FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Feb. 11, 2010) -- U.S. and international officers in the Command and General Staff College's Intermediate Level Education class 2010-02 formally began 10 months of professional military education at the international flag ceremony Feb. 8, in the Lewis and Clark Center's Eisenhower Auditorium.

The class of 399 officers includes 46 international students from 42 countries.

Brig. Gen. Edward Cardon, acting commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, and acting CGSC commandant, said international officers enrich the overall education at CGSC.

"The presence of these international officers helps our entire student body develop an understanding of each nation's culture and culture terrain that is so important to both global operations and global security," Cardon said. "Unquestionably, American officers will learn a great deal from our international officers over the next year."

Flags from 42 different countries of class 2010-02 were posted on stage with the U.S. flag.

Maj. Chon Hwan Chong, an infantry officer from South Korea, will be an instructor at a Korean army school after graduation; he said ILE will be beneficial in helping him teach future Korean staff officers.

"I would really like to learn about U.S. doctrine and how to fight, and what the U.S. Army's first priority is in current contemporary international environments," he said.

Maj. Jay Anson, whose last assignment was with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., said he wants to learn about the latest Army and joint doctrine.

"I want to learn how to be a better staff officer at a higher level," he said.

In addition to Army officers, officers from other U.S. services, including the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, also attend ILE and earn Joint Professional Military Education Phase I certification.

Maj. Jeff Donato, an Air Force contracting officer, comes to ILE from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

"The big thing about coming to a joint school is to help you understand how the other services operate so you have a common thought process and language when you deploy with them," he said.

Donato said he has worked with the Army during deployments to Kuwait and Iraq.

"It's important for officers as we go forward in our career to those senior ranks to truly understand how the other operates so we can work better together in a cohesive unit," he said.

ILE class 2010-02 will graduate in December.

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