By Tisha Johnson, Fort Leavenworth LampAugust 13, 2009
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Aug. 13, 2009) -- Fifty-eight flags representing the 67 international students from those countries were placed alongside the United States colors during the Command and General Staff College's Intermediate Level Education course opening day ceremony Aug. 10 in the Lewis and Clark Center's Eisenhower Auditorium.
The international students are part of the record-breaking group of 1,053 officers included in ILE class 2010-01.
The tradition of the flag ceremony at the beginning of each class symbolizes the quest of all the nations for mutual understanding, recognition of common responsibility and the shared commitment to world peace.
CGSC Commandant and Fort Leavenworth Commander Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV officially welcomed members of the new class and their families.
"We are thrilled to have you here as part of the community of Fort Leavenworth," Caldwell said. "Today is a very special day because we are able to recognize the international military students that so greatly enrich and enhance our experiences while we are here."
Introducing guest speaker Rep. Leonard Boswell from Iowa, Caldwell said the congressman embodied the meaning of servant leadership through his dedication to the nation and his work for Soldiers.
Bowsell has served as a U.S. congressman since 1996, but his service to the country began four decades prior when he was drafted into the Army in 1956.
"You would be hard pressed to find a speaker that brings a more unique combination of experience than Congressman Boswell," Caldwell said. "He knows the ability and importance of operating in a joint intergovernmental, interagency, multinational environment."
Boswell graduated from CGSC in 1968 and was an instructor in the department of tactics from 1974 to 1976.
"He was a warrior," Caldwell said. "He attended the Command and General Staff College between his first and second tours of duty in Vietnam where he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses."
Boswell retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel with 20 years of distinguished service, Caldwell said.
"If you looked Boswell up on Wikipedia you would learn about his assignments in Portugal and Germany in addition to his combat time in Vietnam," Caldwell said. "If you go to YouTube you would be able to view him on video giving his remarks on the floor of Congress this past June in which he talked very eloquently about the importance of this institution, the Command and General Staff College."
A Google search, Caldwell said, would result in a link to his home page as well as a link to the digital Library of Congress where 178 minutes in 16 different video clips are available about Boswell.
Boswell admitted his tie to the digital age.
"Here I am 75 years old and I can't hardly get away from this thing called a blackberry," Boswell said. "I get on Facebook, and I Twitter, but that's part of communications."
Boswell said he felt privileged to be speaking to the students.
"I'm twice the age of most of you, a lot of miles, a lot of memories - and a lot of privileges to serve this great country of ours," Boswell said.
Born and raised on a farm in a rural community in northern Missouri, Boswell said his view of the world was limited. Even though there were no conflicts going on at the time, Boswell was drafted in 1956.
"My whole world changed. I realized people with different backgrounds and religions and different ethnic groups and all of this was reality," he said with a sweep of his hand.
In addition to his experience with international officers at CGSC, Boswell lived outside the country for nine years. The opportunity to establish relationships with international officers was quite an experience, Boswell said.
"And if you are going to train and have to go off to war, you better know your comrades and know they can do their job as you can do yours," Boswell said. "The point I want to make is you've got to communicate."
The distance around the equator is about 25,000 miles and that hasn't changed, Boswell said. But, in his estimation, the world has become smaller.
There has always been terrorism, Boswell said, but it is at a new level now. He said terrorists try to strike fear and think they can drive people apart, but they are bringing people together.
"They're not going to tear us apart," Boswell said. "We're a world community and we're going to come together."
Boswell said the same things make people laugh and cry because they are human beings and it doesn't matter what their color or background is.
"We're human beings and we ought to care for one another," Boswell said.
During his stay at Fort Leavenworth, Boswell was informed that he had been nominated and affirmed for induction into the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame.
"Totally caught me off guard," Boswell said. "It kind of set me back on my heels a little bit."
The Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame was created in 1969 and is co-sponsored by the Memorial Hall Association, the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of the Association of the United States Army and the command of Fort Leavenworth. The Hall of Fame honors outstanding members of the Army who, after being stationed at Fort Leavenworth, significantly contributed to the history, heritage and traditions of the Army.
Each inductee to the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame is honored with a shadow box containing a portrait and inscription detailing the individual's military service. The shadow boxes are in the atrium of the Lewis and Clark Center, home of CGSC. The Hall of Fame ceremony is traditionally in April or May.
"To get that kind of recognition is pretty nice," Boswell said. "I appreciate it very much."