RICHMOND – Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford, commander of Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, told Command and General Staff College graduates “he wishes he was in their place” when speaking at their graduation Aug. 21 at Fort Lee’s Army Logistics University.
“While I’m (closer to) the end of my (military) career, you all have a long time left in yours,” Sanford observed. “It is an exciting time in the military as we shift how we prepare and fight in today’s environments.
“The officers’ course you have just completed has given you the tools needed to succeed,” he also observed. “I urge you to continue to challenge your brain, operationally and tactically, Read the National Defense Strategy. It’s our strategic outlook and guidance … you need to know it.”
Sanford told graduates the days of having four-to-six months to prepare for missions are probably gone; the next engagements are going to require them to be ready to go on day one.
CGSC’s Fort Lee Satellite Campus teaches the core 16-week officer course three times a year, educating field-grade officers to be agile, innovative and adaptive leaders within increasingly complex and uncertain environments. The curriculum includes courses in joint, interagency and multinational operations; force management, Army doctrine and tactics; and military leadership and history.
Penny Koerner, assistant professor and Team 32 lead for the Fort Lee course, said, “The CGSC Satellite Campus faculty is honored to educate the future leaders of the Army."
She went on to say this class of active duty and reserve officers had good mix of representatives from many different Army specialties and functional or specialty areas such as medical, legal, chaplains, logisticians, etc.
Keying in on that factor, Sanford emphasized to the students in his talk, “You are going to be asked to look beyond your specialty code and many of you will be asked to shape the joint environment. Do what is right for ‘Big Army’ and the Department of Defense.”
Wrapping up his remarks, the general urged students to not forget about the “awesome networking opportunity” they had in the CGSC course.
“Use your peers and bounce ideas off each other,” he said. “I do. The joint environment is key. I hope to serve with some of you in the future. If you ever want to reach out to me, I’m available.”
Koerner said some graduates will return to their current assignments, while others are enroute to new duty stations. “Our students will be assigned across the Army, within the continental U.S. and abroad, and some will go on to joint assignments,” she said.