Major General John S. Kem, Provost of the Army University and Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College presented the International Graduate Badge to international officers completing the year-long Command and General Staff Officers Course June 8 at the post’s Lewis and Clark Center. The ceremony honored 110 international officers from 85 countries. On June 9, the international officers graduated with their American military and American government civilian classmates as the college graduated nearly 1,200 students.
The tradition of presenting international military students with a badge began in 1964 in response to interest by international military students who wanted a distinctive emblem to indicate they were graduates of the college. Many other military colleges around the world have such emblems. International military student participation in cooperative military studies in the United States originated at Fort Leavenworth with the arrival of Swiss Lieutenant Henri LeComte in 1894.
Speaking on behalf of the international students, German Major Jan Feldman, Chief of Staff of the International Officer Class, noted the class was sorrowed by two students who were called home early in the year because of unrest in their country. He said that event amplified the complex defense environment we live in today and the reason it was important for international officers to live, work, and study together.
“The lessons we learn on the inside may be far greater than what we learned in the classroom,” Feldman said. “Learning to accept a different set of values and perceptions [from other international and U.S. students] is the foundation of awareness and dialog.”
During the ceremony Feldman and German Lt. Col. Sebastian Bley presented the international student’s gift to the college. The gift is a world map that highlights the nations present in the class and has photos of each international student. It will be displayed in the Lewis and Clark Center’s atrium for the next year.
In addition to presentation of the badges, recipients of the two major awards for international students were announced at the ceremony. United Kingdom Major David Welford was named the recipient of the General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the top international graduate, and Lt. Col. Meshari M. Alhaddad of Kuwait receives the Major General Hans Schlup Award. The CGSC Foundation sponsors both awards.
The CGSC Foundation administers support for the Eisenhower award through the David G. Beaham Fund, a fund established in memory of David Beaham, who was president of Faultless Starch Bon Ami in Kansas City, an original founding trustee of the CGSC Foundation and a tireless supporter of the international officer program at CGSC. Beaham died in October 2011 and the family established the memorial fund as a permanent endowment with the Foundation as a legacy to recognize his life-long interest and support. The Beaham Fund currently provides the Eisenhower Award to the top international military student each year. In the future, the fund will also fund international military student sponsor program recognition to celebrate those long-term sponsors that make the international military officer program so successful.
The Schlup Award, first presented in 1997, recognizes and promotes the significance and importance of international relations developed through the network of friends and professional acquaintances at CGSC in the international military community. Maj. Gen. Schlup was a member of the CGSC Class of 1978. Upon his passing in 1996, his CGSC classmates mounted a campaign to establish an award at CGSC in his honor. The Schlup award was endowed in 1997 as one of the College’s annual graduation awards. In 2016, Schlup’s wife Ursula died, spurring their sons Daniel and Raphael to encourage donations to the award fund, rather than sending flowers to the family.
In 2016, Foundation CEO Doug Tystad worked with members of the CGSC Class of 1978 to adjust the administration of the funds for the award and for other programs to benefit international students.
“Given the interest and the desire from the Class of ’78, I agreed with the founder of the award, Mr. Bill Harvey (Class of ’78), that we would expand the use of the fund beyond just support for the annual award,” Tystad said. “We’ve renamed the fund from the ‘Maj. Gen. Hans Schlup Award Fund,’ to the ‘Maj. Gen. Hans and Ursula Schlup Endowment Fund for International Military Student and Family Programs’ and we will focus the program not only on the annual award, but also on other support to international officers and their families at CGSC.”
Persons interested in supporting the Schlup Endowment Fund or the Beaham Fund can donate online at www.cgscfoundation.org or by contacting the CGSC Foundation.