By Lee Rials, WHINSEC Public Affairs /
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Command and General Staff Officer Course class of 2017 opened its school year with a flag ceremony in the WHINSEC auditorium on the Institute campus.
The ceremony celebrated the beginning of a new class that prepares mid-level military and law enforcement officers for leadership and command at battalion level and staff positions at brigade level and higher.
A student from each of the 13 nations represented in the class posted his/her national flag in what has become a tradition in WHINSEC’s longest and most prestigious course.
Sixty-five students from Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the U.S. are enrolled in the course, but 64 attended the event. One of the 34 international students has been delayed and will arrive next week to begin the 47-week, graduate-level course.
The 31 U.S. students represent all components of the Army as well as Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Colombian Army Col. Antonio José Dangond Culzat welcomed the students to the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Col. Dangond, an Infantry officer who has commanded two Infantry battalions and the Colombian Presidential Guard Battalion, is a master instructor in the Institute’s School of Professional Military Education.
The CGSOC is the Army’s middle-management course, taught in its entirety in Spanish at WHINSEC. The Institute course mirrors the course taught at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The year of study is designed to educate intermediate-level Army, sister-service and partner-nation officers to be prepared to operate in full-spectrum Army, joint, interagency and multinational environments as field-grade commanders and staff officers.
U.S. military students attending the course receive MEL-4 and Joint Military Professional Education Phase 1 designation upon completion.