The Command and General Staff College (CGSC) is a graduate school for U.S. military and foreign military leaders at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It is the Army’s senior tactical school and introduces officers to operational and strategic warfare. The college has five subordinate schools, and its main purpose is to synchronize Army leader development and education systems, but works as a joint, interagency, multinational school with sister services and international officers in the faculty and student body.
There have been several notable foreign CGSC alumni, including General Hau Pei-tsun, former Premier of the Republic of China, General Jehangir Karamat, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2004-2006, and the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Loong. Also on the alumni list are President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the late General Do Cao Tri of Vietnam, GeneralAshfaq Parvez Kayani of Pakistan, the late President Gaafar Nimeiry of Sudan, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, General Jean-Louis Georgelin of France, and the late General Alfredo M. Santos of the Philippines. A leaked 2008 WikiLeaks cable revealed that King King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain confessed that the time he spent at CGSC was “the most personally and professionally rewarding of his life.”
The Command and General Staff College (CGSC) was founded in 1881 at Fort Leavenworth by General William T. Sherman. Its original name was the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry, which got shortened over time to the Infantry and Cavalry School. It was the army’s first postgraduate school, and focused on training superior cavalry and infantry officers on foot and horseback. Large numbers of majors and captains were taught to be staff officers who could serve in various brigades, battalions, corps, and divisions. In 1907 the Cavalry School changed its name again, this time to the School of the Line.
The institution’s curriculum grew and evolved through the 20th century, adapting its teachings based on the experiences and lessons of the many wars and armed conflicts in which the U.S. has participated. With the school’s name changing yet again—this time to the current Command and General Staff College—CGSC was the only higher level military school not suspended during World War II. At that time, the school focused on division command and staff operations. Since World War II, CGSC has had the reputation of being primarily a school for U.S. Army majors, in spite of the fact that it oversees other schools and educates officers from different military services, as well as from other countries. Since 2008, the CGSC has been part of CAC Leader Development and Education (CAC LD&E). In addition to its main campus at Fort Leavenworth, the college operates satellite campuses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Gordon, Georgia; and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. These satellites provide non-residential “distance learning” programs.
The Command and General Staff College (CGSC) is one of the 33 schools under the U.S. Army’s Combined Arms Center (CAC), each of which is responsible for training specific branch skills and serving as the Army’s functional expert in that area. The CGSC, as an Army educational and training facility, focuses on the areas of infantry and cavalry. The CAC is under the guidance of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The TRADOC is a military command of the United States Army that oversees training of Army forces, the development of operational doctrine, and the development and procurement of new weapons systems.
The CGSC is the umbrella college for five constituent schools. The Command and General Staff School (CGSS) focuses on educating and training intermediate level Army officers as field grade commanders and staff officers. The school has six departments: the Department of Army Tactics; the Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations; the Department of Logistics and Resource Operations; the Department of Military History; the Department of Distance Education (see below); and the Department of Command and Leadership. Additionally, the CGSS supervises the CGSC Command to the Nation program; the program involves community outreach to promote the understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces as civilians in their communities, and as military professionals.
CGSS’s Department of Distance Education (DDE) program develops, distributes, and administers CGSC’s distance learning courses to active and reserve officers. According to their website, these are intended to teach leaders “to execute full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multinational operations through non-traditional means” (“non-traditional means” are methods of warfare other than combat between two or more national armed forces). While founded for the Army, the DDE also provides this training to active and reserve officers in the U.S. military’s other branches through its sister services.
CGSC’s School of Advanced Military Studies is a graduate program that educates officers in military art and sciences. The program primarily focuses on military history, military theory, and execution-based practical exercises in order to develop cognitive-solving skills. The school also has a two-year Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship to prepare senior officers for colonel-level command and for operational planning assignments to combatant and service component commands.
CGSC’s School for Command Preparation is aimed at preparing command selects, command sergeant major selects, and their spouses for effective command team performance when the Army is at war. Additionally, the school provides simulation enhanced tactical training for students and faculty members of CGSC.
The School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics offers continuing education for the development of First Lieutenant toward selection for Major. The goal is for officers to master tactical and technical skills, leadership and command competencies, and battalion and brigade staff processes.
The Army Management Staff College (AMSC) became a subordinated school in 2005. Its primary goal is to prepare Army civilian and military leaders to assume leadership and management responsibilities. The college acts as the lead agent for the Civilian Education System curriculum.
Other U.S. military branches are also affiliated with the Army’s CGSC and they have their own organizations to support the education and training received at the different schools. The Air Force Element works to educate future senior leaders in the CGSC on principles and applications of air and space power as well as strategic, operational and tactical use of military force. The Navy Element began with the first Navy liaison officer in 1931. The Marine Corps Element provides instruction on expeditionary and amphibious operations. The Element provides a connection between the Combined Arms Center, the Command and General Staff College, and the activities and personnel of the U.S. Navy.
The Combined Arms Research Library is a military science research center for the CGSC, as well as the post library for Fort Leavenworth. Not only does the library provide resources for the officers, the community library is open to their families and includes a children’s section and story time. Their links section provides links for each U.S. military branch, military history, and information on current issues such as Iraq, Iran, and Somalia.
