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The Command and General Staff College is a graduate school for US military and foreign military leaders at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It is the Army’s senior tactical school and introduces officers to operational and strategic warfare. The College has five subordinate schools, and its main purpose is to synchronize Army leader development and education systems, but works as a joint, interagency, multinational school with sister services and international officers in the faculty and student body. 


The Command and General Staff College was founded in 1881 at Fort Leavenworth by General William T. Sherman.  It was the army's first postgraduate school, and focused on training superior officers on foot and horseback CGSC was the only higher level military school not suspended during World War II.  At that time, the school focused on division command and staff operations.

What it Does  

The Command and General Staff College (CGSC) is one of the 33 schools under the US Army’s Combined Arms Center (CAC), each of which is responsible for training specific branch skills and serving as the Army’s functional expert in that area. The CGSC, as an Army educational and training facility, focuses on the areas of infantry and cavalry. CAC is under the guidance of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). TRADOC is a military command of the United States Army that oversees training of Army forces, the development of operational doctrine, and the development and procurement of new weapons systems.
The CGSC is the umbrella college for five constituent schools. The Command and General Staff School (CGSS) focuses on educating and training intermediate level Army officers as field grade commanders and staff officers. The School has five programs: the Center for Army Tactics, the Department of Joint and Multinational Operations, the Department of Logistics and Resource Operations, the Department of Military History, and the Leadership Instruction Division through the Center for Army Leadership. Additionally, the CGSS supervises the CGSC Command to the Nation program; the program involves community outreach to promote the understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces as civilians in their communities, and as military professionals.
CGSC is also head of the Department of Distance Education (DDE) which develops, distributes, and administers CGSC’s distance learning programs to active and reserve officers. According to their website, these programs are intended to teach leaders “to execute full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multinational operations through non-traditional means” (“non-traditional means” are methods of warfare other than combat between two or more national armed forces). While founded for the Army, DDE also provides this training to active and reserve officers in the US military’s other branches through its sister services.
The School for Advanced Military Studies is a graduate program that educates officers in military art and sciences. The program primarily focuses on military history, military theory, and execution-based practical exercises in order to develop cognitive-solving skills. The School also has a two-year Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship to prepare senior officers for colonel-level command and for operational planning assignments to combatant and service component commands.
CGSC’s School for Command Preparation is aimed at preparing command selects, command sergeant major selects, and their spouses for effective command team performance when the Army is at war. Additionally, the School provides simulation enhanced tactical training for students and faculty members of CGSC.
The Army Management Staff College (AMSC) became a subordinated school in 2005. Its primary goal is to prepare Army civilian and military leaders to assume leadership and management responsibilities. The College acts as the lead agent for the Civilian Education System curriculum.
Other US military branches are also affiliated with the Army’s CGSC and they have their own organizations to support the education and training received at the different schools. The Air Force Element works to educate future senior leaders in the CGSC on principles and applications of air and space power as well as strategic, operational and tactical use of military force. The Navy Element began with the first Navy liaison officer in 1931. The Element provides a connection between the Combined Arms Center, the Command and General Staff College, and the activities and personnel of the US Navy.
The Combined Arms Research Library is a military science research center for CGSC, as well as the post library for Fort Leavenworth. Not only does the library provide resources for the officers, the community library is open to their families and includes a children’s section and story time. Their links section provides links for each US military branch, military history, and information on current issues such as Iraq, Iran, and Somalia.
CGSC also has a Quality Assurance Office that does evaluations on the procedures within the College. The office looks at paper and web surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups, structured interviews conducted in person, and observations.
·        Air Force Element
·        Navy Element
·        Quality Assurance Office
Where Does the Money Go  
Suggested Reforms  
Congressional Oversight  
Former Directors  

