• SAMS graduates taking skills back to units

  • Students of Fort Leavenworth's School of Advanced Military Studies were told at their graduation May 23 that their hard work was just beginning. “We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the support of your families, who graciously afforded you the opportunity to study, write, think and work and allowed you to achieve this milestone,” Col. Thomas C. Graves, director of SAMS, told the graduating class of 125 officers and civilians that included 13 international officers from nine countries and six students from U.S. federal civilian agencies.

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  • Students of Fort Leavenworth's School of Advanced Military Studies were told at their graduation May 23 that their hard work was just beginning.
    "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the support of your families, who graciously afforded you the opportunity to study, write, think and work and allowed you to achieve this milestone," Col. Thomas C. Graves, director of SAMS, told the graduating class of 125 officers and civilians that included 13 international officers from nine countries and six students from U.S. federal civilian agencies.
    But Graves issued a warning for the graduates' families.
    "Your soldiers are about to enter the most demanding jobs in the military and will continue to need your support," he said.
    Fifteen of the students completed the two-year Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship, which is the equivalent of graduating from one of the nation's war colleges.
    According to the Command and General Staff College, which SAMS falls under, the AOASF provides a comprehensive academic program focused at the operational and strategic levels of war. During the first academic year, students participate in a rigorous program that includes an evaluated, comprehensive and multifaceted curriculum.
    Course studies include military theory, military history, strategic studies, regional studies, applied strategy, campaign planning and practical work in joint planning.
    In the second year, the fellows become senior leaders of 16 officers in the Advanced Military Studies Program.
    The other graduates completed the 10-month Advanced Military Studies Program. All the students received the master of military art and science degree for not only completing the SAMS course, but also for passing comprehensive oral exams and successfully completing an extensive monograph based on original research. Completed monographs are published electronically by the Combined Arms Research Library.
    At the ceremony, Maj. David P. Oakley received the Simons Center Interagency Writing Award and Lt. Col. Mark A. Olsen was recognized for writing the best monograph in the AMSP. Supervisory Special Agent Daniel A. Mehochko of the FBI was recognized with writing the best monograph in the AOASF program.
    Guest speaker Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, a 1994 SAMS graduate who is chief of staff for the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., told the graduates that they have received the best education and training to lead the military now and into the future and that their skills and talents were highly sought after.
    "But now it's time to prove that the investment was worth it," Grimsley said. "Don't be hesitant to show your stuff, but remember your core competency first — you are a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, agent first.
    "Your commanders will rely on your advice and counsel to be well thought out, well-articulated and executable. Your nation and its citizens are well-served by you as professionals and you remain its most respected institution."
    Page 2 of 2 - He said the graduates answered the collective nations' call to preserve a way of life and to protect vital interests.
    "You have a huge role to play in that," he said. "For the past year, you have taken a giant leap toward being part of the solution in preserving the profession of arms."
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