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News | Aug. 26, 2019

DLA Aviation commander speaks with new CGSC graduates

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation commander, told U.S. Army Command and General Staff College graduates he wishes he was in their place when speaking at their graduation ceremony Aug. 21, on the U.S. Army Logistics University campus at Fort Lee, Virginia.

“While I’m not yet at the end of my career, you all have a long time left in your careers,” said Sanford.  “It is an exciting time in the military as we shift how we prepare and fight in today’s environments.”  

“The officers’ course you have just completed has given you the tools needed to succeed. I urge you to continue to challenge your brain, operationally and tactically,” he said. “Read the National Defense Strategy. It’s our strategic outlook and guidance; you need to know it.”   

Sanford told graduates the days of having four to six months to prepare for missions are probably gone; the next engagements are going to require that they be ready to go on day one.

CGSC’s Fort Lee Satellite Campus teaches the core 16-week officer course three times a year, educating field-grade officers to be agile, innovative and adaptive leaders within increasingly complex and uncertain environments. The curriculum includes courses in joint, interagency and multinational operations; force management, U.S. Army doctrine and tactics; and military leadership and history. 

Penny Koerner, assistant professor and Team 32 lead for the officers’ course, said, “The CGSC Ft Lee Satellite Campus faculty is honored to educate the future leaders of the Army."

She went on to say that this class of active duty and reserve officers was made up of a mix across all Army specialties, with much of the group made up of functional or specialty areas, such as medical, legal, chaplains, logisticians, etc.”

Sanford told students, “You are going to be asked to look beyond your specialty code and many of you will be asked to shape the joint environment.  Do what is right for ‘Big Army’ and the Department of Defense.”

In closing, the general urged students to not forget about the “awesome networking opportunity” they had in this course. 

“Use your peers and bounce ideas off of each other,” Sanford said. “I do. The joint environment is key. I hope to serve with some of you in the future. If you ever want to reach out to me, I’m available.”

Koerner said some graduates will return to their current assignments, while others are en route to new assignments. “Our students will be assigned across the Army, within the continental U.S. and abroad, and some will go on to joint assignments,” she said.