• Flag ceremony kicks off new CGSOC class

  • The posting of the U.S. colors and the flags of 88 countries from around the world formally kicked off the beginning of the 2019-20 Command and General Staff Officer Course in a ceremony Aug. 5 in the Lewis and Clark Center’s Eisenhower Auditorium.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The posting of the U.S. colors and the flags of 88 countries from around the world formally kicked off the beginning of the 2019-20 Command and General Staff Officer Course in a ceremony Aug. 5 in the Lewis and Clark Center’s Eisenhower Auditorium.
    The Command and General Staff College was founded in 1881 and began welcoming international students in 1894. Since then, more than 8,000 international students from 165 different nations have attended. Several of those graduates have gone on to achieve general officer rank, and many of them have achieved the positions as chief of their nation’s army or higher, earning them a spot in the CGSC’s International Hall of Fame. Currently, there are 283 inductees representing 73 countries in the IHOF.
    “This ceremony is a time-honored tradition where we recognize those countries that have accepted the invitation of the United States to send their best and brightest officers for cooperative study alongside our best officers,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen Maranian, Army University provost and CGSC deputy commandant. “I can think of no better way to symbolize the aspirations of our various nations than the deliberate posting of our national colors one at a time and in the same place as a declaration of commitment to the use of our coming academic year to advance our shared interests.
    “To our international military students, I congratulate you on your selection to attend the United States Army Command and General Staff College. Your selection represents a significant investment on the part of your nation in your professional and personal development, and I am confident that your success will be immense,” he said. “To our U.S. students, I congratulate each of you as well. I encourage each of you to make the most of this opportunity for your professional growth.”
    This year’s class includes 114 international students representing 88 countries. They join 793 U.S. soldiers, 38 Guardsmen, 28 Reservists, 79 Airmen, 21 sailors, 28 Marines, one Coastguardsman, and 21 Department of the Army and interagency civilians.
    This year marks the first student from the Republic of the Fiji Islands. Fiji is in the South Pacific and is an archipelago of more than 300 islands, according to an Army University Public Affairs press release. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Fiji’s major islands, are home to most of the population of more than 900,000. Viti Levu is home to Suva, Fiji’s capital. Fiji is the 166th country to join the CGSC family of nations.
    Maj. Netani Kaukimoce said he was honored to be chosen to be the first to represent Fiji.
    “I’m here to gain more knowledge and establish a better network with international officers and the American officers, establish a network that will not only last during the course, but that will last a lifetime,” Kaukimoce said. “What I hope to take back from the course is the way things are held here. I think we still have a lot to learn from the U.S., and back home I’m looking at developing officers in regards to what I learn from here.”
    Page 2 of 2 - When the international students arrive, they are paired with multiple sponsors, both civilian and military, who help them throughout the year. Maranian said he hopes the sponsors know how much they are appreciated.
    “Our sponsors showcase the very best that is America,” Maranian said. “Their commitment to our international students is second to none and the impact that they make on our students is very real and very lasting.”
    Maranian concluded his remarks with wishes of luck for all the students.
    “Make friendships that will last a lifetime,” Maranian said. “We live in challenging and interesting times, and our nations look to us to provide security and stability that creates an environment in which peaceful pursuits that we all desire can take place. It is a sacred trust and one which we will do our utmost to fulfill.”
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