• As Steve O'Dell, of the International Military Student Division, narrates, Lt. Col. Jacob W. Aaronson, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education 2011-01 class president, posts the nation's colors to begin the CGSC opening day international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in the Lewis and Clark Center.

    Flag ceremony marks start of ILEAca,!E+class

    As Steve O'Dell, of the International Military Student Division, narrates, Lt. Col. Jacob W. Aaronson, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education 2011-01 class president, posts the nation's colors to begin the CGSC opening day...

  • Lt. Col. Ernesto Castro Torres of the Philippines, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education international student in the 2011-01 class, posts his country's colors during the CGSC opening day international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in the Lewis and Clark Center.

    Flag ceremony marks start of ILEAca,!E+class

    Lt. Col. Ernesto Castro Torres of the Philippines, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education international student in the 2011-01 class, posts his country's colors during the CGSC opening day international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in...

  • As Steve O'Dell, of the International Military Student Division, narrates, Ethiopian Lt. Col. Mesfin Debele, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education international student in the 2011-01 class, posts his country's colors during the CGSC opening day international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in the Lewis and Clark Center. The 2011-01 class is comprised of more than 1,000 officers, including 69 international students from 63 countries.

    Flag ceremony marks start of ILEAca,!E+class

    As Steve O'Dell, of the International Military Student Division, narrates, Ethiopian Lt. Col. Mesfin Debele, Command and General Staff College Intermediate Level Education international student in the 2011-01 class, posts his country's colors during...

  • Maj. Ricardo Alba of Argentina enters the Eisenhower Auditorium stage to post his country's colors for the Command and General Staff College international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in the Lewis and Clark Center. International students in the CGSC Intermediate Level Education 2011-01 class posted their nations' flags to represent the 63 countries of the 69 international students attending the course.

    Flag ceremony marks start of ILEAca,!E+class

    Maj. Ricardo Alba of Argentina enters the Eisenhower Auditorium stage to post his country's colors for the Command and General Staff College international flag ceremony Aug. 9 in the Lewis and Clark Center. International students in the CGSC...

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Aug. 12, 2010) - Capt. Edson Cairo said he doesn't feel any pressure in being the first officer from his country to attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

After all, he was also the first from the South American country of Suriname to attend special forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Cairo said he brings with him an enthusiasm to learn about U.S. Army practices, a chance to share his own native culture and develop partnerships that can help lead his country forward.

Suriname and Kosovo joined the ranks of foreign militaries sending officers to participate in a yearlong Intermediate Level Education program at CGSC, which began with the international flag ceremony Aug. 9. The CGSC ILE class of 2011-01 has 1,040 students, including 69 international officers from 63 countries around the world. The class also includes nine U.S. interagency civilians and one Department of Defense civilian. The bulk of the class are U.S. Army, Army Reserve, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers.

Capt. Ismael Diaouari is also in the program this year from Burkina Faso. He said he also looked forward to opportunities for cultural exchange. He said his country, part of the African continent, was not to be confused with other African countries.

"It's a developing country, (and) despite the fact that we don't have natural resources, we have hardworking people," he said. "It's a peaceful country, and we have good relationships with our neighbors."

Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr, commandant of CGSC and commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, told international officers their presence not only helps build partnerships between countries, but also provides U.S. officers with a firsthand perspective of each country's culture and terrain. Caslen said this cooperation is necessary to overcome insurgent threats.

"Many nations here today have recognized this threat, and have responded in kind, to stand in the gap between this evil and each nation's security," he said. "We recognize and honor the tremendous sacrifices that you have made to preserve justice and peace throughout the world. It is an honor to stand beside you as we confront this menace."

Marine Corps Maj. Clint Crosser, originally from Parkville, Mo., said he was pleased with the chance to come home.

"I really want to learn about what the other branches of the military are doing and why they do it," he said.

Crosser will be integrated into a staff group of about 16 other students so he'll learn about the Army's decision-making process and be able to share the inner workings of the Marines. Ironing out issues of joint operations was just one of the reasons he was encouraged to attend CGSC, he said.

Army National Guard Maj. Steve Denney is originally from Lawrence, Kan. He said he also wanted to share with his classmates a deeper understanding of the Guard's federal and state missions.
"I feel my classmates probably have a lot of experiences to share," he said.

Page last updated Fri August 13th, 2010 at 11:20