The College conducts only one course in a year. The Course starts in July and terminates in June next year. The management and organization of the complete study module for the Staff College trainees is spared over 66 weeks.
The pre course study package of 18 Weeks enables selected officers to achieve uniform knowledge base through progressive learning of essential military subjects to develop correct orientation for subsequent integration into Staff Course curriculum.
Prior to the Staff Course, 3 weeks Technical Orientation Term is conducted in the College premises by a nucleus of instructors from the College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Its mandate is to enable the students to understand the impact of technology on military operations and its application in own environment.
The duration of the Course is 45 weeks. This period is divided into four terms, each of 9 to 12 weeks duration. After the first and third terms students get a well deserved one week break, whereas after the second term the break is of two weeks duration. The allied officers usually plan their tours and travel around Pakistan during these breaks.
Every year the course starts in the month of August with the Commandant’s inaugural address in which he welcomes the participants of the course which is attended by around 365 Pakistani and 35 to 40 allied officers. Soon after the Commandant’s address, an impressive flags hoisting ceremony takes place in which the allied officers unfurl and raise their flags in the College lawns. After a soul stirring band display, the Commandant meets each allied officer, thus formally welcoming them in the fold of College community. After this ceremony the Chief Instructor addresses the students. His address covers all necessary details about the aim, objectives and syllabus of the course.
The curricular activities commence with the students’ interaction with their Directing Staff in their respective syndicates. The students are distributed in four divisions, each headed by a senior instructor of the rank of full Colonel. Most of the curricular activities take place in syndicates of ten students each which are overseen by an experienced Directing Staff of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The academic activities are based upon lectures, group discussions, tutorial exercises, sand model discussions, map exercises and war games. The teaching methodology is mostly research based with maximum contribution by the students.
The syndicate activity forms the basis of theoretical knowledge and after necessary theoretical grounding the officers are exposed to practical situations under realistic terrain condition. The students undergo a series of map exercises and war games where their decision making skills and professional knowledge are put to practical test. Faculty members assist the students in the formulation of plans and ensure that the desirable lessons are brought out for the education of the students. The College holds unique distinction of holding a tri service exercise with the student officers from Staff Courses of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy every year. Such exercises help fostering jointness in thinking and planning of three services besides cementing the bonds of camaraderie between the future leadership of three services.
Command and Staff College offers a cornucopia of extra curricular activities during the course in the shape of sports; the most popular ones being Riding, Tennis, Swimming, Cricket and Squash, excursions, picnics, social functions and musical evenings. The College community lives as a family and participates in these activities with a cheerful alacrity. Such activities act as an ideal counterpoint to the grind of curricular routine at the College.
The allied officers form a very colourful part of the College social life. Their presence lends to the College a truly cosmopolitan character. Pageantry and colour abound at social functions where the allied students show up in their national costumes. Every year the allied community is seen organizing an event called ‘International Gourmet’ in which the allied families display their national cuisine along with Pakistani officers. The event is marked by a display of folk dance, music and folk apparel.
The ladies community of the College represented by Al Nisa Club plays an active part in organizing social functions which besides polishing the domestic skills of the ladies, affords them an opportunity to actualize their latent aesthetic and artistic potential. The club which functions under the patronage of Commandant’s wife runs regular classes in domestic skills, painting, interior decoration and cuisine. Annual poolside dinner arranged by Al Nisa Club is another delightful event in which the ladies community fetes their better halves to a sumptuous dinner which is followed by a very interesting variety programme.
Annual College Festival is an important function which is organized to raise funds for the welfare of low paid employees of the College. The colourful stalls and the festive ambience also afford much sought after moments of relaxation. The festival is attended by a wide segment of armed forces and civil community and has attained a prominent place on the annual social calendar of Quetta.
The ability to laugh at one’s foibles and idiosyncrasies is a quality that helps a soldier tide over periods of stress and monotony in a routine existence. Annual College pantomime which is arranged by the students towards the end of each course, is an event which features students in the role of mimics, comedians and actors sparing no one from the barbs of their wit and humour.
Towards the concluding stage of the course the outgoing course is dined out by the College Faculty in the traditional Officers Mess which is adorned with trophies and pictures displaying College heritage. The students, resplendent in their Mess Kits, now look forward to turning a new leaf in their professional lives.
At the successful culmination of the course the eligible students are awarded Masters Degrees in Art and Science of Warfare in a Convocation Ceremony. Since the College is affiliated with the National Defence University, Islamabad for award of degrees.
The graduation ceremony marks the end of a curricular year which is attended by diplomatic representatives and military attaches of allied countries. The College Commandant awards the coveted psc certificates to the graduating students.
An impressive flag lowering ceremony is the last event of the year which takes place soon after the graduation ceremony. After lowering of the flags the Commandant bids farewell to each allied officer.
The curtain falls therefore on an eventful year!