7th Intermediate Level Education Detachment graduates U.S. Officers, plans to certify allied and NATO Officers

By Sgt. Daniel Friedberg | 7th Mission Support Command | June 26, 2018

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Twenty-six U.S. Army officers from various international U.S. Army commands and components graduated from the Command and General Staff Officer Course, Common Core Phase III in a ceremony conducted at Camp Normandy, United States Army Garrison, Bavaria, on June 16, 2018. 

The 7th Intermediate Level Education Detachment, 7th Mission Support Command, conducted the training and certification in three phases starting last July and plans to integrate allied NATO officers into the CGSOC in the future.

The graduating class came from various duty stations and units from across six European countries and the United States. They included Active Component, National Guard and Reserve Army Soldiers.

The CGSOC course is part of a multi-phase U.S. military credentialing process designed to certify professional field grade officers in mid-career to capably lead large units in a joint military environment. 

Opening the ceremonial remarks, the commander of the 7th ILE Detachment, Lt. Col. Edward W. Van Giezen, thanked the graduating Soldiers along with their families and guests for their dedication over the last year. 

“You guys were really a great class, and I certainly enjoyed having you here,” said Van Giezen, promising his audience that he would no longer repeat the need for hard work to achieve the course standards. 

“I think you´ve rightfully earned your place at this graduation ceremony today,” he said.

Van Giezen then introduced the guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Frederick R. Maiocco Jr., Commander of the 7th Mission Support Command. 

Maiocco, both an Army Reserve senior officer and a civilian district school superintendent with the State of Oregon public school system, began his talk by stressing the need for continued education of military professionals. 

“Education is very important to me, and your continuing education is critical to our Army and critical to our mission,” said Maiocco. 

Maiocco explained that the CGSOC course was specifically designed to prepare officers to serve on battle staffs at the operational level, and to responsibly run an Army battalion or brigade with potential command of thousands of U.S. and allied warfighters. 

“That´s a critically important role in our Army,” said Maiocco. 

“We need you to understand the operational art, we need you to understand the operational war,” he explained. 

He also mentioned that within Europe there was a high density of Reserve, National Guard and Active Component units conducting missions together and that professional relationships were especially important. 

“I understand that in this graduating class, 11 are members of the Reserve or Army National Guard,” he said. 

Maiocco pointed out that the school´s location in Grafenwoehr was ideally suited to build personal and professional integration across U.S. Army components and NATO allied forces. 

“You truly were a mixed-component unit, which is a fantastic mixed-component class, and this is one of the reasons why Grafenwoehr is such a premier facility for training; allowing you to have discourse and inter-relationships,” said Maiocco. 

“This location offers the benefit that you can talk to one another and continue the relationships that you have built here.”

He also said that the class sizes in Grafenwoehr compared favorably to the class sizes taught at the CGSOC campus located in the U.S. at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

Maiocco went on to reveal that the 7th ILE Detachment was working to provide officers from other NATO countries the opportunity to complete the CGSOC in Grafenwoehr. 

“Congratulations to Lt. Col. Van Giezen for his hard work and effort to try and get the course accredited and on the NATO list so that (allied) officers can join us.”

“In the future we expect that we will have NATO allies joining us in the courses,” said Maiocco explaining that the CGSOC curriculum was in review at the NATO level as part of its professional development program. 

Maiocco proposed that with the 7th ILE Detachment offering field grade certification to allied officers within Germany, the exchange of ideas with multi-national allied and coalition partners would become easier. 

“You´d have the opportunity to work with our allies, which in the United States… sometimes they don´t have as many opportunities,” said Maiocco. 

He said that the localized education of multinational staff officers together with U.S. field grade officers would further solidify the strong operational relationships with our allies here in Europe. 

“It also prepares you to operate more effectively in a combined joint environment so learning and training side by side with our allies tasks our leaders to collaborate on complex problems and to leverage the experience-set knowledge of those allies… and this is what makes our alliance strong.” 

“We as the United States are committed to NATO and it is critical that you know how to work with our allies and partners in the area,” he said emphasizing U.S. resolve and interoperability here in Europe. 

“I wish you the best as you continue to lead our Nation´s Army and its Soldiers into the future for a strong Army and a strong Europe,” said Maiocco.

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