Harry Sarles | Army University Public Affairs
The Command and General Staff College graduated the first class under its Tailored,
Talent-Based Military Education Level 4 Strategy Dec. 8 at the Lewis and Clark Center.
Fifty-nine students completed the Common Core phase of the Command and General
Staff Officers Course in residence at Fort Leavenworth before returning to their home
stations or moving to their next assignments.
Maj. Gen. Donn Hill, Combined Arms Center deputy commanding general for Education and deputy commandant of CGSC, was the graduation speaker. He called implementation of the new concept an example of the Army’s investment in people first.
“The Army thought it was important that officers have an opportunity for some level of resident experience at Fort Leavenworth, so we created this program,” Hill said.“This program better aligns branch and functional area specialties with professional military education and the warfighting needs of the Army.
“As field grade leaders in your organizations you’re charged with making those organizations better,” Hill told the graduates. “You are stewards of the profession now. You’re no longer judged on how well you can make a small team operate but rather how well you can make a larger organization perform.”
CGSC’s Team 26, the blended learning team for the first iteration of the new strategy, is the result of an Army operation order establishing the program.
Officers selected for CGSOC attend either a 10-month resident course at Fort Leavenworth, a blended satellite program or a distance-learning program. As a result, only half of CGSOC students are exposed to the Fort Leavenworth resident experience. This lack of diverse small- group interaction creates a gap in professional growth for many officers. However, the new talent-based program will allow more officers to attend at least a portion of their CGSOC experience at Fort Leavenworth.
Chaplain (Maj.) William Grimes was the top graduate for Team 26.
“The learning environment I thought was critical,” Grimes said. “And I know that’s
part of their intention as far as having the Leavenworth experience, a learning environment where you get to interact with your classmates on a daily basis, with your instructors on a daily basis.
“I felt I leaned on everybody, and I’m pretty sure that was a mutual thing for all of us in our staff group. We leaned on each other’s experiences, on our expertise, on how we understood nuances of things, and on how we would apply it and work together,” Grimes said. “That team environment in the classroom with the instructors face-to-face makes a huge difference in the overall quality of learning here at CGSC.”
Grimes is staying at CGSC as an ethics instructor. He said the experience as a student in
residence will be critical to him understanding the students he will be teaching in electives and leadership courses.
CGSC has restructured the present satellite program to better manage talent by providing flexibility and tailorable options, and to increase the opportunity for a Fort Leavenworth residence experience.
The Team 26 cohort began classes in August and attended classes parallel but distinct from the students attending the academic year 2022 resident course. The team will add a new capability in the spring when it conducts the first CGSOC Advanced Operations Course at Fort Leavenworth in a temporary-duty status. That course will be parallel with the resident course a well.
When fully operational, Fort Leavenworth will see 192 students per year in the Common
Core and another 192 students per year in the Advanced Operations Course. The satellite
campuses at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Redstone Arsenal, Ala., will continue to teach the
CGSOC common core curriculum in a temporary-duty status.