International military students in the CGSOC Class of 2021, received the Command and General Staff College International Officer Graduate Badge during a ceremony June 17, 2021, in the Eisenhower Auditorium at the post’s Lewis and Clark Center. In the 2021 CGSOC graduating class, there were 45 international officers representing 43 countries.
Maj. Gen. Donn H. Hill, Deputy Commanding General-Education for the Combined Arms Center, Provost of Army University and Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College, provided the keynote address to the officers.
“Throughout the years international student participation in this college has directly contributed to the strength of our mutual alliances and to the professional development of our respective officer corps,” Hill said. “Indeed the bonds forged here with your international partners may one day prove vital in preventing or resolving conflict in some battlefield we cannot currently predict.”
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. Since then, international military students have become an integral part of the “Fort Leavenworth experience” and to date more than 8,400 international officers have studied alongside U.S. military and government civilian counterparts.
Badges were presented by Maj. Gen. Hill, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Faith Alexander, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Provost.
The International Military Student Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Gonzalo Lopez from Chile, provided remarks after the badge presentations, thanking the college staff and faculty and the Fort Leavenworth community for their support in making the international students’ experience enjoyable and successful. After his remarks, Lopez and Maj. Florin Botezan from Romania, presented a class gift to the College.