In virtual first, CGSC graduates 250 from satellite campuses

By ArmyU Public AffairsApril 28, 2020

Virtual Graduation Production
Karl Restall, Assistant Professor, CGSC Directorate of Logistics and Resource Operations, Redstone Arsenal Campus at his home office in Madison Alabama. Restall produced the Virtual Graduation ceremony for the Redstone Campus. (Photo Credit: Renee Restall) VIEW ORIGINAL

Command and General and Staff Officer Course Satellite Courses graduated on time in April despite having to make adjustments to allow for the force protection measures dictated by the COVID-19 crisis.

More than 250 CGSOC students were honored in virtual graduation ceremonies from satellite courses in three locations -- Fort Lee, Va., April 22, Fort Belvoir, Va., April 23, and Redstone Arsenal, Ala., April 24. The students began their courses at the satellite locations but returned home when temporary duty travel was stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They completed the courses through virtual means.

"March was a month that felt like things were changing as fast as it does in combat, and the team helped us get the most out of what we could do within the parameters given,” said Chap. (Maj.) Rob Sterling, a student at the Fort Lee Campus. “The team modeled the flexibility and adaptability expected of us, and I am thankful for leadership in creating that culture."

The commencement ceremonies which are normally held in person, were held over Blackboard Collaborate to minimize risks due to COVID-19. Students were given the links to the ceremonies and were encouraged to share with family and friends.

The satellite campuses offer CGSOC common core curriculum in person, and can host up to 62 students each at Fort Lee and Redstone Arsenal and 124 at Fort Belvoir three times a year.

Like the resident CGSOC course at Fort Leavenworth, the satellite course instructors had to adjust how they deliver the course due to COVID-19. They also had to ensure no change to the quality of instruction. This adjustment to the normal way of delivery is a first-hand example of the types of problems these graduates will be asked to face in the future.

“This pandemic is at the very core of what we teach in the school house”, says Clayton Newton, Assistant Professor for the US Army Command and General Staff School Redstone Arsenal Satellite Campus. “They need to be able to manage change and critically think about unique situations when they arise. Our students are demonstrating the ability to adapt and adjust; exactly what we expect from our graduates going back out in to the field.”