Guam – Continuing professional education in the military is an essential requirement, both to enhance personal learning goals and to further professional careers. But one Guam Army National Guard senior officer took it a notch higher, while completing his required studies at the U.S. Army War College.
Not only did LTC Robert A. Crisostomo graduate with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies, his strategic research paper, entitled “Strategic Guam: Past, Present, and Future”, which he submitted to fulfill his requirements, earned him the Military Order of the World Wars Award.
This special writing award was only one of twenty-five awards available to the 400 students of the USAWC Academic Year 2013 Class, which graduated last month. A letter from the school’s commandant commended LTC Crisostomo for his academic excellence.
[ LTC Robert A. Crisostomo holds up his Military Order of the World Wars Award he received after completing his studies as the U.S. Army War College last month. He recently returned to Guam.]
In his letter to LTC Crisostomo, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III, wrote, “This recognition signifies excellence in research and writing and places you in the forefront of the Class of 2013, for which you will be recognized at graduation. Moreover, it marks you as one of our brightest and most inspired leaders as you move to the strategic level of our profession.”
Maj. Gen. Cucolo further encouraged LTC Crisostomo to “persevere in the pursuit of professional excellence and to take the next step — GET IT PUBLISHED!”
The U.S. Army War College, located in Carlisle Barracks, PA, is the Army’s ultimate professional development institution that prepares selected military, civilian, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment, its website describes.
LTC Crisostomo completed the resident education program, which spans 10 months and consists of six core courses, the Strategic Decision Making Exercise, five elective courses, and the National Security Seminar. Each student also must complete a Strategy Research Project. A number of Special Programs (voluntary, for credit) are available to selected students as part of the core or elective curriculum. Numerous complementary programs (voluntary, not for credit) are also available.
LTC Crisostomo said he found the experience rewarding and of great value for him.
“I had a very rewarding and value-added experience while attending the United States Army War College. The course of study delved into intricate global problems that have a potential impact on U.S. security and prosperity. My take-away from the year-long course is that global issues, no matter how unrelated to U.S. interests, have an impact one way or another to U.S. strategy and security.”
“As senior leaders, we are taught to scrutinize these relationships to discern the possible outcomes that will be beneficial to U.S. strategy and interest. As a senior leader in the Guam National Guard, I apply the same concept to discern the best possible outcomes for our island, its people, and our nation. Not surprisingly, this was the whole thesis behind my Strategic Research Paper entitled, “Strategic Guam: Past, Present and Future.”
“I’d like to thank Maj. Gen. Paulino for the opportunity in allowing me to attend this broadening experience at the United States Army War College,” LTC Crisostomo said.
Such a cadre of senior officers who have completed USAWC provides the Guam National Guard a pool of vital and experienced leaders for the near future, according to Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino, The Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard.
“It’s the highest military education level for an officer in our U.S. forces and few officers get chosen to attend the school. LTC Crisostomo’s additional accomplishment certainly bring great honor to our organization and to the island as a whole, and further proves the caliber of senior leaders that we have here in the Guam National Guard” he said.
Three other senior officers are in the process of finishing the distance education program, which involves a series of ten on-line courses and two, two-week resident courses, taken over a two-year period.