By Harry SarlesJune 14, 2019
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.-- In commencement ceremonies today at the Lewis and Clark Center, General Stephen J. Townsend, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, challenged 1,100 graduates of Command and General Staff Officers Course 2019 to do three things -- elevate team play, help commanders to reinvigorate mission command, and coach junior officers.
Townsend told the graduating students they were leaving CGSC much better prepared than he was when he graduated from the course 25 years ago. He also said they leave with an excellent professional network of peers and friends. "You can't even imagine the situations where this network of friends and fellow students will come in handy in years ahead in your career but it will, mark my words," said Townsend. "Your first responsibility as a professional officer is to master our trade. Your core competency is to fight and win our nation's wars," he said.
Opening the graduation ceremony, Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, Commandant of the Command and General Staff College said, "Your watch starts again this afternoon when you leave this post. You're now stewards of our profession and there's more expected of you by your Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines and your leaders. I'm absolutely confident that you're all ready to meet that challenge. Our nation and all the nations that are represented here by our international officers are in great hands."
Graduation marks the completion of the 10-month Command and General Staff Officers Course that develops war-fighting and adaptive leadership skills necessary for military officers to be proficient in Unified Land Operations. The Command and General Staff College is an educational center of excellence renowned in the study of leadership, the conduct of joint and combined land warfare, and the application of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational organizations to synchronize all elements of power to achieve national objectives.
The graduating class includes mid-career officers from all American military services as well as 110 international officers representing 87 countries and 26 federal government civilian employees. The international graduates received the CGSC International Officer Graduate Badge during a ceremony Thursday, June 13. International military student participation in cooperative military studies in the United States originated at Fort Leavenworth in 1894. Since then, international military students have become an integral part of the Command and General Staff Officer's Course. More than 8,200 international officers have studied alongside U.S. military and government civilian counterparts at Fort Leavenworth.
In addition to completing the graduate-level course, approximately 150 students earned the Master of Military Art and Science Degree. Students earn the master's degree by successful completion of the Command and General Staff Officers Course, successful completion of an oral comprehensive exam, and writing and orally defending a thesis based on original research. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to award the master's degree.
Individual award recipients follow on separate page.
Command and General Staff Officers Course 2019 Individual Awards:
General George C. Marshall Award for top U.S. graduate--Major Dana Gingrich, Infantry.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for top International Graduate, Major Nicolas Stafford, United Kingdom.
Major General James M. Wright Master Logistician Award, Major Will Cunningham, Logistics.
General George S. Patton Jr. Master Tactician Award, Major Dana Gingrich.
General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Award, Major Dana M. Gingrich.
Iron Major Award for outstanding Physical Fitness: Major Nicolas Ouimet, Infantry, Male; Major Katie Richesin, Civil Affairs, Female.
Arter-Darby Military History Writing Award, Chaplain (Major) Erik C. Alfsen.
Arter-Doniphan Award, Major Edward Brady, USAF. This award is given to the student with the highest grade point average in the class.
General John J. Pershing Award for top graduate in Distance Learning, Major Scott T. Dawe, Armor.
Major General Hans Schlup Award--Major Martijn Reuvers (Netherlands). Award is given to the student who best fostered international relations.
Birrer-Brooks Award for Outstanding MMAS Thesis, Major Greg Hope, Armor.
Civilian Instructor of the year, Dr. Derek Mallett, Department of Military History, Fort Gordon.
Military Instructor of the year, Lt. Col. Trent Lythgoe, Department of Tactics.
Homeland Security Studies Award, Chaplain (Major) Erik C. Alfsen. Award is given for best research in Homeland Security topics.
Excellence in Joint Forces Warfare Award, Major Jason Jones, Logistics.
Father Donald W. Smythe Military History Award, Major Andrew Fair, Strategist.
Simons Center Interagency Writing Award, Major Al Zaki (Indonesia).
Lt. Col. Boyd McCanna Harris Leadership Award, Major Dana M. Gingrich. Award is given for best research in organizational leadership.
Brigadier General Benjamin H. Grierson Award for Excellence in Strategic Studies, Major David S.T. Kwek (Singapore).