In the program for the Dec. 6 graduation ceremony for the School of Advanced Military Studies, strategist German General Field Marshall Count Alfred von Schlieffen is quoted as saying, "Accomplish much, remain in the background, be more than you appear to be."
After 10 months of rigorous study, the 32 SAMS graduates certainly accomplished much in their careers by earning master's degrees in military art and science, said guest speaker Lt. Gen. David R. Hogg at the ceremony in Eisenhower Auditorium in the Lewis and Clark Center. Since 1984, more than 2,000 students have graduated from SAMS, he noted.
"You all are going to be the next 32 members of this very unique crowd, this very unique club of professional planners and future leaders in our Army, the other services and our country," said Hogg, a SAMS graduate who is currently the U.S. military representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Military Committee.
Graduates included mostly Army officers, but also two U.S. Air Force officers and officers from Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Two Department of State civilian employees also graduated. Two graduates had already departed early for deployment preparation.
Hogg told the graduates that their challenge will be diverting their intellectual power into combat power so they can continue the program's history of contributing to successful missions and tasks worldwide.
"The SAMS program has an incredible reputation for producing skilled and adaptable planners that can take complex ideas and develop coherent, cohesive plans," Hogg said. Since Operation Desert Storm, SAMS graduates "have been and continue to be a high commodity item for commanders in division on up," he said.
The education the graduates acquired at SAMS, Hogg noted, has prepared them with the necessary tools to develop personally and professionally.
"I am proud to be a SAMS graduate," he said. "It is a great accomplishment, and you all should be proud of that accomplishment as well."
One graduate, Maj. Michael J. Gunther, received the Best Monograph Award for his thesis on how the German military influenced the U.S. Army's new mission command. Gunther, 36, is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, where there will be one SAMS planner for every 10 planners, he said.
"We're looked at to lead the group," he said.
Graduate From Sams
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