27 Facts about the Marshall Center on its 27th Birthday
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (June 5, 2020)– The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies turns 27 years old June 5.
To celebrate, here are 27 facts about the Marshall Center that you may have been afraid to ask or maybe not.
1. Let’s start with an easy one. The Marshall Center is named after American statesman and soldier George Catlett Marshall, Jr. After World War II and in his service as Secretary of State, Marshall advocated a significant U.S. economic and political commitment to post-war European recovery, often referred to as the Marshall Plan – a plan that saved millions of Europeans from starvation and Soviet domination.
2. The Marshall Center is one of five U.S. Department of Defense Regional Centers under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Our sister centers are:
Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies - Honolulu, Hawaii
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies - Washington, D.C.,
Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Washington, D.C.
Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies - Washington, D.C.
3. Interesting fact: The Marshall Center is the oldest of the DOD Regional Centers. The Inauguration Day Ceremony officially dedicating the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany was held June 5, 1993. The DKI APCSS was established in 1995. The WJPC in 1997. The ACSS in 1999. The NESA Center in 2000.
5. Another fact that you probably already guessed. The Marshall Center is the only DOD Regional Center in another country, and most importantly, partnering with another country - the Federal Republic of Germany. The Marshall Center became a German-American partnership when a memorandum of agreement was signed on Dec. 2, 1994, between the U.S. European Command and the German Federal Ministry of Defense. An updated MoA with Germany that increased German contributions to the Marshall Center was signed in October 2016.
6. A really interesting fact is that the Marshall Center is the only regional center for Germany. Think about it. There are 44 countries in Europe, and yes, a small number of these countries are considered transcontinental, meaning they are considered to be a part of both Europe and Asia. But, the Marshall Center has alumni from 157 nations (oh, maybe you didn’t know that fact yet. Sorry, for the spoiler.) The reason is that Germany’s national security strategy and interests includes countries from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America, as well as, recently, the Arctic. Another reason is Marshall Center’s transnational programs, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. We can go into that a bit later.
7. Speaking of partners, the Marshall Center has several institutional partners who support its mission. There are our stakeholders: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency and German Federal Ministry of Defense. The U.S. State Department, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and others also support the Marshall Center’s mission. There is also the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes, which incidentally is collocated at the Marshall Center.
8. The Marshall Center’s College of International and Security Studies provides resident and outreach programming to our allies and partners, while building a network of national security professionals committed to peace and stability across the globe.
9. For our resident programs, the Marshall Center’s objective is to bring together the best and most capable rising defense and security experts from a variety of government ministries. Each course is geared toward a specific combination of mid- to senior-level career military officers and civilian government officials of equivalent rank. We strive for a balanced and diverse participant body, policy-makers and practitioners, men and women. Currently, CISS offers 11 resident programs and Alumni Global Community of Interest Programs.
- Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC)
- The Countering Transnational Organized Crime—International Forum (CTOC-IF)
- European African Security Seminar (EASS)
- European Security Seminar-East (ESS-E)
- European Security Seminar-North (ESS-N)
- Program on Applied Security Studies (PASS)
- Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS)
- Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS)
- Senior Executive Seminar (SES)
- Seminar on Regional Security (SRS)
The 11th resident program is the ESS-European Union/NATO Cooperation scheduled to take place in 2021. This program will discusses the EU-NATO Cooperation and how it benefits the EU and NATO member states and partners.
10. So how does one apply for one of our resident programs? There are two ways to apply for a Marshall Center course. In both cases, the application process should start at least 120 days prior to the course start date. To find out the process for funded participants and self-payers, visit the Registrar page on the Marshall Center website.
11. The English Language Enhancement Course offered by the Marshall Center’s Partner Language Training Center Europe is a five-week English intensive language enhancement course for candidates who are moderately proficient in English and who are attending CTOC, PASS, PCSS or PTSS.
12. The Marshall Center has its own language school – Partner Language Center Europe, which offers advanced and specialized classroom instruction in Arabic, English, French, Persian-Farsi, and Russian to more than 400 U.S. military and NATO/Partner attendees each year. Included in this are faculty professional development courses in language testing and classroom instruction and assessment. It is also an institutionally accredited NATO Partner Training and Education Centre.
13. I think this is a good time to talk about our transnational programs. Yes, at its conception, the Marshall Center’s mission was to educate government members of former communist countries about democratic state building, good governance, and the importance of rule of law and democratic institutions. While primarily focused on Eastern Europe at the beginning, the Marshall Center now also conducts transnational programs on transnational security issues with participants from across the globe. These transnational programs are the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies, Program on Cyber Security Studies and Countering Transnational Organized Crime.
14. Let’s squeeze out another fact regarding our transnational programs. The Marshall Center was designated in October 2014 by DOD as a Center of Excellence for Transnational Security Studies, due to its programs on countering terrorism and countering transnational organized crime.
15. We might as well stay with our transnational programs for the moment. After 9/11 (Sept.11, 2001 attacks on the United States), retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Andrew Nichols “Nick” Pratt conceived of, created and implemented the Marshall Center's Program on Terrorism and Security Studies. The first PTSS course was in 2004, and so far, the Marshall Center has held more than 30 PTSS programs. Held twice a year, PTSS develops intellectual interoperability and common understanding regarding the transnational nature of terrorism, improves partner capacity to develop and execute international combatting terrorism strategies and builds and sustain a network of security professional to combat terrorism.
