The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) inducted military leaders from Argentina and Jamaica to the International Hall of Fame (IHOF) at the Lewis and Clark Center, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, April 4, 2019. Argentine Army General Bari del Valle Sosa, chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, and Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) Lieutenant General Rocky R. Meade, chief of Defence Staff, will have their portraits displayed alongside 280 inductees from 75 partner nations worldwide. Indian Army General Bipin Rawat, chief of the Army Staff, was also inducted.
“CGSC is an institution committed to the creation and training of future leaders,” said Gen. Sosa during his speech. “[CGSC] is a unique place for the exchange of ideas, visions, experiences, and different cultures.”
“When we come here as mid-level officers, there is no vision this would ever happen; we come here to do our best,” said Lt. Gen. Meade. “CGSC gave me a tremendous experience and the recognition is a great honor.”
CGSC, created in 1881, offers post-graduate education to U.S. and international military officers and members of interagency organizations. CGSC established IHOF in 1973 to provide a prestigious and visible means of recognition for international graduates who through military merit have attained one of the highest positions of in their armed forces or who have held an equivalent position of rank of responsibility in a multinational military organization, according to the IHOF criteria for induction.
Gen. Sosa and Lt. Gen. Meade received a certificate of honor from the Military Order of the World Wars, a U.S. Veteran Service Organization created for U.S. officers to promote patriotism and good citizenship. In addition, the CGSC Foundation gave the inductees, an eagle statue and a Life Constituent Certificate for their outstanding military service.
In order to be nominated, an officer must graduate from CGSC and hold a high-ranking military position in their country. CGSC counts approximately 8,000 international graduates; 15 are heads of their countries’ military forces or of their government.
“International Hall of Fame inductees represent the absolute pinnacle of professional achievement as senior uniform leaders. Their respective efforts furthered the readiness of their militaries, the security of their nations, and the stability of our world,” said U.S. Army Brigadier General Troy Galloway, provost of the Army University and deputy commandant of CGSC, at the opening ceremony. “I am extremely proud of the bonds formed here and the lasting partnerships established between our nations. The leaders that we have inducted today represent the finest traditions of CGSC.”
A distinguished career in the Argentine Army
Gen. Sosa is the third Argentine officer to receive this military honor. He began his military career as an infantry second lieutenant from the Army’s National Military College in El Palomar, Buenos Aires in 1978. In 1995, he joined CGSC’s Officers Course, becoming the first 1995 graduate to be inducted.
He served in numerous assignments during his military career, including as executive officer to the Army Chief of Staff, deputy director of the Sargento Cabral Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and deputy commander of the U.S. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, among others. Gen. Sosa was appointed chief of Staff of the Argentine Armed Forces on January 18, 2016.
“I deeply value this international climate as an engine to foster knowledge, bonds, and professional expertise. “It is here where we have our best tool for command in view of the new challenges of our times,” said Gen. Sosa. “I will be forever grateful to CGSC, its instructors, and the Class of 1995.”
Gen. Galloway recognized Gen. Sosa’s cooperative and mutually beneficial efforts with the United States. “Gen. Sosa’s leadership demonstrates that Argentina is a strong and reliable partner in maintaining peace and security in the Western Hemisphere.”
Military prestige for Jamaica
Lt. Gen. Meade joined JDF in 1984, and graduated from CGSC’s Class of 2003. He is the second Jamaican officer to be inducted to IHOF. By the time he was appointed chief of Defence Staff, in December 2016, he had implemented a number of military initiatives for JDF, including the Jamaican Military Museum, the Flight Safety Program, the JDF Language Lab, and the JDF Technical Training Institute. Since then, he enhanced JDF’s personnel, resources, and infrastructure, including the Jamaica National Service Corps, the Jamaican Regiment, the Jamaica National Reserve, and the Maritime, Air and Cyber Command.
“My experiences during the almost one year at CGSC were instrumental and enabled me to more effectively develop and lead a strategic force for Jamaica,” said Lt. Gen. Meade. “The thesis that I wrote when I was here, I am implementing it now in the transformation of the force.”
“Lt. Gen. Meade’s leadership is indispensable to the modernization of JDF,” said Gen. Galloway. “Jamaica lays proud claim to being the first country to participate in the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which now includes 81 participant nations. [JDF] proudly continues its partnership with the District of Columbia National Guard.”
Before the ceremony’s conclusion, Gen. Sosa and Lt. Gen. Meade, joined by their families and CGSC’s leadership, saw their portraits revealed at IHOF. “Each [of you] has distinguished yourself in service to your home nation and by rising to the highest position of uniformed leadership in your respective militaries,” concluded Gen. Galloway.