International General/Admiral Staff Officer Course (IGASOC)
The IGASOC is designed to prepare field-grade officers from non-NATO states for assignments in general or admiral staffs and/or to complement a general/admiral staff training they have previously undergone at home. It enables the officers to perform tasks in higher commands, including particularly integrated headquarters, and in selected general/admiral staff assignments. For that purpose, IGASOC students are familiarized with the European security architecture and with the development of the European Union (EU), placing particular emphasis on the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
Headed by a Colonel in the General Staff, the course also imparts knowledge about the structures and procedures of the EU. Moreover, it serves the purpose of network building and developing/tightening the students’ bonds with Germany. Throughout the course, German field-grade officers studying on the same course support the international students as mentors.
Point of Contact:
Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr
Phone: +49-(0)40-8667-5735 (S3 SO)
A Tradition of International Cooperation
In 1962, the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College began to train international officers from non-NATO states for general staff officer functions. Initially, only Army officers took part in the training, forming one class of eleven international and five German students.
A second Army class was added at a later date and in 1986, training was expanded to also include one Air Force and one Navy class alternately. Since 1995, there have always been two Army classes, one Air Force and one Navy class, each headed by an experienced Lieutenant Colonel (GS) or Navy Commander.
Invitations to assign officers to the course are submitted to sending nations after consultations between the Federal Ministry of Defence and the Federal Foreign Office. These nations then select the individual students to be sent to Germany.
The training of international officers is based on a bilateral training contract between Germany and the respective nation. After 11 months of language training at the Federal Office of Languages in Hürth, the 10-month IGASOC starts in the middle of August of every year. To this day, about 3,000 officers from more than 120 different nations have been trained on the IGASOC in Hamburg, 25% of them German students.
Contributing to the Bundeswehr's Worldwide Reputation
In German, the IGASOC students are prepared for general/admiral staff tasks at the operational and tactical level across the entire task spectrum of the armed forces in both national and international environments. In particular, they gain personal impressions of the role of a parliamentary army in a democracy, of the ideal of the citizen in uniform, of mission command and of the idea of leadership development and civic education and add these impressions to their personal wealth of experience. Besides the specialist military training, students are also given a deep insight into a multitude of political, cultural, historical and economic aspects of German society.
Today, many former IGASOC students fill top positions in their home countries. The training provided by the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College thus contributes significantly to fostering the worldwide reputation of the Bundeswehr as a whole.
The training concept is rounded off by a sponsorship program for the international students involving civilians from the Hamburg region, and also by a close cooperation with the “Foreign Officer Training Support Fellowship” at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College. The Fellowship supports the IGASOC financially as well as by organizing inspiring evening events and presentations by high-ranking officials from the areas of politics, economy and science.