Story by SFC John Freese on 12/17/2018GRAFENWOHR, Germany The 7th Mission Support Command's Intermediate Level Education Detachment appointed a new commander, in a ceremony held at 7th Army Training Command Headquarters on December 12, 2018.
Colonel Edward Van Giezen handed off leadership to Lieutenant Col. Michael Hiller, who has been a Command and General Staff Officer Course Core Curriculum instructor in the school since November of 2014. Van Giezen will now head Human Resources for the command.
In his remarks, 7th MSC Deputy Commander, Col. Alexis Wells commented on the importance of the school and the various accomplishments of Van Giezen's tenure as commander.
Formerly known as the Command and General Staff College, the intermediate level education program led by the 7th MSC, the US Army Reserve's only command in Europe, delivers the CGSOC core curriculum to all three army components, active, guard and reserve, on behalf of U.S. Army Europe. What's more, the school does this across a large geographical footprint including US Army Europe, US Army Africa, and US Army Central.
Wells cited the recent success of a rigorous accreditation process for the ILE school as testament to the professionalism and expertise of the instructors and full-time staff under Van Giezen's leadership.
During his time, Van Giezen presided over the core curriculum graduations of more than 100 students from all the Army components, as well as some Department of Army civilians. This, said Wells, demonstrates the 7th MSC's legacy of providing US Army education to Soldiers and civilians stationed in Europe.
Under Van Giezen, the ILE Detachment also saw the highest attendance rates in eight years. This may speak to the creative design of the curriculum schedule, which condenses the mid-term monthly weekend sessions into two nine day phases, one each off-season quarter. This schedule balances the needs of the multi-component and DoD civilian student body, and allows them the timeliest and most impactful return to their formations, with minimal interruption to the manning demands of seasonal exercises. It also provides an opportunity for students to have a more persistent interaction with the shared experiences of their peer officers and civilians.
Van Giezen also moved the peg forward toward making the core curriculum offering international, with plans to open the course to NATO and partnering nation officers, which is consistent with the stateside resident course offerings.
As Hiller assumes the helm, his experience as an CGSOC-CC instructor, both in Europe with the 7th and in the US with the 97th Training Brigade, will be coupled with the ground work laid by his predecessor.
"Our mission is to educate our field grade officers to be agile, innovative, and adaptive leaders, to build and lead organizations under Mission Command," Hiller said in his remarks.
Hiller stressed the need to build the communication skills enabling effective joint and multinational operations. To do this, he will work to ensure the continued presence of an experienced, well-rounded staff of instructors at the school.
The venue in Europe provides a tremendous opportunity for those with the talent and drive to help develop future Army staff officers. It also provides European stationed units the means to more efficiently train some of their field grade officers without having to dedicate time and dollars for travel back to the US.
"Our instructors do one thing: build intellectual capital," Hiller said.
The student's job is to then apply it in the execution of multi domain operations, he added.