About the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
CGSC’s mission is to educate and develop leaders for full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multinational Operations; act as lead agent for the Army’s leader development programs; and advance the art and science of the profession of arms in support of Army operational requirements.
Since its inception in 1881 as the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry, the Command and General Staff College has evolved to meet the educational and operational needs of the United States Army. Since World War II, it has generally been known as the school for Army majors, though the College contains other schools and it educates officers from other military services and from other countries.
CGSC is comprised of four schools:
CGSS (Command and General Staff School)—Out of old habits many still refer to this school as CGSC). CGSS provides masters-level curriculum and instruction to nearly 5000 U.S. Army Majors, Sister Service, and interagency personnel annually, by way of the Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC). CGSS’s mission is to educate and train field grade officers to be agile, innovative, and adaptive leaders within increasingly complex and uncertain environments. Contemporary field grade officers are those who communicate effectively, think critically, and are able to build and lead organizations under mission command in Unified Land Operations. This education prepares officers for the next 5-10 years of their career. CGSOC is primarily taught at Fort Leavenworth, but some Army majors receive the CGSOC “Common Core” instruction at one of the three satellite and blended campuses: Fort Belvoir, Va.; Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; or Fort Leavenworth Blended). Additionally, about 8,000 students each year, primarily Guard and Reserve, receive CGSOC Common Core instruction via the internet through CGSS’s Department of Distance Education.
SAMS (School of Advanced Military Studies). SAMS educates the future commanders and leaders of our Armed Forces, our Allies, and the Interagency at the graduate level to become agile and adaptive leaders who are critical and creative thinkers who produce viable options to solve operational and strategic problems. The School administers three programs: the Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP), a second year (beyond CGSOC) of intermediate, master’s level education for majors and junior lieutenant colonels; the Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program (ASLSP), a 24-month senior level (war college) course designed to develop theater level senior leaders and general staff officers; and the Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Program (ASP3), a multi-year program that prepares field-grade officers for service as strategic planners through a combination of practical experience, professional military education, and a doctorate from a civilian university.
SCP (School for Command Preparation). SCP is a one to four week course taught at Fort Leavenworth that provides education and preparation for Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, Command Sergeants Major and their spouses selected for battalion and brigade levels of command.
Sergeants Major Academy (SGM-A). The SGM-A Fort Bliss, Texas, became CGSC’s fourth school and a branch campus in March 2018. Each year, the SGM-A offers the ten-month Sergeants Major Course-Resident (SMC-R) to senior U.S. and international noncommissioned officers, and the Sergeants Major Course via distributed learning to Army Reserve and National Guard NCOs around the world. Eligible graduates of the Sergeants Major Course-Resident at SGM-A earn a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Workforce Development.
CGSC is a fully accredited college by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. CGSC provides graduate level instruction and offers a master’s degree program through the CGSS and the SAMS courses to officers who elect to enroll in the program of study. As with any graduate program the requirements for a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences are demanding.
CGSC is led by the classic military chain of command, but also includes a collegiate structure under the Dean of Academics. The CGSC Deputy Commandant, a brigadier general, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CGSC and reports to the commandant, a lieutenant general, who is also the commander of Fort Leavenworth.