Mr John Van Stijn - 8/12/2012 4:30:51 PM              
dear sir i am not of your nation - i am from the uk. let me explain. i contact friends and family all over the world using skype. today, about 6:30 p.m. gmt i was contacted on skype by a person stating that he / she is colonel sean b macfarland. this person initially took time to befriend me and stated that he was divorced with a daughter and is stationed in afghanistan fighting terrorists. several things worried me about the skye conversation. these are: 1) the grammar and spelling of the text was suspect to say the least, especially from such a weel educated man, 2) he / she provided pictures of "him" receiving an award and giving a seminar, yet he / she refused to have video conferencing using a webcam due to "army security", and 3) he tried to draw me in to a money laundering scam by approaching me with a story involving boxes found in afghanistan, which were "discovered" by him and his troops. some contained "opiom" which was handed over to the us government, and others contained $28 million, which he had moved to ghana, is trying to move the money using un documentation, then suggested that i take it through the uk to the us, possibly via my bank account. at that point i became suspicious, i closed off stating that this sounds illegal. on reflection this evening, what has bothered me is the fact that the grammar of the person on line was very suspect, (it seemed that english was not their mother tongue - as a linguist, i am used to hearing stilited english), he / she quoted the names "al quaeda" and "taliban" in capital letters and that such an august and respected man would get involved in such shady dealings. this person stated that the us government would embezzle the money (a suspiciously old fashoned term). colonel macfarland would not need to move such quantities of money in such an underhanded way, as i am sure that the colonel, being a war hero, is in line for a generous pension from a grateful nation. i do not in any way want to tarnish col. macfarland's reputation in any way. i suggested to this person that if the money is handed over, the us government can trace this money back to source and save the lives of many us and european troops in the area. i am cncerned that the us and the uk squaddies fighting by their side may be at risk. if this email saves one life it is well worth it. i'm sorry about the length of the email. i wanted to try to give the full details as i see it. this person gave their email address as - which i know full well that this can be set up by absolutely anyone. the above name is an alias, as i see a danger to me and my family if this ever gets into the wrong hands. if you wish to contact me, please use the above address.

carol carlson - 10/30/2009 12:58:46 PM              
I don't know who to write. I have to inform someone in the military. Hopefully they can pass this along to whomever it would go to....Then, maybe the military can do something about our enemy here at home. Our country is being dismantled in front of our eyes. Please stop it- We need you to realize what is happening here. This is true...We have friends, from church, who got out of Cuba around the time of Castro. They said they saw the first dictator come in, like Obama. Everyone loved him. Yet he did really stupid cut down their sugar cane.... the major export at the time. People laughed that he didn't know what he was doing. Then he would move on to another area and destroy it. When the people finally realized what was going on, those who would speak up; were taken away- then brought back...dumped in front of their homes almost beaten to death. It kept the people quiet that way. Our friends told us all about this last winter, when a group from church were gathering because of our concerns about our country's direction. Our friends see Obama doing just what that first dictator did... when they were in high school and in college. So, when they had a chance to get out, they did; but they had to leave their families and only take what was on their backs. But they were able to get away...They have done very well for themselves here in the U.S. But they were really upset about Obama and told us their story. He is showing us exactly how the take over is done. Please don't be fooled. Please help our country stay a Democracy. When he is done.. he will dismantle our military, the way we know it now...most likely. He wants his own Marxist people with him.... He doesn't want the old way of doing things. Please wake up to this, and get others on board with you in your fight. We have to stop Obama and his goons of Marxists. Thank you and God Bless You in your fight to keep us free- Carol Carlson 842 Skyline Dr. Batavia, Illinois 60510 (Retired Elementary School Teacher and a Grandmother of two, beautiful grandchildren) (My father was an Air Force Pilot in WWII... He then went into the FBI when the war was over. He was a special agent in Chicago, all of my life, until he retired. He is now 87 years old and doing well.)

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Table of Contents

Founded: 1881
Annual Budget: Department of the Army – $130 million? (2008)

Command and General Staff College
MacFarland, Sean
Deputy Commander

Brigadier General Sean B. MacFarland has served as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Center (CAC)–Leader Development and Education, and deputy commandant of the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) since July 9. 2010. MacFarland also assumed responsibility for Intermediate Level Education at CGSC, the School of Advanced Military Studies, the School for Command Preparation, the Defense Language Institute and various other CAC educational institutions.

