• Flag ceremony marks start of CGSOC class

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    The international flag ceremony featured posting the colors of the 91 represented nations in Eisenhower Auditorium at the Lewis and Clark Center Aug. 14 and marked the start of the academic year for more than 1,100 students of the 2018 Command and General Staff Officer Course.
    Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, Command and General Staff College commandant and commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, hosted the ceremony.
    “When you look at the more than 8,000 international officers who have attended (CGSC) since the late 1800s, over half of them have become general officers,” Lundy said, “and many of them have gone on to either lead their nation or their military.”
    In addition to graduates who have achieved general officer rank, 27 international graduates have become heads of state. The CGSC International Hall of Fame includes 270 international officers from 71 countries who reached the positions of their country’s military.
    Lundy said the ceremony was the most appropriate way to begin the CGSOC academic year. He said a national flag is an important symbol of culture, beliefs and history.
    “Flags, although they are cloth and just a symbol, represent the fabric of each of our nations,” Lundy said.
    Lundy said the 119 international officers attending the current class comprise the largest number since the college moved from Bell Hall to the Lewis and Clark Center in 2007. He said the course is designed to develop warfighting and adaptive leadership skills necessary for military officers to be proficient in unified land operations.
    “The nations from around the world have committed to sending their very best (to CGSC),” Lundy said. “CGSC is the premier place where warfighters learn to operate from a multinational perspective.”
    Lundy said the international students in the class join more than 1,000 of the best United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard officers. He said the ceremony was also symbolic in the fact that students attending the course had the inherent privilege of representing the flag of their nation each day while learning.
    “So don’t squander this opportunity because over the next year, every day is a chance to learn, not only from each other and our instructors, but also from our international partners,” Lundy said. “I’m very proud we are starting our schoolyear with this ceremony today.”
    The 10-month CGSOC also includes 12 civilians from other U.S Government agencies and departments and 12 Army civilians as students. The class will graduate in June 2018.
    International military education began at Fort Leavenworth in 1894. Since then, more than 8,000 international officers from 164 countries have attended classes alongside their U.S. counterparts.
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