Dempsey speaks at CGSC graduation
June 17, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (June 16, 2011) -- The man tapped to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, addressed more than 1,000 graduating students June 10 on Fort Leavenworth.
Intermediate Level Education students graduating from the Command and General Staff College this June include sister service, interagency and almost 70 international officers. About 100 students completed a master of military arts and science degree.
Dempsey, formerly commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, was appointed as the chief of staff of the Army in April.
Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commandant of the Command and General Staff College and commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, told graduating students that Dempsey was known for revolutionizing the professional military ethic and leadership training within the Army.
“General Dempsey has demonstrated the professional skill and personal character to lead our Army in what many consider the most challenging times since immediately following Vietnam,” Caslen said.
Dempsey, a 1987 CGSC graduate, told military officers that leaders are looking forward to utilizing the newfound knowledge and burst of energy that CGSC graduates bring to the force.
Dempsey compared field grade level officers’ input with that of Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment in June 1752.
“As Franklin did with science, we’re going to need your help to understand those storms,” he said. “As Franklin balanced risk and gain, you will be in leadership positions where you may have to take risks, to expose opportunities; and that takes knowledge, that takes instincts and it takes teamwork.”
Dempsey recalled advice he once received " to introduce chaos and leave white space on his calendar so that subordinates can question him.
“If we don’t deliberately nurture curiosity, build on it and seek it as an attribute in our subordinates, we could inadvertently squash it,” he said.
Dempsey said it would be the role of CGSC students to build a culture of trust, discipline and fitness within the Army.
“As field grade officers, you are now the man or woman to your subordinates,” he said. “You’re no longer a net consumer of plans and policies; you are now the producer of plans and policies. It’s now your duty to ensure that these qualities of trust, of discipline and of fitness exist in every unit and in every Soldier in our Army all the time.”
Awards presented to students include honors for the distinguished graduate and international graduate, who were U.S. Army Maj. Richard Martin and Norwegian Army Capt. Aleksandra Jankov.
Maj. Nicholas Melin won the Birrer-Brooks Award for most outstanding MMAS thesis, “The Challenge of Access: Using Road Construction as a Tool in Counterinsurgency.”
Faculty members Lt. Col. Leonard Lira, Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations, and Dr. Kevin Shea, Department of Command and Leadership, were recognized as the CGSC military and civilian Educators of the Year at ILE graduation and will move on to the TRADOC Educator of the Year competition.