Foundation Supports African Army Alumni Symposium

Foundation Supports African Army Alumni Symposium
Attendees of the African Army Alumni Symposium
African Alumni Symposium
Mary Eisenhower at the African Army Alumni Symposium.
Photos Courtesy CGSC Public Affairs

The Combined Arms Center and Command and General Staff College (CGSC) assisted U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in the conduct of its inaugural alumni symposium, July 18-20.  The symposium included graduates of CGSC and the U.S. Army War College (AWC). Fifty African alumni from 19 countries met at the Frontier Conference Center on Fort Leavenworth to discuss issues related to professional military education; build and maintain relationships with other African graduates; allow African alumni to renew professional ties with U.S. Army faculty; and provide listening and learning opportunities for USAFRICOM staff personnel.

The CGSC Foundation sponsored a welcoming social event that included CGSC leadership and invited guests including Ms. Mary Jean Eisenhower, President of People-to-People International. Ms. Eisenhower is the granddaughter of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a distinguished alumnus of CGSC. The evening social was held in the atrium of the Lewis and Clark Center, the new CGSC educational facility, which many alumni saw for the first time.

“Role of the Military in 21st Century Africa” was this symposium’s overall theme. The alumni were welcomed by Maj. Gen. David Hogg, Commander of U.S. Army Africa, and the keynote presentation was given by Brig. Gen. Adjetey Annan, Commandant of the Ghanaian Armed Forces Command and Staff College.  Four subsequent panels addressed aspects of Africa’s current operating environment, the status of African militaries today, benefits of PME, and future challenges and the role of African militaries.  AFRICOM, AWC, and CGSS provided the four panel moderators and African alumni made up the other 10 panelists.

Participants represented all five African regions and included 15 flag officers, 39 field grade officers, and two company grade officers.  Brig. Gen. Arnold Gordon-Bray was the senior representative from headquarters USAFRICOM.  Alumni were broken down into four syndicates to discuss the topics introduced during each panel presentation and to further share their knowledge and experiences.  Discussion in each syndicate was facilitated by faculty members from both CGSC and AWC.

This first-ever African Army alumni symposium supported objectives contained within AFRICOM’s Theater Security Cooperation Plan and provided CGSC and AWC faculty an opportunity to improve their understanding of current events in Africa and reestablish contact with former students.

This symposium was funded by USAFRICOM with support from the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, and the CGSC Foundation.

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