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School of Advanced Military Studies Graduation
AMSP Class 08-02

Friday, December 5th
Guest Speaker
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  Guest Speaker:
    LTG William G. Webster Jr.
USNORTHCOM Deputy Commander

SAMS Graduates Creative Thinkers and Adaptive Leaders
By Joseph Smallwood, CGSC Public Affairs

The School of Advanced Military Studies at the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth conducted graduation ceremonies for 16 officers attending the Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP) on December 5th at 10 a.m. in Marshall Hall of the Lewis and Clark Center. Guest speaker was Lt. Gen. William Webster, the Deputy Commander of United States Northern Command and Vice Commander of the United States Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and a graduate of the opening SAMS class in 1985.

The 16 graduates are the first class to graduate from the AMSP program on an off-cycle timeline, part of a 53% growth and expansion within SAMS to better support the growing needs of the Army and its deployment and force generation requirements.  This class is also the first class to complete the school’s updated curriculum, which incorporates an Art of Design course structured to develop the critical and creative thinking skills in officers to enable them to manage the complex problems across the security environment.

Webster highlighted these fundamental changes during his prepared remarks. “We have to change the way we plan, and we’ve done that with adaptive planning … adaptive planning allows you to take advantage of all the elements of the staff, of all the expertise, and to build plans that can be reviewed regularly and that can be changed to meet the changing situation,” he said.These 16 students focused their campaign design work on the Afghanistan region as their regional focus throughout their yearlong education.  Upon graduation, eight of the sixteen students will deploy directly to Afghanistan and serve in senior leadership positions on Corps or combatant command staffs, directly leveraging their year of study and education while at SAMS. “It’s wonderful to be back here after nearly 25 years of  wandering around the Army and seeing a class, a first class to graduate in the winter, this is wonderful because I know that the commanders out there are really expecting you to be ready, to roll up your sleeves and get back to work.  Afghanistan is a very tough problem; and you know better than I do, and I’m sure you’ll contribute greatly,” Webster said. 

SAMS is a subordinate organization to the Command and General Staff College, located at the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  The AMSP is a one-year, graduate-level program that provides education in military art and science.  The course focuses on the fields of theory and practical application for campaign design, national policy and strategy, strategic decision making, history, adaptive leadership and information operations to prepare officers to execute full spectrum operations in joint, multinational, and interagency environments.
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