29 US Army Captains and Majors spent six weeks at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom to work alongside British Army and Royal Marine Majors undertaking the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land)
(ICSC(L)) in Army Division at the Joint Services Command and Staff College.
Those US officers are part of the US Strategic Broadening Programme (US SBP) UK-Elective came to the Defence Academy to develop their academic skills, broaden their understanding of and forge links with a close ally.
Alongside their British colleagues, they were taught by a mixture of military staff, visiting lecturers and academics from both Cranfield University and King’s College London. They evaluated the Global Effects on UK Defence, British Defence Policy and the Higher Management of UK Defence and the Army Operating Model during syndicate activities, visits and lectures.
Student Major Chris J. Millen RTR, gave a UK perspective about the course and said:
“The inclusion of US Army Officers for a section of the ICSC(L) course has been of great benefit to us. US doctrine, capabilities and national strategy can be taught in the lecture theatre; however, it is the individual interpretations by the US students that really brought it to life. Furthermore the experiences of two additional students in a syndicate room, experiences that are professionally aligned but often culturally diverse, reinforces the knowledge-sharing foundation of the ICSC. The US students encouraged introspectiveness in us and led us to view the discussion through the prism of a foreign military, thus inspiring greater critical analysis of our own strategies and decision making.”
Major Theresa M. Giorno, US Army said:
“The biggest take-away from this opportunity was the relationships that were fostered between US and UK officers. Although there are differences between the two militaries, there are many similarities. I learned the most about the UK military from the personal experiences of my syndicate members. Syndicate Room Activities are a facilitated environment for students to share ideas, discuss lectures and ask questions. My syndicate was a team, communicating with one another and working together to ensure success. There were no “sharp elbows” or feeling of competition within the room. The UK students went out of their way to include us, make us feel welcome and were respectful of our differences in opinion.”
This programme offers a unique opportunity for selected US officers to study at Masters level, enhance their strategic thinking, evaluate the calculus of strategy and global affairs, and develop Critical and Creative thinking skills, and more importantly develop relationships with British counterparts and experience British Culture first hand, from the sports fields to Covent Garden, Oxford and the pub lunches in between.
Find out more about the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) (ICSC(L)).