Building Military Leaders: A Look Inside The Command And General Staff College

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(WHNT) - It is considered the Intellectual Center of the Army.

Ft. Leavenworth, KS, is home to the United States Combined Arms Center and the Command and General Staff College.

It is there that Army doctrine is formed, and thousands of officers learn how to lead.

Every officer in the Army, ranking as a Major or higher, has passed through the CGSC, either at Ft. Leavenworth, or at one of its four satellite schools, like the one right here in the Tennessee Valley, at Redstone Arsenal.

Redstone Arsenal's satellite campus trains 64 students in each of the three graduating classes each year. About 1700 students study yearly at either Ft. Leavenworth or at satellite campuses across the country.

The college also admits military students from 140 countries, and there are currently four Heads of State who graduated from the college (one from Indonesia).

Major Evan Chung started his journey as an enlisted soldier.

"I did get to experience things from, as you'd say the other side," said Chung.

Seventeen years later, he is studying at the CGSC, alongside Major Forrest Black, Major Sara Kimsey, and Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Birchfield.

The students come from across the United States, from Arizona to South Korea.

The goal at the CGSC is to build military leaders. And for these officers, the training often means re-learning everything they knew about military service.
"As a Lieutenant or a Captain, we're pretty much told what to think. Now we're learning how to think," said Major Black.

The difference between what and how can make or break a potential leader, who needs the discernment to not only make the right decisions, but to know how to collaborate when leadership styles clash.

"That's actually a part of the curriculum, as we learn to influence people in other organizations, but also learning to influence one another. Not through draconian measures but through your own leadership abilities," said Lt. Col. Birchfield.

"The CGSC teaches us how to bridge the gap between being a company level leader and coming up to be an organizational leader," agreed Major Black.

The decisions these men and women make will affect everything from daily personnel issues to deployments.

Their choices will affect young soldiers and could shape the future of the Army.



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