Four officers join International Hall of Fame
October 13, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Oct. 13, 2011) -- An ambassador, two defense department chiefs and a commanding general of an army were inducted into the International Hall of Fame at Fort Leavenworth Oct. 6.
Photographs of Ambassador Augostino Njoroge of Kenya; Lt. Gen. Sean McCann, chief of staff of the Defence Forces of Ireland; Vitalie Marinuta, minister of Defense for the Republic of Moldova, and Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz, commanding general of the Philippine Army, will join other photographs of former Command and General Staff College students on the fourth floor of the Lewis and Clark Center. The International Hall of Fame recognizes international CGSC students who have reached the highest positions in their nations' armed forces or an equivalent position in a multinational military organization.
One, Ortiz, has been awarded the Philippines' highest military award for valor, the Medal of Valor, his country's equivalent to the U.S. Medal of Honor.
According to the Philippine Army website, Ortiz was presented the award for his actions on April 6, 1990, as a captain. He was a commander of five 12-man special forces teams with the assistance of Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units. Ortiz led them on a night raid against a camp of 300 New People's Army terrorists. Ortiz led his teams on an 11-hour, crosscountry foot march and scaled a 1,000-foot cliff into enemy territory. Ortiz moved from one team to another to direct their line of fire, disregarding his own personal safety. He risked crossfire to lead a group of women and children to safety. His troops overran the camp, and during the two-hour gun battle 84 terrorists were killed, eight captured and several wounded.
Ortiz graduated from CGSC in 2000. Ortiz' military education includes many U.S. Army courses, including various Special Forces training courses at Fort Bragg, N.C. He was commander of the Philippines' Special Operations from 2008 to 2010, after serving decades in the special forces.
Marinuta also graduated from CGSC in 2000. He joined the military in 1988 as a cadet in the High Military School of the Airborne Troops in Ryazan, in what was then the Soviet Union. Moldova became an independent country in 1991. Marinuta graduated airborne school in 1992, becoming an officer of the Moldovan National Army. According to his biography, he participated in combat operations in the separatist conflict in the eastern part of Moldova.
Marinuta also obtained a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and served as a Moldovan officer atthe U.S. Army Central Command in Florida. Marinuta was named Minister of Defense in 2009.
Njoroge, who retired from the Kenyan military as a lieutenant general, is the Kenyan Ambassador to Israel. He attended CGSC in 1985, his first visit to the United States. He went on to become Kenya's senior national representative in the Global War on Terrorism to U.S. Army Central Command in Florida. As a lieutenant general, he served as commander of the Kenya Army.
Njoroge said he was inspired by retired Gen. Colin Powell during his time at Fort Leavenworth and Powell's efforts to honor the Buffalo Soldiers. Njoroge said he modeled himself after Powell.
"I must admit he was a role model for a general even before his bestselling book," Njoroge said.
McCann attended CGSC in 1990. He has served the Irish military for 28 years, including tours in Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and Kuwait with the United Nations and in the former Yugoslavia with the European Union Monitoring Mission.
McCann said the bonds built during his time at CGSC provided him an appreciation for the tactical and strategic partnerships with his fellow CGSC classmates. He said he was proud to be a part of an institution that helped build on peace and shared core military values.
"CGSC is a world-class center of excellence for the education and training of officers," he said.
Brig. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, deputy commandant of CGSC, inducted each officer into the International Hall of Fame. MacFarland also thanked organizations that assist international students during their time at Fort Leavenworth, such as Operation International and People to People International.
MacFarland said working together with partner nations has become a norm for the U.S. military.
"This ceremony is a powerful reminder that the bonds first established right here at Fort Leavenworth transcend time and national boundaries and bind us together in the profession of arms," MacFarland said.