Raising a Pragmatic Army: Officer Education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1946-1986
Stewart, Michael David
University of Kansas
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RAISING A PRAGMATIC ARMY: Officer Education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1946 - 1986 By Michael D. Stewart Department of History, University of Kansas Professor Theodore A. Wilson, Advisor This dissertation explains the evolution of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1946 to 1986. Examination of change at the United States Army's Command and General Staff College focuses on the curriculum as a system—students, instructors, professional knowledge, and lessons—mixing within a framework to produce an educational outcome of varying quality. Consideration of non-resident courses and allied officer attendance marks two unique aspects of this study. The curriculum of the Command and General Staff College changed drastically over four decades because of the rapid expansion of professional jurisdiction, an inability to define the Army's unique body of professional knowledge, and shifting social and professional characteristics of the U.S. Army officer corps, reflected in the faculty and students at the College. Combined, these factors diminished the role and significance of the Command and General Staff College. The subjects taught to officers at the resident course shifted perceptibly during this period. The officer corps redefined professional expertise, moving away from purely military considerations towards a body of knowledge that was no longer unique. The institution, once the Army's senior tactical institution, distributed its resources—the most critical being time devoted to learning—across a broad front. Political, technological, and military turbulence of the early Cold War hampered the Army's efforts to adopt an effective curriculum to address the changed security environment until well past 1960. Constant changes in the Regular Course affected the non-resident studies program, which was never fully resourced. From 1960 to 1973, the curriculum's form underwent fundamental changes. CGSC's leaders attempted to balance the competing demands of peacetime and wartime subjects in a ten-month course, finding it difficult to accommodate the demands of both. The College shifted to a model of concentration and distribution, allowing students more choice.
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