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The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation's Command and General Staff Officer Course Class of 2013-14 graduated 62 students May 21 in a ceremony in Marshall Auditorium, McGinnis-Wickam Hall.
The CGSOC is the Army's middle-management course, taught in its entirety in Spanish at WHINSEC. The Institute is a satellite campus for the course that is taught at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The graduates represent all branches of military service and law enforcement organizations from nine nations: Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama and the United States.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, senior defense official/defense attaché-Mexico, gave the commencement address.
The 45 U.S. military graduates (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine officers) for the first time included a senior warrant officer, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Terry Baltimore.
Co-honor graduates were Guatemala Army Maj. Mario Castillo and U.S. Army Maj. Raymond Santiago. U.S. Army Maj. Arnold Rivera earned the Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway Leadership Award.
W. Chris King, dean of academics at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, conferred the Master of Military Art and Science degree on five students: Castillo, three U.S. Army majors and one U.S. Air Force major.
Thirteen U.S. graduates earned Master of Science in International Relations degrees at Troy University during the yearlong course. Troy students use credits earned from the CGSOC course along with credits earned in Troy courses given on nights and weekends. John D. Van Doorn of Troy University-Columbus/Fort Benning presented their diplomas.
The graduation culminates a year of study in a course 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.
The CGSOC curriculum combines the doctrine and principles of combat, service and support functions.
Students become familiar with doctrine, tactics, and staff procedures, current techniques and how to apply them, and are capable of serving as members of, or leading, high-performing staff organizations.
U.S. students attending the WHINSEC CGSOC receive Military Education Level-4 and Joint Military Professional Education Phase 1 designation upon graduation, both requirements for possible future advancement in their respective services.
The CGSOC is the signature course of the Institute's School of Professional Military Studies, which also offers a joint operations course, the Maneuver Captains Career Course-WHINSEC and additional civil-military studies courses.