16. Also held twice a year is the Marshall Center’s Countering Transnational Organized Crime course, which focuses on how transnational organized crime threatens the national security of countries. For the first two years, the program was previously titled Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking (CNIT) and was created in 2015.
17. Let’s go back to CISS to talk about their outreach programs. The Outreach Department plans, develops and conducts more than 100 events every year for participants in partner countries. In addition, the Marshall Center organizes about 20 conferences and workshops per year. They usually last three to four working days and offer the opportunity for a targeted exchange of information and views between experts and policymakers. Since COVID-19, we started an online series of virtual events on current topics to keep the Marshall Center relevant, operational and engaged with their Alumni and Partners. Findings from some of these meetings, including concrete recommendations for policymakers, can be found in the Research portion of our website in the Perspectives publications. We will talk about our research section later.
18. The Marshall Center also has partners for its outreach programs, especially for the strategic initiatives, like the Munich Security Conference for the Loisach Group and the German Marshall Fund of the United States for Balkans 360. For the Central European Security Dialogue strategic initiative, the Marshall Center partners with the Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Polish Institute of International Affairs and the Federal Academy for Security Policy. These are just a few of our collaborators, as the Marshall Center also has several partners for its resident and outreach events.
19. Some of the most significant elements of the Marshall Center’s outreach effort are our Alumni Programs. This office works to support and expand our network of more than 14,000 alumni from 157 nations through dialogue and information exchange, continuing professional development opportunities and collaboration with graduates. The network is supported through a comprehensive program including in-country events, web-based professional involvement and special opportunities for graduates. Many of these activities are conducted in cooperation with Marshall Center Alumni Associations in numerous countries. Graduates have access to many resources via the Marshall Center’s alumni portal GlobalNET. This password-protected website provides links to course materials, and includes access to many commercial databases of periodical and scholarly journal articles. New to GlobalNET is the COVID-19 resource page for alumni that is updated frequently. Alumni Programs also manage the five-week Alumni Scholars Program. This program is an individual competitive scholarship program that gives Marshall Center alumni the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a security topic at the Marshall Center with the support of a faculty mentor.
20. Since we already mentioned about the access to commercial databases, it’s a good time to check in at the Marshall Center’s Research Library. Our library advances and supports the learning, teaching, and research goals of our participants, faculty, and alumni. Our collection primarily focuses on global security, terrorism, cyberterrorism, international relations and strategic communication, as well as peace and stabilization operations, including crisis and conflict management. The library houses more than 65,000 volumes of books and multimedia in English, German and Russian and subscribes to more than 150 journals. We also offer access to a much larger collection by way of e-books, e-journals, online databases and other electronic resources that can be accessed from anywhere on-campus, or via the GlobalNET portal when off-campus.
21. Also part of CISS is the Eurasian Foreign Area Officer Training Program, which is actually older than the Marshall Center. It started with Field Detachment R in Oberammergau, Germany in 1946 and continued with the U.S. Army Institute for Advanced Russian and Eastern European Studies at Sheridan Barracks, Garmisch, Germany. The Eurasian Foreign Area Officer Training Program continues its original mission by creating adaptable and leading regional experts who will serve in key political-military assignments throughout the European and Eurasian theaters.
22. The U.S. Senior Fellows Program is also one of the CISS programs. It provides a regionally focused, professional education experience at the senior service school level for U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force officers of the rank of Major to Colonel. Fellows are selected by their respective services for the eleven-month program, during which they participate in a variety of Marshall Center resident courses and conferences and, if suitably qualified and experienced, have the opportunity to teach as co-seminar leaders.
23. A unique program offered at CISS is the Master of Arts in International Security Studies. This is a post-graduate program for security professionals offered jointly by the Universität der Bundeswehr München (UniBwM) and Marshall Center. The one-year program is designed to prepare international military and civilian students with some years of professional experience for executive positions in the public and private sector.
24. The Marshall Center’s College of International and Security Studies accepts students to participate in its internship program. The duration of the internships range generally from four to twelve weeks. All nationalities may apply; however, applicants from outside the European Union, are subject to the regulations of the Federal Employment Agency and will require a work permit.
25. As promised, it’s time to take a look at the publications and policy analysis department at the Marshall Center. Research at the Marshall Center involves both publications by our Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and invited outside experts, as well as collaborative efforts by Faculty, Fellows, Alumni, and invited outside experts, leading to multi-partner, interdisciplinary research projects that result in scholarly publications. The Marshall Center publications include the Russia Strategic Initiative research project, per Concordiam, Marshall Center Occasional Papers, Marshall Center Security Insights, and Marshall Center Papers, Marshall Center Perspectives. The Research Program has also published four book-length Research Studies.
26. Publications relating to the coronavirus and subsequent security challenges feed into the new COVID-19 section of the Marshall Center’s website. This COVID-19 section showcases these topics: Area Studies; European Union; Good Governance; Great Power Competition; Legal Aspects; and, Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
27. The Marshall Center has been offering and participating in events virtually amid the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Several of these virtual events include first-of-its-kind conferences such as the Transatlantic Security Jam – NATO-European Union Cooperation and Five Regional Centers’ Virtual Symposium on COVID-19 Implications in their respective regions.
That’s 27 facts for 27 years of excellence. There is so much more to learn about the Marshall Center. We encourage you to check out our website to find out more about us.