The graduating class is comprised of military officer students from two courses in SAMS: the Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP) and the Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program (ASLSP). AMSP is a one-year program for promotable captains, majors and junior lieutenant colonels who have completed CGSOC or their service’s staff school equivalent. Graduates from this program are assigned as planning officers at the division and corps level. ASLSP is a two-year, senior level course for lieutenant colonels and colonels. The second-year ASLSP students are assigned as seminar leaders for AMSP students. ASLSP graduates are assigned to theater level organizations, combatant commands or other ‘four star’ headquarters.
In all, there are 141 graduates in the class, with 125 of those in the AMSP course. Of the 141, only 12 are women. Most of the students are from the active ranks of the U.S. Army. Other U.S. military services/components represented are: U.S. Army National Guard (two officers), U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Air Force (12 officers) and the U.S. Marine Corps (seven officers). The 2016 class also includes 14 international students: Australia, Canada (three officers), Columbia, Germany (two officers), Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, and the United Kingdom (three officers). The majority of the students in the class are from “maneuver, fires and effects” specialties such as infantry, armor, aviation, and artillery. Other specialties such as intelligence, signal and logistics are also represented.
There are also students from other U.S. government agencies: Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Army North.
These men and women, from their various military services or government agencies, specialties and experiences, are considered by many to be the premier “thinkers” and future leaders of their nations. The SAMS curriculum is tough – the average student reads approximately 150 pages of material each night, writes an average of six papers along with a monograph, and spends more than 2000 hours in class and other academic pursuits. Even though much of their time is consumed, they manage to spend time with their families and other interests to help introduce a bit of balance in their lives. – According to Lt. Col. Don Santillo, the SAMS operations officer, this class, like many, can also boast of students who stand out in ways other than their military prowess.
In this class, Maj. Colby Krug is a highly skilled golfer who presently scores low enough to qualify to become a PGA teaching pro in the future. He has played competitively since high school and is currently in first place in the intramural league on Fort Leavenworth. Another classmate, Maj. Adam K. Greene is a veteran ultra-distance runner (up-to and including 100-mile races), long-distance cyclist, and Ironman triathlete. He holds professional running and cycling coaching certifications and has competed in races across the United States and Europe.
SAMS students are sometimes referred to as “Jedi Knights” – Krug and Greene are simply two examples of exceptional officers that represent this and every SAMS class. For these reasons and more, the CGSC Foundation salutes the SAMS Class of 2016 for their dedication, excellence and continued service in the profession of arms and service to their respective countries.