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Archive for Saturday, May 27, 2006

Former Army chief speaks to grads of Fort Leavenworth program

May 27, 2006

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— A retired general told graduates of Fort Leavenworth's School of Advanced Military Studies they must learn that leadership is different from command.

"You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader," Eric K. Shinseki, former Army chief of staff, said at Thursday's ceremony, adding that without leadership, command is a hollow experience.

Seventy-eight officers completed the one-year program of graduate-level courses at the Command and General Staff College. Sixty-five of them walked across the stage while the other 13 had left early for their next assignments.

Also part of Thursday's ceremony were graduates of a two-year studies program to prepare future colonel-level commanders and operational planners for assignment to critical staff positions.

Most of the graduates of the two programs are active-duty Army officers, but the group also included the National Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, as well some from Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Shinseki told the graduates he hoped the academic year had been fulfilling "because it will probably be a long time, if not forever, before you have another opportunity like this for professional development."

Retired Brig. Gen. Huba Wass de Czege, the director of the School of Advanced Military Studies when it began in 1984, said it was gratifying to see it become a lasting institution "because that was in doubt for a number of years."

He said the program demonstrated its value for the first time during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. A high proportion of the school's graduates, he said, have become influential senior officers.

"This course is very, very difficult," he said.

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