new class

  • Local children aren't the only ones who are going back to school this week. About 1,000 military officers from the United States and other countries are beginning a 10-month course at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
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  • Local children aren't the only ones who are going back to school this week. About 1,000 military officers from the United States and other countries are beginning a 10-month course at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
    CGSC officials marked the beginning of the Command and General Staff Officers' Course Monday morning with a flag ceremony.
    The ceremony, which is a tradition at Fort Leavenworth, features international military students posting the flags of their nations. One of the U.S. officers attending the new class also posted the American flag during the ceremony.
    The new class, which will graduate in June, has 70 international military students who represent 65 countries.
    Lt. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, he said the international military students who study at the Army post have a history of a high level of accomplishment.
    Perkins, who also serves as the commandant of the CGSC, said the international officers from the new class are at the fort to learn about the U.S. Army and the United States.
    He encouraged the international officers to not focus exclusively on the Army.
    "Get to know Americans," he said.
    He said Americans make up a "wide and diverse group."
    "Our nation is not defined by our military, but quite the opposite," he said.
    If the international military students want to get to know the U.S. soldiers, they have to get to know Americans, Perkins said.
    The 10-month course is said to be designed to develop war-fighting and adaptive leadership skills necessary for military officers to be proficient in unified land operations.
    Perkins said the international military students were sent to Fort Leavenworth to learn a lot.
    "Quite honestly, we see this as a two-way street," he said.
    He encouraged the international officers to share their cultures.
    In many ways, Perkins said, the CGSC is a mini United Nations. He encouraged the students to learn from each other.
    He said the officers will find they all have more similarities than differences, but it is important to understand the differences.
    In addition to officers from foreign countries and the U.S. Army, the new class includes students who represent the U.S. Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard as well as 12 civilians from other U.S. government agencies.
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