International Military Student Division
These are just a few of the questions heard from prospective new sponsors. The International Military Student Division (IMSD) takes steps to prepare Fort Leavenworth volunteers to be Fort Leavenworth sponsors. We provide them briefings, a Sponsor Guide and a Culture Guide, a CultureGram on the country, and background information on the International Military Student. We also discuss likely scenarios they may encounter, and offer support through the IMSD. The IMSD has a dedicated staff focused solely on the international community. We are prepared to assist at a moments notice.
The host country selects the international military students to attend the Command and General Staff College based on U.S. Combatant Commander priorities. They are the elite in their armed forces chosen to attend CGSC because of their ability to aspire to higher positions. Approximately 1/3 of each class will attain general officer rank and others go on to the highest positions in their armed forces. Currently 211 International Military Students from 61 countries are members of the CGSC International Hall of Fame. Inductees are officers who reach the equivalent position of Chief of Staff of the Army.
a. Are they incoming CGSOC "Snowbird" students?
b. Are they members of the CGSC staff and faculty?
c. Do they come from other organizations on post?
d. Are they retired military officers?
The correct response is "all four"
No. Each International Military Student also has a Leavenworth civilian sponsor provided by the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, a Kansas City civilian sponsor provided by the Greater Kansas City Area People-to-People Organization, and a Student Ambassador who will be a U.S. student classmate.
The sponsor meets the International Military Student at the airport and assists him/her in getting settled in the local area. Then the sponsor provides the visiting family with a valuable point of contact that the family can turn to for answers to simple questions like "Where do a go to have my electricity turned on?" or "Where do I go to get my drivers license?"
In general, they need a kind hand to help get them acquainted and established once they arrive. The goal is to help the International Military Student feel welcome and at home just like you if you were to move to a foreign country. In time, the international military student and family become rather independent once acclimated to our way of life and established with a home and a vehicle to get around. The only lasting link, following the demands of arriving and unpacking inherent with any PCS move, is the lasting friendship developed between your families.
The IMSD invites the sponsors to join the International Military Students at several functions during the school year.
It is no different than sponsoring a U.S. family who arrives to your unit. I'm sure you remember a few sponsors you've had along the way. This program is an extension of what all our armed services do so well--we take care of our Soldiers. Airmen, Sailors and Marines, it is part of a tradition of military culture and voluntary self-help. Having expressed this view, we are certain each sponsor would reply differently; but we also believe there would be a common thread of helping the new arrivals.
Sponsors learn as they go. At the end of the school year they have a friend. Talk to other sponsors, read about the program. We encourage you to do this. We publish a “Sponsor Guide." But what we really what you to do is to join this unique intercultural experience by becoming a sponsor.
Visit the IMSD Sponsor page or for more information, contact the International Military Student Division at 913-684-7323.
Last Reviewed: October 1, 2012