Jedi Knights Wanted
General Colin Powell once said, "Great military leaders are made, not born." In that spirit, one of the most intense institutions for higher military education is the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), where officers who graduate receive a master's degree in military arts and science, and become some of the most sought-after leaders in the military. It's said that whenever a general needs a problem fixed ASAP, he asks for a SAMS graduate. During Operation Desert Storm, General (Ret.) Norman Schwarzkopf referred to SAMS alumni as "Jedi Knights."
SAMS graduated its first class — 13 officers — in 1984, and has since grown significantly due to a high demand by the Army's top generals. It's among the toughest military schools to get into, and open to commissioned officers only.
In 1987, SAMS began accepting officers from other branches of the U.S. military. Then, from government agencies such as the FBI, and in the following years, from allied forces Norway, Canada, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. SAMS' curriculum and professional development are designed to hone students' thinking processes to prepare them for challenges they haven't faced.
Teaching how to think, not what to think, building a cohesive team that collaborates effectively. The classes consist of 12 to 16 students, all experts in their fields, such as infantry, artillery, aviation, military intelligence. They're presented with a problem and then approach solving it from various angles. Each student's unique perspective helps the others see the problem in a new light. After graduating from SAMS, they'll be experts in strategic and operational thinking and will return to their units as substantial assets. Based on the current global political turmoil, SAMS graduates will be needed for a long time to come.