AMSC commandant leaves parting thoughts
Jennifer Spangler, Army Management Staff College (AMSC) assistant marketing specialist, interviews AMSC Commandant Col. Garland H. Williams about his tenure at the college. Williams will retire after 28 years of Army service.

Editor's note: Col. Garland H. Williams, Army Management Staff College commandant, is retiring after 28 years of Army service. Williams has served as the AMSC commandant since July 2006. He will relinquish command on July 31 to Col. Stevenson L. Reed, director of Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency (with duty at Huntsville, Ala.).

So this is it, the end of your command at AMSC. How does that make you feel hearing that'

When I was asked by General Warner on behalf of General Petraeus to come to the college, I really didn't know what I was getting into. And then when I was exposed to AMSC, the mission here - half the mission doing the Civilian Education System [CES] and the other half doing Command Programs, for me it was a great fit. We completely transitioned from the legacy courses that we had up to about 2006 into our current CES offerings. I think we're doing the right thing for the Army. Command Programs - we continue to evolve because IMCOM has evolved in the three years that I've been here, so we're trying to keep up to make sure that our garrison commanders and our sergeants majors and general officers are as best prepared to lead their towns - the installations out there in the Army - as they can. So it's a little sad. It's going to be 28 years.

What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment, since you've been here at AMSC'

When I came in here, my boss at the time, General O' Neil said to launch CES. We got it launched, and brought in Dr. Raymer [Dean of Academics] who's an expert in learning theory and education. And, I think we have a program that is to rival any leadership program out there for what we're trying to do. The only reason we do this job is to support that Soldier or that Civilian downrange. So, we have to teach them to be able to lead in terms and times of ambiguity and uncertainty. Using CES and using the inquiry-based learning, we put them [students] in an academic uncertainty, so that they can learn to perform with a little bit of pressure. It is not a mental ranger school, but it is meant to be tough. But that's a tough question because on the other side of the school with Command Programs... We are trying to prepare these Garrison Commanders and Sergeants Majors who have always been tactical, who have blown stuff up for a living, and we have to change their mindset to be city managers and mayors - to be the generating pace to take care of those Soldiers downrange and take care of their families while the Soldiers are downrange.

What are you parting thoughts'

You have to come in with a mindset that you're going to take a few things that you want to try to accomplish in your three years because organizational change takes a lot of work and you know in your time you're really renting the unit, if you will. But you also want to make sure you turn it over to the next guy in the best shape possible. Colonel Reed that's coming in - I talked with him on the phone. He's excited. He will have some challenges. I haven't solved everything, and all the great accomplishments we've had over the last three years is not due to me. It's truly due to the AMSC staff and faculty. We do establish continuity, and we can see projects from the beginning through the end. The Commander may not see it because he'll be in and out in two or three years, but the key civilians will see it because they will have been here for a long time. That's a way we'll make CES the best thing for that individual civilian and also for the Army as a whole. Command Programs - the same way, the faculty that are in Command ProA,A!grams have extensive experience doing this as an operator, and now they get a chance to pass on this experience being faculty.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16