Originally appeared on duclarion.com
By Skye Savage
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 00:04
General George Casey, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and DU alumnus, recently completed teaching his two-week course on Civil-Military Relations at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, which took place March 26-April 6.
The class, Civil-Military Relations In a Time of War, was announced a week before the start of the Spring quarter. The 35 slots filled almost instantly.
This is the first class General Casey has ever taught. The idea for it came from a talk last year with Christopher Hill, the dean of the Korbel school, when General Casey was on campus to receive the Evans Award.
“I said I was interested in teaching, but I wasn’t necessarily ready to commit to a full semester so early in my retirement,” said Casey. “So Chris Hill said, ‘why not a few weeks?’ He strongly suggested I try to teach a class just to see how it feels.”
The course topic draws on Casey’s experiences as a military leader who must be able to communicate effectively with civilians within the government.
“I thought it was something I could bring real perspective to because I’ve been involved with the highest levels of our government,” said Casey. “There’s a lot of experience I can share.”
Jason Thomas, a graduate student at Korbel studying International Security, said it is his perspective and insight that attracted many students to take his class.
“It’s nice to get an idea of the personalities of our leaders,” said Thomas. “He had a lot of power and is a very determined individual, but he’s also very approachable. A lot of people might not expect that.”
Casey received his MA in International Relations in 1980 from Korbel. He had already been in the army for eight years before coming to DU.
“I had been in an infantry battalion the whole time, in the most mundane levels of the army,” said Casey. “I was asking myself, there had to be more than this. I was looking for a broadening experience, and was offered grad school. So I came here.”
He said he believes his time at DU gave him the experience needed to navigate civil-military relations as he moved up the chain of command.
“The military is a very closed society,” he said. “Sometimes we have difficulty relating to those outside. I had the ability at DU to talk to people who were one, civilian, and two, had fundamentally different views.”