CGSC inducts new International Hall of Fame members
April 25, 2013
By Harry Sarles
The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College inducted two graduates into its International Hall of Fame Thursday, April 25, at Fort Leavenworth's Lewis and Clark Center. The inductees are Gen. Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence, the Netherlands, and Lt. Gen. Joseph Kasaon, Army Commander in Kenya. Lt. Gen. David G. Perkins, Commanding General Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth and Commandant, Command and General Staff College, officiated the induction ceremony.
Perkins opened the ceremony saying we celebrate the induction of officers into the International Hall of Fame for three reasons: first, to recognize excellence; second, to publicly recognize the enduring partnership between the United States and Kenya and between the United States and the Netherlands; and finally to conceptualize what CGSC students are part of -- the world's premier military education institution that has produced 28 heads of state among its graduates.
Middendorp graduated from CGSC in 1997. His military career began with officer training in 1979 and culminated with his induction as the Chief of Defence on June 28, 2012. Middendorp has led Netherlands units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. He commanded Multinational Task Force Uruzgan in Afghanistan in 2009. Following that assignment, he was promoted to major general and served as the Director of Operations for the Defence Staff. He held that position until selected to become the Chief of Defence.
In his acceptance address, Middendorp said international military forces need each other more than ever. He said when he commanded a multi-national brigade in Afghanistan his unit received intelligence and was able to formulate and successfully execute an operation using Afghanistan, French, and Netherlands forces within eight hours. "International military cooperation is a necessity," Middendorp said. He added that military members around the world are more alike than different. He said they share a desire to serve and protect their countries, go places that others cannot or will not go, and share many common interests and values.
Kasaon became the Army Commander for Kenya on July 13, 2011. He is a 1990 graduate of CGSC. Kasaon was commissioned in 1976 upon completion of cadet officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. After entering the Kenya Army as a platoon commander, he rose to command a battalion and to command the Eastern Command as a general officer. He also led various Army schools as commandant or chief instructor. He was the Commandant of the National Defense College, Kenya, prior to becoming Army Commander.
Kasaon said the road he has travelled since graduating from CGSC has been challenging and exciting. CGSC, he said, prepared him well for his role as an officer in peace and war. He said his studies helped him to fulfill roles as both diplomat and warrior when necessary. Throughout his career he has remembered Suz Tzu's axiom "in peace, prepare for war." Kasaon talked about Kenyan forces currently battling the forces of the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia. He said the capture of the Somalian port of Kismayo last fall and dealt a severe blow to the terrorist forces.
Of the more than 7,500 international students that have graduated from CGSC, 250 officers from 69 countries have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. More than 50 percent of the college's international students achieve the rank of general officer. The International Hall of Fame honors