• Georgian general joins International Hall of Fame

  • Georgia has second IHOF inductee.

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  • Army University Public Affairs
    The chief of the general staff of the Georgian Armed Forces became the latest inductee of the International Hall of Fame Aug. 23 in a ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Center. The induction brings the number of leaders who have been honored to 278 from the more than 8,000 international officers who have graduated from the college.
    Maj. Gen. Vladimer Chachibaia is the second International Hall of Fame member from Georgia. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 2003 and is the first member of that class to be inducted into the International Hall of Fame. He was appointed to his present position in December 2016.
    Chachibaia received military education mainly in Georgia and the United States. After graduating from the United Military Academy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1994, he continued his studies in the United States. He attended CGSC from 2002 to 2003 and graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 2008. He also earned a law degree from Customs Academy of Georgia in 2004.
    Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth and commandant of CGSC, said that in his short time with Chachibaia the thing that struck him the most was it felt like they were friends.
    “The bonds that our nations have built together and the bonds that we’ve built through the interactions we’ve had as professional soldiers, as soldiers of this profession of arms, we’ve got lots of commonalities,” Lundy said, “and it makes it very easy for us to talk, to discuss and to understand, even though we may have slightly different appreciation or slightly different understanding of what it is we’re talking about. It made it very easy.”
    Chachibaia continued that thinking in his speech.
    “This institution gave me great knowledge and very fundamental values that I was carrying all the time,” he said. “There was no day that I was not blessing my instructors for the knowledge they gave me.”
    He said because of the knowledge he and others received at CGSC, they were able to radically change the Georgian Armed Forces in the last two years.
    “You cannot imagine how easy it makes it when you go to a theatre (of operations) and you find your classmates, your friends,” Chachibaia said.
    He said that in his last assignment to Afghanistan he encountered senior leaders from France and Australia who were his classmates. He said having these connections shortened coordination time from months to days. This was the case even with officers whom he did not know but who graduated in the same CGSC class as him.
    “This bond is becoming very strong and powerful,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Chachibaia encouraged U.S. officials to do the maximum to continue to invite internationals to military schools.
    “You will win without war in many regions when you create educated, pro-western, democratic, values-based individuals in different parts of the globe,” he said. “This is like a club, and this club can change the world. Our guys together are fighting side-by-side in Afghanistan. We did in ISAF. We did in Iraq, and we will do wherever our presence is required. This brotherhood bond is very strong and there is no power that can change or shake this bond.”
    The senior military member of the Georgian Armed Forces started his military service as a private in the Air Forces of the former Soviet Union. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduation from the United Military Academy in 1994 and has served in several command and leadership positions including the 25th Infantry Brigade, Reconnaissance Battalion, Special Forces Brigade, I Infantry Brigade, and Land Forces. He also served as deputy chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, first deputy minister of Defense, and senior counselor at the Embassy of Georgia (United States, Canada and Mexico). Additionally he served as a senior military advisor in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
    The CGSC International Hall of Fame was established by the college, the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and the CGSC Foundation in 1973. To be nominated for the International Hall of Fame an officer must be a graduate of CGSC and have attained, by merit, the position of leader of his or her country’s army or defense forces. In addition to being inducted into the International Hall of Fame, inductees are presented a CGSC certificate of honor by the Military Order of the World Wars and a Life Constituent Certificate by the Foundation. Officers from 73 countries have been inducted into the hall. Fifteen International Hall of Fame members have gone on to be heads of state or heads of government in their countries.
    International military student participation in cooperative military studies in the United States originated at Fort Leavenworth with the arrival of Swiss Lt. Henri Le Comte in 1894. Since then, international students, representing 165 countries, have become an integral part of the Fort Leavenworth experience. These talented military officers contribute to a rich professional and cultural exchange environment.
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