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International Hallway Dedication Ceremony.

On the September 14, 2000, Lieutenant General William Steele, Commandant, United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), hosted the dedication ceremony for the new International Hallway in Eisenhower Hall at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. General Alfonso Pardo de Santayana Coloma, Chief of Staff, Army of the Kingdom of Spain, became the 195th inductee into the International Officer Hall of Fame on this day. General Pardo is a graduate of Centennial Class of 1980-1981.

General Pardo distinguished himself as a member of the International Class of 1980-1981 as the officer with the most children seven. On his trip to America, he questioned his decision to bring such a large family. He had no reason to worry. He was greeted at the airport by then Lieutenant and Mrs. Thomas Loyd who announced to him that they had eight children. General Pardo recalled that exceptional meeting and the wonderful surprise of food in the refrigerator upon his arrival.

This new hallway also is the home of a new section that honors all the International Officer sponsors plus memorabilia from local sponsor pioneers, Dolly Gordon and Mary Kalhorn. These two distinguished ladies and their husbands, Ed Gordon and Robert Kalhorn, served as sponsors for international officers for over forty years. Dolly Gordon and Mary Kalhom also chaired the Operation International Committee of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce for many years, recruiting and assigning Leavenworth civilian sponsors for each international officer.

Mary Kalhorn was fondly referred to by the international officers as Mom, She was a second mother to many international officers and their families. They would return to Leavenworth after graduation and stay with the Kalhorns for a visit.

Among the 105 International Officers from forty-one countries the Kalhorns sponsored, three were later inducted into the International Officer Hall of Fame: General Hagglund (Finland), Class of 1973; General Pucci (Italy), Class of 1974; and LTG Sunde (Norway), Class of 1974. Mary Kalhorn passed away in July 1998.

Among the many international officers that Ed and Dolly Gordon sponsored was former President Mohammed Zia of Pakistan. When President Zia and his wife visited Washington, D.C., they were asked who they wanted to invite to the White House during their official visit. Their response was of course, Ed and Dolly. Among the memorabilia on display is a picture of Ed and Dolly with then President Ronald Reagan and President Mrs. Zia. General Colin Powell mentions this in his autobiography, My American Journey.

Ed and Dolly Gordon were the sponsors for three International Officers who were later inducted into the International Officer Hall of Fame: General Zia (Pakistan), Class of 1963; General Jehangir (Pakistan), Class of 1974; and BG Carl A. Alfonso (Trinidad and Tobago), Class of 1986. Ed Gordon passed away in February 1998 and Dolly in April 1999.

Thanks to the contributions made by Robert Kalhorn and the children of Ed and Dolly Gordon, a special section was dedicated to these two outstanding civilians.

The sponsor program for the international officer is part of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Program (SATP) authorized by the Joint Security Assistance Training (JSAT) Regulation, AR 12-15. The SATP is a vital element of U.S. foreign policy. The training received provides our international officers throughout the world the knowledge and skills to improve their own military forces, promote military professionalism and work effectively in coalition with U.S. forces. At CGSC the International Officer Student Division (IOSD) manages and conducts the SATP. Part of the IOSD mission is to set up and manage military sponsorship and facilitate and coordinate civilian sponsorship programs. Sponsors volunteer to spend one year with the international officer and family and help them feel welcome in this country. They invite the students into their homes and provide opportunities for students to learn first-hand about the American way of life. Sponsors gain rare insights into other cultures and have a chance t o act as informal U.S. ambassadors. Many of these relationships last a lifetime and historically many of these officers go on to achieve high positions in their governments. The Sponsor Recognition Program recognizes sponsors who have contributed 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service. Section IV, Chapter 6, CGSC Staff and Faculty Handbook sets up the awards procedures.

Military Sponsor Organization

The first formal military sponsor program began in 1947. A CGSC policy was started to encourage U.S. officer personnel to take an interest in the international officers and to invite them into their homes and become better acquainted. Since 1947 an international staff element has operated continuously to provide support to international military officers. Today the IOSD manages the military sponsorship program and provides overall responsibility for the entire sponsorship program.

Leavenworth Sponsor Organization

The Leavenworth Sponsor Organization is conducted by Operation International, a committee of the Leavenworth/Lansing Chamber of Commerce which traces its origin to 1952 when it was first constituted within the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Operation International committee first provided civilian sponsors to the CGSC class of 1952-1953. In the mid 1960s responsibility for the program shifted to the Chamber of Commerce where it remains today.

Operation International's clear and uncomplicated mission statement is the same today as originally conceived in 1952: "To welcome and assist the international officer and his family on arrival and provide ongoing assistance and friendship during his stay in the Leavenworth/Lansing community." The program has proven over time to create good will that will outlive the officer's tenure in the U.S.

Among the annual programs and events sponsored by Operational International is the American Orientation Course conducted for the international officers' wives and children soon after their arrival and at the beginning of their academic year. At the conclusion of the course each participating wife is presented with a certificate at a special coffee hosted in their honor. Leavenworth sponsors also host a picnic for their international guests which provides an old fashioned community welcome and an opportunity for them to informally socialize with all their sponsor families.

Operation International continues to prosper with sponsors coming from every neighborhood in the Leavenworth/Lansing community. These volunteers appreciate the richness and diversity of sharing cultural heritage afforded them through the Operation International program.

Kansas City Sponsor Organization

This program is operated by a local chapter of the People to People International organization. People to People International is a cultural and educational exchange organization dedicated to advancing international understanding and friendship through the direct exchange of ideas and experiences among peoples of different countries and cultures. Founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, People to People was removed from the government and placed in the private sector in 1961. The international headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Greater Kansas City Chapter of People to People (GKCPTP) was founded in 1960. The chapter is incorporated as a not for profit organization in the state of Missouri, but has members from all across the Kansas-Missouri bi-state metropolitan area. Chapter activities include enrichment programs for the members, hosting international visitors - a single meal through a multiple day home stay - and the year long international military host program.

The Chapter began sponsoring international officers attending the Command and General Staff College in 1964; this has become a flagship program for the chapter that allows GKCPTP members to enlarge the cultural enrichment of the officer and his family. The relationship also enriches the GKCPTP member's lives and the GKCPTP are proud that their participation in the program has created many lasting international friendships.

More information on the establishment of the International Officer Hall of Fame (IHOF), Criteria for Induction, nomination process, and a legend of current IHOF members is posted on CGSC IOSD Internet site at: http://www.cqsc.army.mil/dsa/iosd/GRADUATES/index.asp.

To find out more about the Sponsor Program and the Sponsor Recognition Program at Fort Leavenworth, go to http://www.cqsc.army.mil/dsa/IOSD/SPONSORS/index.asp.

Constance Hale is the director of the Assistant International Officer Student Programs at the International Officer Student Division, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
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Title Annotation:at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Author:Hale, Constance
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2000
Words:1360
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