FORT BENNING, GA – The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) granted diplomas to 57 students from 12 countries for their academic achievements in completing the Command & General Staff Officer Course on May 20, 2020, at Marshall Auditorium.Additionally, 27 students completed the requirements for a Master's degree from either one of the following; the U.S. Army Command General Staff College, Florida Institute of Technology, American Military University, and Regent University.The students recognized represented countries from Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, and the United States.Top student for this year's course was Peruvian Army MAJ Jose Maguiña Mendoza. He was presented the WHINSEC International Distinguished Honor Graduate, and the General Eisenhower Leadership awards, a WHINSEC Saber, the Peruvian Army Academic Excellence Medal, and the WHINSEC Junta Medal. Maguiña also completed the requirements to obtain a Master of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.The General Dwight D. Eisenhower award is presented to the distinguished International Military Student (IMS), graduate of the resident WHINSEC Command and General Officer Course (CGSOC). This award recognizes scholarship, honors the distinguished service and legacy of one of America's most honored soldiers, and serves as a lasting incentive to the officers attending resident CGSOC. The Peruvian Army Academic Excellence Medal is given to a student who occupies the number one position in his class. The WHINSEC "Junta" (Partner Nation Advisory Board) Military Medal is awarded in recognition of the student's professionalism, academic quality, effort, sacrifice, a spirit of self-improvement in the military field and application of the philosophy of fraternity, which governs WHINSEC."It has been a very enriching experience; the instruction has been excellent. I believe we have developed throughout the course in many capacities that will allow us to face many challenges successfully, given the current and future context in which we operate. I have many new friendships from different countries. Another added value I can take to my country. This will help foster cooperation for security in the western hemisphere'" said Maguiña.United States Marine Corps MAJ Ismael Lara, obtained the highest grade point average of all U.S. officers and was presented the WHINSEC U.S. Distinguished Honor Graduate and the General Marshall Leadership awards, a WHINSEC Saber, the Peruvian Army Academic Excellence, the Institutional Medal of the Secretary of the National Defense of México(SEDENA), and WHINSEC "Junta" Military Medals. He also attained a Support Operations Officer (SPO) Certification.The General George C. Marshall award is presented to the distinguished U.S. graduate of the resident WHINSEC Command and General Officer Course (CGSOC). This award is based on the "whole student" concept that recognizes scholarship, extramural activities, honors the distinguished service and legacy of one of America's most honored soldiers, and serves as a lasting incentive to the officers attending resident CGSOC. The Peruvian Army Academic Excellence Medal is given to the student who occupies the top of his class. The Secretary of the National Defense of México is given to the U.S. student who occupies the first place on his respective program of professional development. The Support Operations (SPO) certification is a CGSOC Elective (A492)elective available for logisticians. The focus of A492 is on multifunctional logistics in the area of support operations. It prepares CGSOC majors (logisticians) to serve as support operations officers or in other key and developmental positions in tactical units. It also facilitates a critical analysis of doctrinal tactical logistic support concepts and functions and the full integration of multifunctional logistics planning within brigade combat team (BCT), support brigade, and theater sustainment brigade operations. The elective is composed of two phases. Phase I is online via the US Army Logistics University (ALU), Fort lee, VA. Phase II is a resident two-week CGSOC elective at WHINSEC."First would like to thank God for allowing me to represent the Marine Corps in such a demanding course. CGSOC is a very intense course, and I am very proud to obtain these recognitions. The interaction with our fellow Partner Nation students was an outstanding experience. They provide a different perspective of situations occurring in their countries. It opened my eyes to what is occurring in those countries. This knowledge will help me with future assignments and responsibilities. I will be able to perform my duties better by having this deeper understanding of the region and our partner nations," commented Lara.CGSOC, educates and trains intermediate level Army, sister-services, interagency, and partner-nation officers to operate unified land operations in joint, interagency, and multinational environments, as field grade commanders and staff officers. This year's course comprised of representatives from all U.S. Military services, a civilian from the Department of State, and 11 partner nations.Students may complete their master's degree from any civilian university, or complete a Master of Military Arts and Science (MMAS), awarded by the Command and General Staff College while attending the 10-month course.