Page 92 - Cormorant 2019
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 The earlier I wake up, the luckier I become; A perspective from Chile Lt Col Fernando Garreto, Chilean Army
Taking part in ACSC 22 has been just great. Not only due to the academic level, the Regional Security Exercises, the amazing diverse environment or the world class infrastructure and support, but also because of the opportunity that every student has to model their own experience throughout ACSC.
Of course sometimes luck plays a role in our destiny (such as doing Ends module rather than Ways!) but I think we can do a lot to be lucky.
It is pretty much up to us how to engage with lectures, SRAs, social events, extra-curricular activities, etc. In my case, I was very lucky with the people I got in my syndicates (thanks, Dan Spencer-Healey and Iain Fake!), but also I took the opportunity to share with other students all across the cohort that made my experience even richer. Moreover, I interacted with personalities such as the former Home Secretary Jack Straw, who played a significant role in recent Chilean history regarding General Pinochet’s trial in the UK, and with the former task force commander when I served in Bosnia twelve years ago, Maj Gen Andrew Sharp.
Additionally, I was so fortunate to attend ACSC when the first version of the MRes was launched, as well as getting the opportunity to fundraise for a charity and run the London marathon. All those things and many others were possible because of the opportunities ACSC offers to all students and it is pretty much up to us to take them or not.
Finally, I sincerely expect most of us have been even “luckier” here and I’m sure we will see each other sometime in the future.
Best of “luck” to you all.
  A perspective from
the Netherlands
Lt Col Alexander Willemen, Royal Netherlands Army
For me and my TEAM (Thomas, Eva, Alexander, Mink) this year has been an absolutely amazing family adventure. In the last 12 months we tried to embrace the British life as much as possible. The boys learned “proper British” at school, wore the uniforms, Eva played golf, joined the supper clubs, I played rugby (or at least
I tried) and bought a “Disco 3” despite all the warnings, which turned out to come true. Despite the sometimes very busy programme in the CLT, we enjoyed this year to the max. Reflecting on this, we realised the uniqueness of living on a married patch; no other staff course provides the close family
quarters like here in Watchfield. For us, as foreigners, this has been a great opportunity. We were able to live as family, explore the British countryside, meet with our neighbours from all over the world, of which some of them have become very close friends, and organised some great events – like the pop-up icebar and a few BBQs – in front of our house. As a student I got the opportunity to broaden my view on political and strategic issues from different perspectives, got a Masters from King’s College London and learned new skills as a Diplomat... We are truly thankful for the opportunity to live on the patch, study during ACSC22, meet new people and enjoy our family adventure. I am looking forward to my next appointment as Exchange Officer at Army HQ!
   A perspective from Germany Cdr Stephan Klaus, German Navy
AIn August 2018 I made my way from home in the north of Germany towards Shrivenham to attend ACSC22. I had no clue what to expect from the UK Defence Academy in Shrivenham. I hoped it was near London, and that I could enjoy the London night life. However, according to Google Maps I had to drive the M4 down from London
towards Bristol, and once I reached the middle of nowhere I should turn right twice – this would then be my home for the next year.
I attended ACSC as a substitute for the German staff college.
But from the three courses that do count/qualify as a substitute, I was voluntold to attend the most challenging/busiest one – the one with the most exams
and the most deliverables. But it turned out to be a fascinating course with interesting academic perspectives. Especially the quite heterogeneous environment, with so many different international perspectives, which really made this course a unique experience. I am glad and do feel honoured to have been part of this experience.
I spent the year in Shrivenham leaving my family behind in Germany, which was hard on its own. But the great cohesion – especially in the international community – made me feel welcome. I have found some true friends here. Oh, by the way, despite the various speakers/lecturers during course feeling obliged to provide a Brexit-angle to their topics, I will not comment on the B-word. Thanks to all of you!

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