Joint Command and General Staff Course

Courses: 2016 - 2017 


The Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) was developed in 2003 (previously named as a Senior Staff Course) to prepare selected officers for leadership and key staff appointments within a combined joint headquarters and educate officers on future trends and their potential effect on operations. The main focus of the course is at the operational level, with a strong emphasis on Joint Operations Planning within the full spectrum of contigencies. The Joint Command and General Staff Course is a uniquely multinational course, bringing together over dozen different nations each year.


The aim of the Joint Command and General Staff Course is to focus on the operational level to prepare commanders and general staff officers for joint, service, interagency and multinational environments to confront complex security challenges from Baltic and Euro-Atlantic perspectives.


The JCGSC comprises five Learning Areas, each containing discrete and sequential core modules including variety of curriculum activities. These activities are optimised for residential delivery and are designed to attain the desired level of learning in the applicable subject. Additionally, the course provides the great learning opportunities through the study trips and a major exercise in Sweden.

Learning Outcomes

The provision of education through the JCGSC is organised around six key learning outcomes. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and analyse the factors which shape the international system and how these affect small/medium states’ security context.
  2. Understand and analyse the use of military capability across the full spectrum of conflict in single service, joint, interagency and multinational environments; and its practical application at the operational level.
  3. Understand and analyse the principles of defence management in policy, capability and resource development.
  4. Apply dynamic leadership as a commander and in leading staff functions, nationally and internationally.
  5. Apply research and problem-solving skills in the institutional and operational context within national and multinational frameworks.
  6. Apply communication skills required to be effective in the institutional and operational context within national and multinational frameworks. 

Educational Approach – Stimulating Creative and Critical Thinking

The JCGSC’s educational philosophy is predicated on a combined educational approach, including lectures, seminars and small group (syndicate) activities, to facilitate adult learning. Consequently, the primary responsibility for learning and achieving the specified learning outcomes is placed on the student. To help facilitate this, the JCGSC – and the wider Baltic Defence College – aims to provide the best possible educational environment for learning to take place. Thus, active learning and the full participation and contribution of all students is heavily encouraged; this allows students to share their knowledge, experience and learning with others in an open and positive environment.

JCGSC Graduates

Over sixty percent of the college’s graduates pass through the challenging Joint Command and General Staff Course. The college has so far conducted fourteen JCGSCs.

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