SAMS graduates in virtual ceremony



SAMS graduates in virtual ceremony

The School of Advanced Military Studies conducted a virtual graduation ceremony that was posted on the Army University YouTube and Facebook pages on May 27. 

The graduating class was comprised of 155 students – 16 from the Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program (ASLSP) and 139 from the Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP). All graduates earn a masters degree.

During the ceremony, Col. Brian A. Payne, the 17th director of SAMS, provided welcoming remarks and introduced the guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., commanding general of U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, S.C. Beagle is a 2003 graduate of SAMS and is slated to be the next commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division.

Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., commanding general of U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, S.C. and a 2003 graduate of SAMS, delivers remarks during the 2021 SAMS virtual graduation ceremony on May 27.

Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., commanding general of U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, S.C. and a 2003 graduate of SAMS, delivers remarks during the 2021 SAMS virtual graduation ceremony on May 27.

Beagle impressed upon the graduates several points as they leave the halls of SAMS and head out to the operational forces to become leaders and planners. One key point he made was in developing relationships with others on the teams they will soon join.

“Build rapport with all those you encounter,” Beagle said. “Check your ego at the door and do your part to educate others. You will build teams, you will teach teams, and you will be the focal point of team cohesion. Others will not know as much as you know, and you will undoubtedly hold others to your standards. Some are capable and some are not unless you show them the way.”

After Beagle’s remarks honor graduates and class award recipients were recognized.

Maj. Timothy M. Dwyer, U.S. Army, received the Col. Thomas Felts Leadership Award considered the top award for SAMS graduates. The award is presented to the student who best exemplifies all the desired attributes of an Advanced Military Studies Program graduate. The award is named in honor of Felts who graduated from the Advanced Military Studies Program in 1998 and the SAMS senior program in 2005. He was killed in action in Iraq in 2006. The Command and General Staff College Foundation sponsors the award through a generous donation from Col. (Ret.) and Mrs. Doug Tystad. Col. Tystad was himself a SAMS graduate and also served as the Foundation President/CEO from October 2013 to December 2018.

SAMS Top awards were presented by CGSC Foundation Chairman Mike Hockley on May 25 in a small ceremony hosted by SAMS Director Col. Brian Payne. – Left to right: Hockley; Maj. Timothy M. Dwyer (Col. Thomas Felts Leadership Award); Col. Dan Herlihy, U.S. Army (Best Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program monograph); Lt. Col. Martin Prokoph, German Army (Best Advanced Military Studies Program mongraph); Maj. Samuel Haynes, U.S. Army, (Simons Center Interagency Writing Award); Maj. Andrew Bisset, U.S. Army (Iron Planner Award); Col. Payne; and CGSC Foundation Pres./CEO Roderick Cox.

SAMS Top awards were presented by CGSC Foundation Chairman Mike Hockley on May 25 in a small ceremony hosted by SAMS Director Col. Brian Payne. – Left to right: Hockley; Maj. Timothy M. Dwyer (Col. Thomas Felts Leadership Award); Col. Dan Herlihy, U.S. Army (Best Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program monograph); Lt. Col. Martin Prokoph, German Army (Best Advanced Military Studies Program mongraph); Maj. Samuel Haynes, U.S. Army, (Simons Center Interagency Writing Award); Maj. Andrew Bisset, U.S. Army (Iron Planner Award); Col. Payne; and CGSC Foundation Pres./CEO Roderick Cox.

Lt. Col. Martin Prokoph, German Army, received the award for the best Advanced Military Studies Program. His monograph was entitled “Don’t Just Hear, Listen: The Criticality of Accepting Local Nationals’ Priorities in Stability Operations.”

Col. Dan Herlihy, U.S. Army, received the award for best Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program monograph. His monograph was entitled “Changing the Army’s Mind: Achieving Cognitive Dominance for Multi-Domain Operations.”

Maj. Samuel Haynes, U.S. Army, was presented with the Simons Center Interagency Writing Award for his monograph entitled “Putting the ‘I’ in JIIM: Developing Army Leaders for Interagency Success.”

Maj. Andrew Bisset, U.S. Army, received the Iron Planner Award for achieving a perfect score (600 of 600 possible points) on the Army Combat Fitness Test.

