Interview with the Class Leader of Joint Command and General Staff Course 2018/2019

The Class Leader is the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) students' voice to the Course Director and faculty. He/she acts as a students' representative in various matters. The Class Leader collects the corporate view of the class on significant issues and passes that opinion on to the Course Director and staff members. We are happy to introduce the Class Leader of JCGSC 2018-2019.

Name: MAJ Bjarne Barslund

Country of origin: Denmark

Military background/Professional experience:

Apr 2017 – Present Acting Commander of District Fyn, Danish Homeguard
Chief of Staff in the same period
Mar 2013 – Apr 2017 Operations officer at Homeguard District Fyn
Aug 2012 – Mar 2013 Operations officer at 1 Bde,
Signal officer 1 Bde
Feb 2011 – Aug 2012 Danish Battlegroup, Herrick 12 – Helmand MOB PRICE
Battle Captain S3,
Watch officer TOC
Apr 2009 – Feb 2011 Operations officer at 1 Bde,
Mission planning officer for Afghanistan,
Signal officer 1 Bde


Why did you decide to become a Class Leader?
I read about it in the course plan, but I did not think a lot about it in the beginning. I thought it was only for someone from the three Baltic countries. I actually told one of my new colleagues in my syndicate that if he would run so would I. As time went on, nobody volunteered, so I went to see my SGO and asked for an advice and afterwards the Course Director if he would approve a volunteer outside the Baltic states, and luckily both of them thought it was a good idea.

What does being a Class Leader mean to you?
It means responsibility towards my fellow students and the college. It also makes me proud that my fellow students made a choice and voted for me to be a Class Leader, which makes me feel very privileged.

What are your expectations to this role?
After only being the class leader for a week, I really don’t know yet. I expect to be involved with all my colleagues in ups and downs. I expect it to be challenging, but I like to be challenged. I expect that this year 2018-2019 will be a special year and it is already moving to this direction – we are the biggest class in the BALTDEFCOL history and the first time with a class leader not from the Baltic states. Also, I feel that we, students, have a great group and are off to a good start.

What are your goals as a Class Leader?
Well as I mentioned, you should ask the same question in a month. I have not set any goals, even though I have a campaign manager, but this also just underlines the group of students and our relations. I would like to state that a goal for me as a Class Leader is that everybody gets through the course and from my side that probably is the main goal. However, I would also like to have influence on this course and the direction we are going and bring our knowledge into the next and upcoming course for 2019-2020. I hope that I will be a good ambassador for our course and the college.

What are the qualities and traits that make a good Class Leader?
I think that being a good Class Leader is also to be able to meet people where they are. The ability to interact with everybody, keep an open-mind, be listening to your fellow students. Bringing humour into the context, making sure everybody is content.

What has been/will be your first task as a Class Leader?
My first goal was to have a Class Leader session with the class on the schedule every week. For me it means a lot that the class have this session in order for them to speak freely and open-mindedly on various topics. It is also the session where everybody can have their input on the ways to proceed and comments on the path we have gone through.


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