On behalf of the board of trustees and the Foundation staff, I would like to congratulate our graduates from the Classes of 2018! I say “classes” because we had more than 130 graduate from the School of Advanced Military studies on May 24; we have nearly 1,000 that have graduated or will graduate this year from our Satellite Campus programs; we have more than 3,000 enrolled in the distributed education courses with many graduating this year; and we will graduate more than 1,100 on June 15 from the resident Command and General Staff Officer Course here at Fort Leavenworth. The U.S. Armed Forces as well as the armed forces of 91 different countries are better off because of these graduates assuming positions within their ranks. Well done to each and every one of you for your achievement.
We are pleased to be able to present the resident CGSOC and SAMS students with a memento of your time during outprocessing. We hope you’ll display this proudly in your coin collection and remember your time here.
As you CGSOC graduates depart to start your next assignment or to begin your second year at SAMS, you will hear a lot of people tell you that this past year was “the best year of your life!” We’ll all join you in a chuckle because the past year may not have seemed so great with the study workload, especially if you were also pursuing an advanced degree as part of your personal goals for the year. But, what other school gives you the ability to learn from a world class faculty, a representative mix of the U.S. Armed Forces, members of the U.S. Government interagency team, and amazing students from 91 different countries? This experience should serve you well into the future.
I know when I graduated I was fairly tired of the “best year of your life” comments. But, I can assure you that after leaving and getting back into the force, I began to recognize that CGSOC was in fact a really great year. Without field duty, I was able to focus on my family and my profession. I really did a deep dive into the profession of arms and came out a much better officer for having had the experience. So, when I came back many years later as the director of the Department of Tactics and then the Dean of Academics at CGSC, I must confess that I told students that it would be the best year of their life whenever possible. I got the same jaded looks that I had given years earlier. Trust me, on reflection in years to come, you will see the benefit of your time as a student at CGSC.
I hope that the friendships you’ve made will serve you well into the future. I found that I ran into CGSC classmates for the remainder of my career and then into my civilian careers. I encourage you to stay in touch and to stay in touch with the College. You should consider returning to the College in a future assignment to teach and pass on what you’ve learned to the future generation of leaders.
I also encourage you to stay in touch through the CGSC Foundation Alumni Association Program. We have online communication that allows you to stay in touch and get updates on what’s going on at CGSC. The cost is $25 per year and you get discounts in the Foundation Gift Shop as well as subscription to the award winning Foundation News Magazine. Your support will help the Foundation continue our mission of supporting the development of military leaders of character and competence for ethical service to the nation. We’d love to have you participate in the program.
So, congratulations graduates! We wish you safe travels and success in your future assignments, wherever they may take you. Good luck and God speed.
President/Chief Executive Officer
CGSC Foundation, Inc.