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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Flag ceremony honors international officers, opens new year at CGSC

  • The history of international officers studying at Fort Leavenworth dates back to 1894.
    Sixty-nine new international military students were added to that tradition and welcomed Monday as an academic year began at the Command and General Staff College.
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  • The history of international officers studying at Fort Leavenworth dates back to 1894.
    Sixty-nine new international military students were added to that tradition and welcomed Monday as an academic year began at the Command and General Staff College.
    The officers are members of the Command and General Staff Officers Course class of 2015. The class also includes nearly 1,000 members of the American armed forces and civilians from U.S. agencies.
    "It's absolutely critical for us to have our international students participate every year," said Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. He also serves as CGSC commandant.
    Brown's comments to students of the new class came during an International Flag Ceremony, which traditionally opens an academic year at Fort Leavenworth.
    Officers from the U.S. and 64 other countries represented in the new class posted their countries' flags during the ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Center.
    Brown said the personal relationships officers forge at CGSC will last a lifetime.
    None of the countries represented in the class want to carry out military operations alone, he said.
    Brown said the ability to pick up a phone and talk through a problem with a friend from another country will be important.
    "It strengthens national security for all of our countries," he said.
    The Command and General Staff Officers Course is a 10-month course.
    The class of 2015 marks a transition at Fort Leavenworth because the post will no longer operate two Command and General Staff Officer Courses during the same year.
    "You will be the only class this year," Brown said.
    CGSC began operating two classes per year during the 2006 fiscal year.
    CGSC spokesman Harry Sarles said the practice of operating the two classes was initiated to meet rotational requirements for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Returning to only one class per year will be better for the military students because they'll transfer to Fort Leavenworth during the summer while their children are not in school, Sarles said.
    Officers who would have been members of the second class of 2015 will instead be part of the class of 2016.
    Sarles said the School of Advanced Military Studies also has returned to having one class per year.
    Brown said more than 7,700 international officers have studied at Fort Leavenworth.
    He said foreign countries select their best and brightest to come to Fort Leavenworth and expectations for the international officers are extremely high.
    Brown said international students will learn a lot about the U.S. military. But, the general said he wants students to learn more about the U.S. than just the military.
    Page 2 of 2 - He also wants international officers to challenge their American classmates.
    "Together you will make each other better," he said.

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