By Maj. Marc Staats, Fort Leavenworth LampMarch 19, 2009
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (March 19, 2009) This May, 11 officers attending the Command and General Staff College's Intermediate Level Education course will be the first recipients of a new degree offered by the University of Kansas.
Termed a master's of science in business with a concentration in supply chain management and logistics, this advanced degree is designed specifically for Army CGSC-ILE officers.
Retired Col. Greg Freix, the KU program director, said the degree complements existing military supply chain education and adds the broader civilian business focus.
"KU is pleased to offer officers the opportunity to expand their future potential with this new specialized graduate degree sponsored by the School of Business," Freix said.
In addition to the 24 credit hours offered on post by KU, the program recognizes six elective credits offered by CGSC's Department of Logistics and Resource Operations.
"The nine-month graduate student program greatly enhances the quality of the Army's sustainment force by exposing students to best business practices," said Willis Jackson, DLRO deputy director and faculty adviser.
The curriculum merges today's business environment with military supply chain practices by providing instruction in finance, accounting, economics and statistics. Armed with business foundations, students learn the best business practices in supply chain management, transportation, procurement, information systems, project management and a capstone exercise designed to put all the learning into a practical exercise.
Students said one of the toughest adjustments is refocusing from field operations to an academic environment where many students haven't thought about finance or accounting since their early undergraduate years.
"The University of Kansas and the Command and General Staff College have designed a tough and rigorous graduate level course in Supply Chain Management," said student Maj. Joe Caldwell. "It's a highly insightful course and well worth the effort. I highly recommend anyone in the logistics field to take this course."
Another student brings an international perspective to the program. Maj. Leonardo Zarza, an international student from Argentina, said the program is an opportunity to expand his logistical knowledge and garner business foundations that will assist him and Argentina's army upon his return.
"The master in science of business program from KU is an excellent option to study," Zarda said. "It is a tough and demanding course, but I think that success is from the continuous effort. I particularly think that to know about business and logistics in the current operational environment is a key factor to be a good military leader."
"Logistics and supply chain management are quickly becoming the business world's most highly sought-after skill set. Whether a student plans to continue a career in the military or pursue a future civilian occupation, a master's degree in this field is highly desirable" Freix said. "These majors are the next leaders in our Army. I'm proud that KU is able to offer this degree and equip our officers with the right tools to make well informed decisions."
The CGSC-ILE officers completing their advanced degrees from KU this spring are Majors Joseph Caldwell, Woodje Caldwell, John Dang, Al Guzman, Nick Kaszczuk, Matt McCulley, Brian L. Smith, Marc Staats, Nathan Swartz, Leonardo Zarza and Al Zehnder.
For more information on the program, contact Willis Jackson at willis.jackson @us.army.mil or Freix at firstname.lastname@example.org.