The CGSC also has a Quality Assurance Office that does evaluations on the procedures within the college. The office looks at paper and Web surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups, structured interviews conducted in person, and observations.
From the Web Site of the Command and General Staff College
The Command and General Staff College (CGSC) spent more than $1.1 million on four contractor transactions between FY 2002 and FY 2012, according to USAspending.gov. The two contractors who did business with CGSC were Kansas State University, which was paid $1 million for supplying educational studies and analyses, and Information Systems Support, which earned $119,881 for providing ADP and telecommunications services.
Johnson, Mike (COL) (acting) November 2011 – March 2012
MacFarland, Sean BG July 2010 - November 2011
Edward Cardon, BG (P) August 2008 - July 2010
Mark E. O'Neill, BG June 2006 - 2008
Warner, Volney J. BG August 2004 - June 2006
Hirai, James, BG July 2002 - August 2004
Huntoon, David Jr., BG July 2000 - July 2002
Wood, John R., BG August 1998 - July 2000
Inge, Joseph R., BG July 1996 - August 1998
Ohle, David H., BG July 1995 - July 1996
Rigby, Randall l., BG 1994 - June 1995
House, Randolph W., BG May 1993 - 1994
Steele, William M., BG 1991 - May 7, 1993
Miller, John E., BG July 1989 - 1991
Peay, J.H. Binford, III, MG July 1988 - July 1989
Sullivan, Gordon R., MG March 1987 - July 1988
Franks, Frederick M., MG June 1985 - March 1987
Palmer, Dave R., MG October 1983 - June 1985
Saint, Crosbie B., Jr., MG June 1981 - October 1983
Carlson, G.J., COL (Acting) 1981 - 1981
Forman, Robert Henry, BG 1979 - 1981
Arter, Robert, BG 1977 - 1979
Louisell, W.C., BG November 1975 - 1977
Harrison, B.L., BG August 1973 - 1975
Gibson, John Mendinghall, BG 1970 - 1973
Clay, Frank Butner, BG 1969 - 1970
Henderson, D.S., BG 1967 - 1969
Taber, Robert C., BG 1966 - 1967
Townsend, Elias Carter, BG 1963 - 1965
Lemley, Harry Jacob, Jr., MG 1961 - 1963
Cunningham, William A., III, BG 1960 - 1961
Zierath, Frederick R., BG 1957 - 1960
Train, William Frew, BG 1955 - 1957
Beauchamp, Charles E., BG 1953 - 1955
Johnson, Max S., BG 1951 - 1953
Kelly, Henry Eaton, COL, INF 1951 - 1951
Hartness, Harlan N., BG 1948 - 1950
Dean, William Frishe, MG 1946 - 1947
Weyland, Otto R., MG 1945 - 1946
Campbell, William A., BG 1944 - 1945
Shallenberger, Martin C., COL, INF 1941 - 1944
Edmunds, Kinzie B., COL, CAV September 1938 - 1941
Honeycutt, Francis W., COL, FA March 1937 - September 1938
McAndrew, Joseph A., COL, INF June 1936 - March 1937
Burtt, Wilson B., COL, INF May 1933 - June 1936
Woodruff, James, COL, CE July 1931 - May 1933
Byroade, George L., COL, INF July 1929 - July 1931
Brees, Herbert J., COL, CAV July 1925 - July 1929
Brown, Lytle, COL, CE March 1925 - July 1925
Allen, Robert H., COL, INF July 1922 - March 1925
Drum, Hugh A., COL, INF August 1921 - July 1922
Booth, Ewing, LTC, CAV September 1920 - August 1921
Eltinge, Le Roy, LTC, CAV August 1919 - September 1920
McAndrew, James W., LTC, GS September 1916 - November 1916
Holbrook, Williard Ames, LTC, CAV September 1914 - April 1916
Burnahm, William P., LTC, INF September 1912 - August 1914
Sayre, Farrand, MAJ, CAV July 1912 - September 1912
Morrison, John F., LTC, INF April 1908 - June 1912
Boughton, Daniel H., MAJ, CAV August 1907 - April 1908
Beach, Lansing H., MAJ, CE November 1906 - August 1907
Swift, Eben , MAJ, CAV October 1904 - August 1906
Wotherspoon, William M., MAJ, INF January 1904 - September 1904
Wagner, Arthur Lockwood, COL, AGD November 1903 - December 1903
Leach, Smith S., MAJ, CE September 1902 - November 1903
Augur, Jacob A., MAJ, CAV August 1897 - August 1898
Brigadier General Sean B. MacFarland has served as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Center (CAC)–Leader Development and Education, and deputy commandant of the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) since July 9. 2010. MacFarland also assumed responsibility for Intermediate Level Education at CGSC, the School of Advanced Military Studies, the School for Command Preparation, the Defense Language Institute and various other CAC educational institutions.
The Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College is Brigadier General Mark E. O’Neill, a native of St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1978 from the United States Military Academy, O’Neill was commissioned as an infantry soldier. He continued in the military, going on to command tactical units at the platoon, company, battalion and brigade levels. O’Neill served as Assistant Army Attaché in the Defense Attaché at the American Embassy in Beijing, China.