By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampOctober 22, 2010
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Oct. 21, 2010) - Three new inductees into the Fort Leavenworth International Hall of Fame were honored Oct. 15 at the Command and General Staff College.
Gen. Eui Don Hwang, chief of staff, Republic of Korea Army; Maj. Gen. Richard Rhys Jones, chief of Army, New Zealand; and Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, chief of Defence Forces, Uganda People's Defence Forces, Republic of Uganda, join an elite group of only three percent of international graduates who have attended CGSC and gone on to become general officers or heads of state in their home countries.
Hwang was unable to attend the ceremony, so was represented by the Korean International Liaison Officer to the Combined Arms Center Lt. Col. Yoonkap Lim.
Hwang began serving the Korean Army in 1975, when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant of intelligence in 1975. He attended CGSC in 1985-86. According to his biography, during his military career he commanded an infantry battalion, a commando regiment, a mechanized infantry division and a field army corps. Hwang was the first commanding general of the Zaytun Peace and Reconstruction Team in Kurdistan, Iraq. He became the 41st chief of staff of the Republic of Korea Army on June 18, 2010.
Lim said it was a great honor to accept the induction on behalf of Hwang. Lim said all Korean officers who have graduated from CGSC have been playing a great role in his country.
Jones, of New Zealand, was the second inductee. Jones attended CGSC in 1992. Jones enlisted in the New Zealand Army in 1978. He attended the Royal Military College in Australia and became commissioned in 1982. As a senior leader, he commanded the armored regiment, Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles. He also served as commander of the 3rd Land Force Group, then as Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.
Jones said many things have changed since his time at CGSC, but good leadership and networking with international partners remain strong. One of the things impressed upon him at CGSC was that his wife had more in common with the wife of an international military officer than with a civilian in his own country. Military families around the world share similar experiences with stress, moving and deployments, he said.
Jones said CGSC was an important part of his career.
"Any successful person who reaches the top of any organization is really created by the people and the things that shape their life, not necessarily themselves," he told the CGSC students and faculty. "And this college is one of the biggest things that shaped my life, and which will shape your own."
Nyakairima, of Uganda, joined the National Resistance Army in 1982 when he was 23. This force, led by current President Yoweri Museveni, took power of its country away from two dictators, one of whom killed more than 300,000 people.
"These jungles turned out to be my first 'college of military science' and training in warfare," Nyakairima said. "We had no external backing and had no logistics and weapons of our own to wage this military struggle, but we did. We started by capturing guns from government soldiers and soon the government became our suppliers. And within five years, the war was over and the backward forces had been defeated."
Nyakairima attended CGSC in 1993. For him and for his country, it was a major transition.
"While our bush experience had, by its very nature, taught us how to win tough struggles and how to take decisions that were required every minute because we had no time to die, we realized we had to transform from being freedom fighters to professional soldiers required of any modern state," Nyakairima said. "That's how I got the opportunity to come to this historic college."
Nyakairima, as a senior leader in his military, served as Armored Brigade commanding officer and army commander of the Uganda People's Defence Forces before being named chief of Defence Forces. This is a new position in the country, which recently transitioned from a single service to two - Land Forces and Air Forces.
Nyakairima told CGSC students about his country's work with the African Union. With their Burundi partners, Nyakairima said Ugandans are helping defeat Al-Qaida and other insurgents in Somalia.
"We have extensively studied the problem of Somalia, we have talked to the local people, we have witnessed firsthand the suffering of the people of Somalia, and established that the problem of Somalia is caused by terrorist groups coming from abroad," he said.
Nyakairima said the African Union recently defeated Al-Qaida and their proxy force, Al-Shabab during the month of Ramadan.
"Since then, our forces have captured more territory, and as of this morning, our forces have captured more blocks and streets ... We have shown that with the necessary support, Somalia will be a free country sooner than later," he said.
The three inductees' portraits will hang in the CGSC International Hall of Fame on the third floor of the Lewis and Clark Center.