The CGSC Foundation has selected the faculty and 2019 graduating class of CGSC’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) as the Person(s) of the Month for May 2019. Graduation for the 2019 class is May 23.
The graduating class is comprised of military officer and civilian 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 majors and junior lieutenant colonels. To qualify, students must have completed the Command and General Staff Officers Course (or their service’s intermediate level of education equivalent). Additionally, to be chosen for AMSP’s rigorous graduate level education in Operational Art, prospective students must volunteer for a competitive and in-depth selection process. Graduates of the program earn a Masters of Military Art and Science and are subsequently assigned as staff leaders and planners at the division, corps and service component level.
ASLSP is a two-year, senior service college program for lieutenant colonels and colonels who earn a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies upon graduation. During the second-year, select ASLSP students are assigned as the military faculty in both programs. Ultimately, ASLSP graduates will go on to theater level organizations, combatant commands, or other ‘four star’ headquarters following their tour at SAMS.
In the graduating classes of 2019, there are 156 SAMS students – 140 in the AMSP and 16 in ASLSP. Of the 156, eight are women. Most of the students are from the active ranks of the U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard (six officers), and the U.S. Army Reserve (five officers). The U.S. Air Force (12 officers) and U.S. Marine Corps (six officers) also participate along with 16 international students: Australia, Canada (five officers), Germany (three officers), Italy, Lebanon, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom (three officers).
The class of 2109 also includes students from other U.S. government agencies: Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Securtiy-Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Army North, and U.S. Central Command.
Graduates are considered by many to be premier “thinkers” on operational art and the future leaders of their organizations. The SAMS curriculum is rigorous – the average student reads approximately 200 pages of material each night, writes five papers in addition to a research monograph, spends countless hours in class and doing individual academic preparation, and conducts several exercises to practice problem solving in an operational environment. The ASLSP has a robust field study program with engagements at each combatant command, several functional commands, and includes cultural studies while in Europe and Asia.
SAMS also emphasizes fitness while going through the education programs. To stay enrolled in the school, students must take and pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, and meet height and weight standards at the start and end of the year. Seminars conduct physical training (PT) several times a week to ensure a baseline level of fitness. The SAMS director also holds PT events during the year which emphasize fitness, cohesion, and preparation for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). In the fall and spring, SAMS holds the “Director’s PT Challenge.” The fall event requires students to run a three-mile course while stopping at stations along the way to complete functional fitness and mental challenges. In the spring, the student that scores the highest on six of the ACFT events earns the Iron Leader recognition at the SAMS graduation ceremony.
The SAMS faculty coach, teach, and mentor students throughout the year to accomplish the graduate outcomes of the programs. Additionally, professors continually strive for excellence in their academic discipline and research to produce scholarly publications. Academic year 2019 has yielded several examples of SAMS faculty excellence. –Dr. Bruce Stanley was nominated as Educator of the Year and personally selected by the Forces Command (FORSCOM) Commanding General as a guest panelist for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Global Force Symposium and Exposition, FORSCOM panel on Combat Readiness for Multi-Domain Operations (MDO). Dr. John Curatola presented “B-29s and the Battle of Kansas” to the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka, Kansas, and hosted a podcast on his book Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow for the online journal New Books in History. Dr. Peter J. Schifferle was nominated for the Lt. Gen. J. Lawton Collins Academic Chair of Military Studies. And Dr. Alice Butler-Smith represented the Joint Staff DJ7 at a joint workshop “On Flexibility and Military Creativity” in Stockholm, Sweden.
Several SAMS students excelled in and out of the classroom. Majors Daniel Harrison, Zachary Morris, Douglas Stansbury, Nicholas Yetman, and Lt. Col. Dominik Schellenberger (Germany) were selected to discuss and describe their research at the Spring 2019 National Security Roundtable hosted by CGSC and the CGSC Foundation. Maj. Tommy Prestella appeared in an episode of the television series “Shark Tank” where his business venture was approved and funded by Mark Cuban, renown entrepreneur and owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Dallas Mavericks. Col. David Meyer, Dr. Philip Hultquist and nine U.S. students participated in “Primary Destiny,” a training exercise at the Advanced Command and Staff College (ACSC) in Shrivenham, United Kingdom. Maj. Steven Schuyler competed in four triathlons and was awarded a District Award of Merit as a Boy Scouts commissioner. Maj. Alex Mullin served on the board of directors for Parenting Children with Special Needs and hosted a fundraiser for Santa’s Miracles Program, sponsoring families with special needs children in the Kansas City area.
The CGSC Foundation salutes and recognizes the SAMS faculty and students in the SAMS Class of 2019 for their professional dedication, excellence and continued service in the profession of arms and to their nations. We wish them well in their coming assignments.