On April 27, instructor Michael Wizniak and his students from the University of Missouri – Kansas City toured Fort Leavenworth and the Command and General Staff College. Wizniak’s 16 students included both undergraduates in the business field as well as three master’s degree candidates. Most of the group are enrolled in UMKC’s Global Mindset for Managers course, which explores the history of the institutions and global systems and how to better navigate them for their future career paths. As part of their course, they are expected to develop an understanding of the worldview of different societies around the globe to better prepare them for cross-cultural management.
As the group was touring Fort Leavenworth, they learned the story of how Col. Henry Leavenworth established the fort in 1827. Though he was told to build a cantonment on the east side of the river, Col. Leavenworth decided it made more sense to be on the west side high on the bluffs overlooking the river. As their vehicle followed the street along those bluffs, the group viewed the beautiful brick homes including the home of General MacArthur, which is the oldest continually habited home in Kansas, and learned about the friendly, and not so friendly, ghosts of some of Fort Leavenworth’s so-called haunted houses. Next, they passed by the old disciplinary barracks which now houses a café and gift shop as well as the simulations lab, and the monuments of General Grant and the Buffalo Soldiers.
Once inside the Lewis and Clark Center, home of the Command and General Staff College, the students enjoyed learning about the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame, the art the international students give as gifts, and the art commissioned by each graduating class of officers. They also had the opportunity sit in on an electives class on the conflict in Syria and interact with CGSC students. Wizniak asked the military student-officers what their best piece of advice was for his students, and each one said it revolved around knowing how to communicate and work together with diverse cultures at home and abroad.
At the end of their walking tour, Doug Tystad, CGSC Foundation president/CEO, provided a short presentation to explain the role of military officers at each level and the importance not only of education, but also training and experience as each officer rises through the ranks. He also discussed how the Army works with interagency partners, and provided them with some background on CGSC’s international military student program.
“This is a great institution and my students from the first tour are still talking about it,” said Wizniak. “I expect this group of students will also be discussing it and telling their friends about the courageous young men and women they met at the Command and General Staff College.”
Contact Joan Cabell, the CGSC Foundation director of development, to schedule your own group’s “Walk and Talk” tour of CGSC and Fort Leavenworth and learn about the education of leaders for the nation. – firstname.lastname@example.org.