Two days prior to the graduation ceremony Col. Payne conducted a small ceremony in which the top awards were presented to the recipients. CGSC Foundation Chairman Mike Hockley presented the awards and Foundation President/CEO Roderick Cox was also on hand to congratulate the recipients. The CGSC Foundation sponsors all the top awards for the SAMS classes.

Sixteen graduates completed the Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program. This Senior Service College program, equivalent to the Army War College, focuses on planning and executing the full spectrum of unified land operations with government and nongovernmental agencies and international partners. Its students are senior lieutenant colonels, colonels, and their civilian equivalents. Military class members have typically commanded a battalion-sized unit in the armed services. All graduates earn the Master of Arts in Strategic Studies degree.

In the ASLSP Class of 2021 there were eight U.S. Army officers; three international officers representing Canada, Korea, and the United Kingdom; two Air Force officers; one Navy officer; one Marine officer; and one civilian from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The 2021 Advanced Military Studies Program class included 139 graduates. This 10-month long course is a graduate level education program to develop innovative and adaptive leaders who excel at operational art and are willing to experiment and accept risk. Program graduates apply critical and creative thinking to solve complex problems, demonstrate mastery of joint and Army doctrine, and anticipate the future operational environment. They synthesize the elements of U.S. national power in joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational operations, and demonstrate effective communications. Graduates of the program earn Master of Arts in Military Studies degrees.

In the AMSP Class of 2021 there were 95 U.S. Army officers; 14 international officers representing Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom; two Air Force officers; one Navy officer; one Marine officer; and two civilians from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Master’s degrees are awarded by the Command and General Staff College based on students successfully completing their program’s curriculum, passing an oral comprehensive exam, and successfully completing an extensive monograph based on original research. Completed monographs are published electronically by the Combined Arms Research Library. CGSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

In addition to the top awards, SAMS recognizes honor graduates who complete all course requirements and score in the top 30 percent of their class.

Five Advanced Strategic Leader Studies Program students in the Class of 2021 were recognized as honor graduates: Col. Nicholas Dickson, Col. Daniel Herlihy, Col. Alan Johnson, Dr. Cheryl Voisard, and Lt. Col. Marc Walther.

There were 45 Honor Graduates for the Advanced Military Studies Program Class of 2021:

  • Maj. Andre Aleong
  • Maj. Alessio Battisti
  • Maj. Daniel Beck
  • Maj. Andrew Bisset
  • Maj. Kaleb Blankenship
  • Maj Chad Buckel
  • Maj. Nathan Catching
  • Maj. Robert Churchill
  • Maj Justin Davis
  • Lt. Col. Megan Davis
  • Maj. Elizabeth Fields
  • Maj. Timothy Dwyer
  • Maj. Jeffrey Fanelli
  • Maj. Joseph Gagnon
  • Maj. Michael Goodman
  • Maj. Samuel Haynes
  • Maj. Michael Hefti
  • Maj. John Henderson
  • Maj. Jan In het Veld
  • Lt. Col. John Luckie
  • Maj. Shaohong Lu
  • Maj. Matthew Lund
  • Maj. Sidney McMath
  • Lt. Col. Bradley Miller
  • Lt. Col. Daniel Morabito
  • Maj. Jonathan Morse
  • Lt. Col. John Nguyen
  • Maj. Keith Nordquist
  • Maj. Jason Pannell
  • Maj. Franklin Peachey
  • Lt. Col. Martin Prokoph
  • Maj. Robert Pushard
  • Maj. Evan Roderick
  • Maj. Todd Rossbach
  • Maj. Justin Ruholl
  • Maj. Matthew Sabatino
  • Maj. Andrew Shattuck
  • Maj. Eric Stein
  • Maj. Christopher Sullivan
  • Maj. Ike Ukachi
  • Maj. Carlos Vazquez
  • Maj. Bradley Wellsandt
  • Maj. Dominic Wiejak
  • Maj. Megan Williams
  • Maj. Mario-Philip Wong

Download the ceremony program

For more photos from the May 25 award ceremony see the CGSC Foundation Flickr album

Watch the full ceremony on the Army University YouTube Channel:

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