TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Capitol had an international feel inside it Thursday. Military officers from 89 countries were in Topeka.
It’s part of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Officers come from around the world to learn about the country with the most powerful military.
“This is an experience to get to know other people’s cultures and armies, but also way of life, which you couldn’t find anywhere else,” said Maj. Jan in het Veld, who is a major in the Dutch army.
Officers toured the statehouse learning how state government works in America.
More than 8,000 international officers have been a part of the college since 1894 with many going on to hold important positions in their countries.
“It’s a great opportunity for these officers to come over to the state of Kansas, they learned a lot of different things because their governments are typically much different than a democratic elected government like we have in Kansas” said Roger Murdock, Director of the Joint Staff at the Kansas National Guard.
Jan in het Veld said he has wanted to be a part of this program for a long time.
“As a young kid I knew that if I was going to join the military, I wanted to go all the way in the military, so I knew that this was the best education that was possible, and I really wanted to join this,” he said.
“The teacher here can tell us about stuff, about tactics and military operations, that we don’t have in our own countries,” said in het Veld.
Officers spend a year in Kansas, then go back to their homes with a deeper knowledge of how the military functions.
“I’m sure I’m going to benefit a lot from this course because much of what I’m going to learn, I’m going to take it into our country and introduce it into part of our training,” said Maj. Andrew Nganga, who is in the Kenya army.
Nganga said Kenyans have worked closely with Americans in Somalia, and his training will help when he goes back home.
The group also visited the state Supreme Court and the Kansas Museum of History during their trip to Topeka.