National General/Admiral Staff Officer Course


The most demanding course of the Command and Staff College begins every autumn and takes two years to complete. It is open to 100 national and international military participants.
The course enables students to understand and analyse problems from various perspectives using scientific methods and to develop solutions. They plan at the strategic, operational and tactical level and provide analyses and recommendations on matters of security policy.

About Us

Every year in autumn, the two-year National General/Admiral Staff Officer Course (NGASOC) starts at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College in Hamburg. Only career officers who have proven their aptitude to become senior officers and civil servants employed in the higher level of public service are admitted to the course. However, applicants cannot simply enroll in this course, which is the longest and most demanding within the scope of officer training. Instead, the participants are chosen from among the best students of their year group, depending on their aptitude, achievements and qualification. At the invitation of the Federal Republic of Germany, officers from other NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) states also participate in the course.

During their time at the Command and Staff College, the officers studying on the NGASOC are prepared for future assignments as military commanders or advisers at the tactical, operational and strategic level or in the political environment. By means of advanced academic and scientific training methods, the officers are equipped with expert knowledge and skills regarding a variety of topics and thus enabled to define their own well-founded points of view even in unfamiliar situations, be it in times of peace, crisis or war and, on this basis, to make decisions that are appropriate in military terms and ethically sound.

The course consists of three phases. The first phase focuses primarily on aspects of social science. In joint classes, the students analyse the efficiency and performance of social systems, institutions and actors and the interrelations between them. They also complete practical leadership trainings in different agencies, ministries or private companies where they are familiarised with alternative methods of decision-making and leadership. This first part of the course is followed by a service-specific phase dealing with current and future challenges for the armed forces. In addition, the students deepen their knowledge of the tactical and operational doctrines of the Army, Air Force and Navy in several map and staff exercises.

The course concludes with a joint phase bundling all topics at the strategic level. To this end, the students visit not only the federal ministries dealing with security policy matters but also military headquarters in Germany and abroad. Highlights of the course include several exercises focusing on crisis prevention and conflict management. They are conducted in cooperation with representatives from different ministries or military academies of NATO partner nations along the lines of a comprehensive and multilateral approach. After a strategic study phase, the results of which are presented to the German Chief of Defence, the students eventually receive UNUnited Nations (United Nations) staff officer training.

Apart from language training, the NGASOC also encompasses a broad range of military, social, cultural and sports activities not only in Hamburg, but also in other parts of Germany and abroad. These activities also provide networking opportunities with members of civil society, other ministries or foreign military academies. The friendships that evolve during the challenging exercises, the physical training and the daily activities of this unique course often last a lifetime.

by  Bundeswehr Command and Staff College  email


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