The Command and General Staff School (CGSS): The purpose of educates, trains and develops officer’s leaders for the USFDRC. The CGSS will develop officers for the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational operational environments; and advances the art and science of the profession of the Command and Control in support of the USFDRC mission, vision, and operational requirements.


The CGSS will always strive to be an educational center of excellence. We must become and remain a renowned academic leader in the study of leadership, the conduct of joint and combined command and control objectives, and the application of joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational organizations to synchronize all elements of total force power to achieve USFDRC objectives.

To support commanders with well-trained and well-educated leaders, in-depth research in Command and General Staff studies, and reach-back planning and intelligence in support of ongoing operations. To inspire and support our world-class faculty and instructors dedicated to learning and advancing the professional body of knowledge

Our Principles

A Learning Organization Committed to Currency, Relevancy, and the Contribution to Knowledge.

Our current reality demands that CGSS graduates be prepared to assume duties immediately upon graduation. Our graduates must be confident, competent leaders, and creative problem solvers who understand the complexities of the contemporary operating environment. Learning is our most important contribution to our nation; therefore, our challenge is the mastery of a diverse, broad, and ever-changing professional body of knowledge. Collaboration (developing, publishing, and subscribing) in the professional body of knowledge is essential to maintain currency and make relevant contributions to furthering professional understanding or creating new professional knowledge. This demands that CGSS be a learning organization committed to a continuous effort to improve student learning, teaching, and the learning environment. We must be analytic, thinking, and learning institutions, seeking new knowledge, but circumspect enough to discern the difference between contemporary innovation and enduring principles.

Empowered Professional Faculty and Instructors

The CGSS best accomplishes its educational outcomes through a vital professional faculty and instructors who recognize that excellence in teaching is foremost. Faculty and instructors’ members are drawn from the entire range of relevant academic, emergency management services, command, and control disciplines, and they embody the scholarship of teaching, learning, and total force. As professional educators, they are committed to master both content and process. CGSS faculty and instructors are experts in their respective fields of study, talented facilitators of learning, and empowered with the flexibility to determine how best to achieve learning objectives in their classrooms so that our students' learning will last.

Socratic and Adult Learning Methods

The CGSS approaches education as the dynamic interaction between active learners, faculty, and instructors using learner-centric pedagogies, and relevant outcomes-based curricula (content). CGSS faculty and instructor’s members create learning environments that allow students to construct knowledge – make meaning – by connecting curriculum content with their own experiences and prior knowledge through practical application and critical reflection.

To accomplish this, CGSS faculty and instructors are comfortable in their roles as facilitators and employ learner-centric methods and techniques that actively engage students in the learning process. Simulation-based exercises, case studies, and seminar discussions demand high levels of student interaction and create opportunities for peer learning. Beyond enabling the pursuit of specific courses and Joint learning objectives, CGSS's learning methodology seeks to build intrinsically motivated, intellectually curious officers and interagency partners with the skills necessary to access information and construct knowledge on their own.

Training for Certainty and Educating for Uncertainty with a Multi-Disciplinary Curriculum

The CGSS serves as the USFDRC national professional school, combining theoretical education and practical training to produce leaders who are proficient in the understanding and conduct of modern command and support operations. We must train for certainty and educate for uncertainty, as both training and education are vital to our students' learning needs.

We must train our graduates on enduring doctrinal principles, emerging lessons, and the skills they will require in their careers. We must educate our graduates for the uncertainty they will surely encounter; they must know how to think and apply critical reasoning and creative thinking in complex ambiguous situations.

The CGSS's academic methods and curricular designs educate and train US FDRC officers and interagency partners in the nature and conduct of command and control within the complex emergency services environment. In addition, CGSS advances the state of contemporary knowledge through original research and experimentation.

Professional Development Officer Curriculum

The Professional Development Officer Curriculum (PDOC) offers on-campus curriculum on leadership, management, and functional tasks and are divided into the following levels with scholarship options for students working on their Associate, Baccalaureate, or Graduate degrees.

  • Level I: Initial Entry Training (IET)
  • Level II: Technical Training (TT)
  • Level III: Management Training (MT)
  • Level IV: Command and Staff (CS)
  • Level V: Executive Training (ET)
  • Monthly Leadership Lab (MLL)
  • Specialty Tracks (ST)
  • Annual Summer Training Courses (ASTC)
  • Annual Exercise and Evaluation Program (AEEP)


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