Mission, Vision, Priorities, Principles, & College-level Learning Outcomes

About the Command and General Staff College

CGSC CrestSince its inception in 1881 as the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) has evolved to meet the educational and operational needs of the United States Army. Today, CGSC is more than an Army school – we are a Joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational College, accredited by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide Joint Professional Military Education, and by the Higher Learning Commission to grant a Master of Military Art and Science degree to qualified graduates in three of CGSC’s fourteen academic programs. The Command and General Staff College is a subordinate organization of Army University.


The US Army Command and General Staff College educates, trains and develops leaders for Unified Land Operations in a Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational operational environment; and advances the art and science of the profession of arms in support of Army operational requirements.


The US Army Command and General Staff College will always strive to be an educational center of excellence. We must remain a renowned academic leader in the study of leadership, the conduct of joint and combined land warfare, and the application of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational organizations to synchronize all elements of power to achieve national objectives. We will continue to support field commanders with well-trained and well-educated leaders, in-depth research in operational-level land power studies, and reach-back planning in support of ongoing operations. We will inspire and support our world-class faculty dedicated to learning and advancing the professional body of knowledge.

Strategic Priorities

The CGSC mission statement conveys the College's essential tasks and the vision expresses our ideal of the future. We adjust our mission statement to accommodate continuous and deliberate analysis of guidance (national, DOD, Army, TRADOC, and CAC), and the complexities of the contemporary operating environment. Our continuing challenge is current and relevant leader development through professional military education.We ensure currency and relevancy by immersing ourselves in our professional body of knowledge, contributing to that knowledge with collaboration and publication, and simultaneously adapting our programs to meet the needs of our students, commanders, and operational forces.

Our strategic priorities help guide the evolution of our institution and the adaptation of our programs in pursuit of educational excellence:

  • Educate and train our students to ensure successful graduates can lead teams and solve complex problems in ambiguous environments in accordance with CGSC learning outcomes.
  • Research and publish, with particular emphasis on operational-level land power studies.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain world-class faculty.
  • Support the Army at war and advance the profession of arms.

CGSC Principles

A Learning Organization Committed to Currency and Relevancy and the Contribution to Knowledge

Our current reality demands that CGSC graduates be prepared to assume warfighting duties immediately upon graduation. Our graduates must be confident, competent leaders, and creative problem solvers who understand the complexities of the contemporary operating environment. Learning is our most important contribution to the nation; therefore, our challenge is the mastery of a diverse, broad, and ever-changing professional body of knowledge. Collaboration (developing, publishing, and subscribing) in the professional body of knowledge is essential to maintain currency and make relevant contributions to furthering professional understanding or creating new professional knowledge. This demands that CGSC be a learning organization committed to a continuous effort to improve student learning, teaching, and the learning environment. We must be an analytic, thinking, and learning institution, seeking new knowledge, but circumspect enough to discern the difference between contemporary innovation and enduring principles.

Empowered Professional Faculty

The CGSC best accomplishes its educational outcomes through a vital professional faculty who recognize that excellence in teaching is foremost. Our faculty members are drawn from the entire range of relevant academic and military disciplines, and they embody the scholarship of teaching, learning, and warfighting. As professional educators, they are committed to master both content and process. CGSC faculty are experts in their respective fields of study, talented facilitators of learning, and empowered with the flexibility to determine how best to achieve learning objectives in their classrooms so that our students' learning will last.

Socratic and Adult Learning Methods

The CGSC approaches education as the dynamic interaction between active learners, faculty using learner-centric pedagogies, and relevant outcomes-based curricula (content). CGSC faculty members create learning environments that allow students to construct knowledge – make meaning – by connecting curriculum content with their own experiences and prior knowledge through practical application and critical reflection. To accomplish this, CGSC faculty are comfortable in their roles as facilitators, and employ learner-centric methods and techniques that actively engage students in the learning process. Simulation-based exercises, case studies, and seminar discussions demand high levels of student interaction and create opportunities for peer learning. Beyond enabling pursuit of specific course and Joint learning objectives, CGSC's learning methodology seeks to build intrinsically motivated, intellectually curious officers and interagency partners with the skills necessary to access information and construct knowledge on their own.

Training for Certainty and Educating for Uncertainty with a Multi-disciplinary Curriculum

The CGSC serves as the US Army's most important professional school, combining theoretical education and practical training to produce leaders who are proficient in the understanding and conduct of modern warfare. We must train for certainty and educate for uncertainty, as both training and education are vital to our students' learning needs. We must train our graduates on enduring doctrinal principles, emerging lessons, and the skills they will require in their career. We must educate our graduates for the uncertainty they will surely encounter; they must know how to think and apply critical reasoning and creative thinking in complex ambiguous situations. The CGSC's academic methods and curricular designs educate and train military officers and interagency partners in the nature and conduct of land warfare within the complex national security environment. In addition, CGSC advances the state of contemporary military knowledge through original research and experimentation.

Creating a Learning Environment that supports understanding of Joint Interdependence and the implications of the Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels of war

CGSC expands students understanding of joint force deployment at the operational and tactical levels of war, to include joint force capabilities and inter-relationships across the full range of military operations. CGSC employs simulation-based exercises, case studies, and seminar discussions in ways that introduce students to the complexity and dynamism of Unified Land Operations in a Joint, Interagency, Inter-governmental, and Multinational (JIIM) operating environment. CGSC's active learning methods also allow faculty to inject uncertainty and surprise into classroom learning experiences in ways that demand flexibility and promote adaptability.

College-level Learning Outcomes

Graduates of CGSC possess a warfighting focus that enables them to lead competently and confidently on Army, Joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational teams and throughout Unified Land Operations. Our graduates —

  • Are prepared to assume warfighting duties.
  • Possess the competencies/supporting skills/knowledge to perform duties effectively and help teams achieve organizational objectives.
  • Are attuned to the complexity of the operating environment and consider the impact of culture on military operations.
  • Take a disciplined approach to meeting organizational and strategic-level leadership challenges.
  • Are critical and creative thinkers who can adapt and thrive in ambiguous and ever-changing environments.
  • Are self-aware and motivated to continue learning and improving throughout their careers.
  • Communicate effectively.