• Thai general inducted into International Hall of Fame at CGSC

  • Surapong Suwana-adth is inducted into the International Hall of Fame.

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    Chief of Defense Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Gen. Surapong Suwana-adth was inducted into the International Hall of Fame July 11 in a ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Center.
    With the induction of the 1994 Command and General Staff College graduate, and since the establishment of the IHOF in 1973, 272 international leaders are now members.
    In his introductory remarks, Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and CGSC commandant, said the relationship between the United States and Thailand is significant. He said more than 250 Thai officers have attended CGSC.
    “We’ve built a foundation of trust between our nations, embodied (by the induction of Surapong) today,” Lundy said. “I pulled up General Surapong’s (CGSC Master of Military Art and Science thesis) in preparation for this ceremony ... and would give him the grade of A.”
    Lundy said his reasoning for the grade reflected the prophetic nature of Surapong’s 1994 CGSC thesis recommending how the United States should approach policy with Miramar. He complimented how Surapong had subsequently been able to implement effective policies relative to that thesis.
    “In our conversation before the ceremony, (Surapong) said implementing these ideas were among his proudest achievements,” Lundy said. “He was not only able to bring better relations between the United States and Miramar, but also between Thailand and Miramar. Sir, we are proud to honor you with induction into the International Hall of Fame.”
    Surapong said the IHOF induction was a special day for him and his family to remember. He said he was honored and pleased to be among the other inductees.
    “The United States Command and General Staff College is a prominent institution that has delivered many prominent leaders worldwide, including Thailand,” Surapong said. “Thailand started sending leaders here in 1946.”
    Surapong said there are 293 Thai graduates of CGSC and two current students enrolled in the course. He said those graduates assumed important positions in service to his nation.
    “Two hundred and twenty-seven of the Thai graduates of CGSC have made the rank of general officer,” Surapong said. “It’s a great institute for development of leaders.”
    Surapong said it was an honor to come back to Fort Leavenworth for the induction ceremony. He said the post is special to him and helped shape the path of his career.
    “Fort Leavenworth is where I gained valuable knowledge, immeasurable experience, and of course, enduring friendships,” Surapong said. “These ties of friendship have allowed military officers from many nations to build a networking community based on mutual trust and understanding.”
    Surapong is the 32nd chief of Defence Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. His previous assignments include chief of staff to the chief of Defense Forces, deputy chief of Joint Staff and chief of the Joint Staff, Royal Thai Armed Forces.
    Page 2 of 2 - Surapong also served at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters as the director of the Office of External Relations, Directorate of Joint Intelligence. His joint assignments include duty as the director of the Office of Policy and Plan, Directorate of Joint Operations, director of Joint Intelligence and director of Joint Operations.
    Surapong is a graduate of the Armed Forces Preparatory School Class 15 and obtained a bachelor of science in physics from the Virginia Military Institute in 1978. He earned a master of science at the University of Virginia in 1980 and was assigned as an instructor at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in 1981.
    Surapong completed the Royal Thai Army’s CGSC in 1990 and ultimately served as an instructor there.
    Conferred the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand in 2011 for his contributions to the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Surapong also received the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant in 2014.
    Established in 1973 by CGSC, the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and the CGSC Foundation, the International Hall of Fame extends induction consideration to international military student graduates of CGSC who attain one of the highest positions of military importance in their country’s armed forces. The IHOF includes 15 democratically elected heads of state.
    The Military Order of World Wars presented Surapong a CGSC certificate of honor, and the CGSC Foundation presented him a Life Constituent Certificate along with an eagle statuette. His framed portrait is alongside previous inductees in the IHOF portrait gallery on the third floor of the Lewis and Clark Center.
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