MacFarland’s mother, Nancy, has said that, "Our family business is the military.” One of her ancestors, Rowland Stafford, served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Her great-grandfather, David Stafford, fought in the Civil War. Sean MacFarland’s great-grandfather, Archibald MacFarland served in the Spanish-American War and earned a statue in his honor in Albany, New York.
MacFarland’s grandfather, Col. John MacFarland, was a West Point graduate who fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. His father, Garth, spent 34 years in the Army, attaining the rank of colonel. Sean MacFarland’s brother, Chris, served in the Gulf War.
MacFarland himself graduated from West Point in 1981 and was commissioned as an armor officer. He served as a cavalry platoon leader and troop executive officer in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas. He then served as a squadron logistics officer and troop commander in 3rd Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment, in Büdingen, Germany.
After earning a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech in 1990, he returned to Fort Bliss, working on research for the Strategic Defense Initiative (a.k.a. “Star Wars”). He then went back to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he served as the deputy regimental operations staff officer in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991).
MacFarland received additional graduate degrees, a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the Command and General Staff College and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.
Upon graduation from the Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced
Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, he was assigned to 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany. There, he served as the directorate of operations plans officer. He then was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, in Schweinfurt, Germany as the operations officer and later, the executive officer. During his tenure as executive officer, the squadron deployed to Bosnia as part of NATO’s Implementation Force (IFOR).
After returning to Würzburg as the deputy operations officer for 1st Infantry Division, MacFarland was assigned to Third Army’s Directorate of Operations Plans Division at Ft. McPherson, Georgia. While there, he deployed to Kuwait as part Operation Desert Thunder and was made the chief of the commanding general’s Initiatives Group. After spending a year and a half as the aide de camp for the commanding general, U.S. Army, Europe, in Heidelberg and commander of NATO’s Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Sarajevo, he assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment at Camp Able Sentry in Macedonia, where it was deployed as part of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR).
Following two and a half years of battalion command, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, DC. After graduating, he served as the chief of future operations for Combined/Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq. He was the operations officer of V Corps from April 2004 to June 2005, training troops to rescue soldiers in combat and recover the bodies of troops killed in action.
He then assumed command of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (the Ready First Combat Team) in Friedberg, Germany. The Ready First Combat Team was responsible for Tal Afar and West Ninawa province. MacFarland characterized his goals in Tal Afar as, "Clean it up, get the infrastructure back, and people will regain their confidence. It's not Camelot, but it's not Gotham either." Four months later, they moved to Ramadi, where they fought as a reinforced, joint Army/Marine Brigade Combat Team for nine months.given relatively free rein to develop a strategy for Ramadi, MacFarland rejected the.overwhelming force approach that had failed in Fallujah and instead worked with local Sunni tribal leaders, some of whom had previously attacked Americns, but who were also hostile to al-Qaeda. "I'm a product of Catholic schools," said MacFarland, “and I was taught that every saint has a past and every sinner can have a future.”
He also used tanks and drones to protect local government and police leaders. MacFarland established combat outposts in and around Ramadi in areas where al-Qaeda was strongest and he insisted that U.S. and Iraqi troops live and eat together rather than in segregated quarters. This led to heavy fighting and U.S. casualties.
Referring to a soldier who was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that exploded a few yards away from him, MacFarland said, ''I don't know if this war is worth the life of Terry Lisk, or 10 soldiers, or 2,500 soldiers like him. What I do know is that he did not die alone. He was surrounded by friends. A Greek philosopher [actually it was George Santayana] said that only the dead have seen the end of war. Only Terry Lisk has seen the end of this war.''
Ultimately, MacFarland’s strategy proved more effective than previous ones and became a model for activies elsewhere in Iraq.
After redeploying and inactivating the Brigade Combat Team, MacFarland served as chief of the Iraq Division, Plans and Policy Officer, The Joint Staff, for approximately one year before assuming command in June 2008 of Joint Task Force North at Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss, Texas, the Pentagon’s organization that assists local law enforcement with combating potential threats to the U.S.
In early 2008, MacFarland co-authored a four-page white paper, “The King and I: The Impending Crisis in Field Artillery’s ability to provide Fire Support to Maneuver Commanders,” in which he argued that the increased emphasis on counterinsurgency training was weakening the Army by caused a serious decline in the quality of artillery training.
MacFarland was promoted to brigadier general in September 2008. He and his wife, Lynda, have two children.
The Gamble: How Sean MacFarland's Tactics Turned Iraq's tide of Violence (by Thomas E. Ricks, The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq 2006-2008)
O'Neill, Mark
Previous Deputy Commandant

The Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College is Brigadier General Mark E. O’Neill, a native of St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1978 from the United States Military Academy, O’Neill was commissioned as an infantry soldier. He continued in the military, going on to command tactical units at the platoon, company, battalion and brigade levels. O’Neill served as Assistant Army Attaché in the Defense Attaché at the American Embassy in Beijing, China.

Brigadier General O’Neill has attended numerous schools and is a graduate of the US Army Foreign Area Officer’s Course, the Defense Language Institute, and the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California where he received a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs. He went on to study at the Beijing University School of Foreign Languages and the British Ministry of Defense Chinese Language School while assigned to the US Defense Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
O’Neill previously served as the Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy in the Department of Army, where he led the Army’s analytical assessment of the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to being appointed as Deputy Commandment of CGSC, O’Neill served as the Deputy Division Commander for Support for the 3rd Infantry Division located at Fort Benning, Georgia as well as the Deputy Division Commander for Support of the Multinational Division in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom.