By Dialogo May 25, 2012 The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s (WHINSEC) Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Course Class of 2011-2012 celebrated its commencement in Ft. Benning, Georgia on May 16. Forty-eight students from the countries of Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Panama, and the United States received diplomas. Military and law enforcement officers and a U.S. civilian employee made up the class. Peruvian Army Lt. Col. Ricardo Benavides, one of the two honor graduates, distinguished himself not only with the course; he completed two Master’s Degrees in his year at WHINSEC. Benavides, along with a Colombian officer and a Mexican officer, joined two U.S. Army majors in a first for the Institute; they earned the Master of Military Art and Science degree, which previously had been available only at WHINSEC’s headquarters, the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Two U.S. Army officers and Benavides also received diplomas for the Master’s Degrees they earned from Troy University. SOUTHCOM’s Deputy Director of Operations, Brigadier General Steve Arthur, gave the commencement address and presented the course diplomas. Brig. Gen. Arthur challenged the class by calling them the ‘future’ of the Americas and praised them for their accomplishments in the course. ILE is the U.S. Army’s middle-management course, taught primarily at the Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth. The course is translated and taught in its entirety in Spanish at WHINSEC. The course is designed to educate intermediate-level Army, sister-service, and partner-nation officers to be prepared to operate in full-spectrum Army, joint, interagency, and multinational environments as field-grade commanders and staff officers. Students become familiar with doctrine, tactics, and staff procedures, apply techniques, and are capable of serving as members of, or leading, high-performing staff organizations. U.S. students attending the WHINSEC ILE Course receive essential qualifications for future promotions. Congratulations to all the outstanding Science professionals of this high and prestigious Academic Military Center. I am sorry I cannot find the name of my country, Guatemala, among those who graduated. However, I found the name of our common neighbour, the Republic of El Salvador. !!!Congratulations, then!!! Don’t tell me my friend,so Honduras is not your neighbor?… in other words, for you Honduras means nothing despite being the country that is suffering most of the ravages of which other neighbors are the culprits, for example Las Maras… but hey, life is life.