Academic journal article Military Review

CGSC: Developing Leaders to Adapt and Dominate for the Army of Today and Tomorrow

Academic journal article Military Review

CGSC: Developing Leaders to Adapt and Dominate for the Army of Today and Tomorrow

Article excerpt


IN AUGUST 2007, the historic U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) moved into the 440,000 square foot Lewis and Clark Center to continue its 131-year tradition of educating Army officers for service to the nation. For alumni who experienced the Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) in Bell Hall, this new facility is the most visible sign of the transformation of CGSC. Designed to meet the future needs of the Army in education, this facility is as versatile as the officers it must educate. Housing the best field grade students the Army has to offer, taught by a world-class faculty, the new CGSC is a major reason the Combined Arms Center is referred to as the "Intellectual Center of the Army." While the building is an incredible story, the real importance lies in what is going on inside the building, in the classrooms, and in the courses taught. This is not the Command and General Staff College of years past, but an institution that leads by example, recognizes the evolution of the world, and changes constantly to support the Army through the accomplishment of its mission:

CGSC educates and develops leaders to adapt and dominate in unified land operations ... and advances the art and science of the profession of arms in support of Army operational requirements.

Change in the College comes in how we accomplish our educational mission, as well as within the content of our courses. This change is an active, evolutionary educational process that drives the institution to reexamine itself on a frequent basis. The operational environment is dramatically different than in previous times. Additionally, there has been a tremendous growth in understanding of adult learning and professional education, and CGSC is leveraging this new science. We are educating a different generation of emerging leaders who bring incredible experience to the classroom to share. Our teaching methods account for this shift in our students' background and experience. The most obvious difference over the previous 30 years is that more than 90 percent of our Army students have recent combat experience and nearly 70 percent have multiple combat tours. Based on this background, and the ever-changing operating environment that is our world, it is easy to see that change remains a constant in the process of leader development and education for the Army.


The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff released the Joint Education White Paper on 16 July 2012, providing guidance to Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) schools like CGSC. "The purpose of Professional Military Education (PME)," according to the White Paper, "is to develop leaders by conveying a broad body of knowledge and developing the habits of mind essential to our profession." The document goes further to counsel that "beyond providing critical thinking skills, our education programs must also ensure leaders have--

* The ability to understand the security environment and the contributions of all elements of national power.

* The ability to deal with surprise and uncertainty.

* The ability to anticipate and recognize change and deal with transitions.

* The ability to operate on intent through trust, empowerment, and understanding." (1)

This article will depict CGSC's journey toward meeting these goals--where we are and where we must continue to evolve. CGSC has always achieved its important mission of preparing leaders for our Army, the Department of Defense, and the nation. This is an opportunity to explain the great things going on today at CGSC and how we continue to adapt to be the premier educational institution the Army needs.

Those who have spent much time around Fort Leavenworth have seen historical quotes by Marshall and Eisenhower concerning the importance of the Command and Staff College to our nation's success in World War II. …

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