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Speaker urges ACSC grads to never stop learning

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Monday's graduating class of the Spaatz Center's Air Command and Staff College was urged to never stop learning by guest speaker Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, assistant Vice Chief of Staff and director, Air Force Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

ACSC is the Air Force's intermediate professional military education school, preparing field grade officers, primarily majors, to assume positions of higher responsibility.

Speaking at Maxwell's Polifka Auditorium, General Klotz told the 464 graduates that "ACSC is not an endpoint, but a milestone." At this point in their careers, he said the students have concentrated on learning the technical details of respective career fields.

"Now you need to develop a broader, strategic vision," he said. The general added the true military professional never stops learning. "Learning is a continuous, life-long process."

Noting that the graduating class has students from 69 countries outside the U.S., the general stressed the significance of international alliances. He said it is important to develop personal relationships and to learn the history, language and culture of different countries. "And that process begins here at ACSC."

Graduating Monday were 273 active officers from the Air Force, 14 from the Air Force Reserve and 11 from the Air National Guard. The U.S. Army had 43 officers, the Navy 31, and the Marine Corps 11. There were 12 Department of Defense civilians and one civilian from the Department of State. There were 75 international officers representing 69 countries.

There were 49 distinguished graduates. Also awards were presented for various achievements during the year.

Class president Maj. Sean Boles received the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award. The Military Officer Association of America Award went to Lt. Col. James E. Parco (military) and Dr. William T. Dean III (civilian). The ACSC Civilian Educator of the Year was Dr. Jonathon Zartman.

The ACSC Faculty Member Wright Brothers Officership Award went to Lt. Col. Kris Bauman. ACSC Student Wright Brothers Officership Award was received by Maj. Sean Wade.

Maj. Tom Coate won the ACSC Fit to Fight Award. United Kingdom Wing Cmdr. Shaun Harris received the Brig. Gen. Robbie Risner International Officer Leadership Award. The Commandant's International Officer Academic Award went to United Kingdom Wing Cmdr. Anne-Marie Houghton.

The Commandant's Award for Academic Achievement was received by both Maj. Parker Wright and Maj. Dylan Baumgartner. Maj. Allen Gilbert received the Commandant's Leadership Award and Maj. Parker Wright received the Commandant's Award for Excellence.