Exchange of ideas for future Allied commanders

Published on MAJ Tania Donovan (author), CMDR Chloe Griggs (author)

Location(s): Canberra

Topic(s): Centenary of Anzac, Anzac Day, 75th Anniversary

Students from the United States Command and General Staff College visit the Australian War Memorial while on an exchange at the Australia Command and Staff Course, Canberra, Australia. April 24, 2017. (photo: Unknown)
Students from the United States Command and General Staff College visit the Australian War Memorial while on an exchange at the Australia Command and Staff Course, Canberra, Australia. April 24, 2017.

United States Command and General Staff College students have crossed continents and oceans to visit counterparts in Canberra in an exchange program designed to strengthen relationships at the working-level across Allied nations.
 
Coinciding with Anzac Day commemorations, the two-week program hosted by the Australian Command and Staff Course, at Weston Creek in Canberra, involved 14 students and two staff from the College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
 
Major Roland Griffith was one of those students and said attending the Dawn Service with about 38,000 Australian citizens at the Australian War Memorial was crucial to the exchange.

“The Service helped me gain a strong appreciation for the story behind the origin of Australia’s Gallipoli sacrifices, the 'mateship' concept and the service’s unifying power throughout the entire Australian consciousness (domestically and globally),” he said.
 
Representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines the students attended two weeks of classes at their Australian equivalent course and participated in professional discussions relating to military leadership.

All officers were hosted by an Australian student in a program aimed at strengthening the relationships between international military partners for better results in combined and joint headquarters environments. 

The discussions varied between concepts of leadership development, organisational identity, and military strategy. 

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Fatima Nettles said the exchange had broadened her perspective.
 
“[It] has been important in reassuring and strengthening our relationship with the Australian military,” she said. 

“I see value in integrating us into their leadership classes because of the different perspectives and different approaches to leadership we have been exposed to.”
 
Lieutenant Commander Mathew Adams, an Australian host officer said the opportunity gave the local students their own reasons to refocus their thoughts on military relationships and service.

"Australia and the United States share the bond of a long and shared history. It was a privilege to reflect upon and share Anzac Day and the ANZAC spirit with our American friends,” he said.