As a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies graduate school, Anthony Tata dealt with peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations in the conflicts of Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia. The Global War on Terror has called upon SAMS graduates to plan and strategize military operations. The United States Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and the United States Marine Corp’s School of Advanced Warfighting were created along the same lines as the SAMS goals. SAMS students like Tata worked as planners in the invasion of Iraq preparations and in post-combat occupation strategies. Regarded today as game-changers in land warfare, Army leaders prize SAMS graduates for their critical thinking skills. It has been said that the School of Advanced Military Studies is “at the forefront of the effort to remake strategic military planning for the 21st century”.
To enter the School of Advanced Military Studies, Anthony Tata took an examination, went through an interview and was assessed by a supervisor. He also completed the United States Army’s Command and General Staff School, or an equivalent education course offered through another branch of the service. The students at SAMS are largely U.S. Army field grade officers who come to their studies from combat duties. However, the Air Force, Navy and Marines, as well as the Department of State, the FBI and the Agency for International Development have successful graduates from the school. Of late, the School has been attended by students from around the world, including graduates from Norway, Republic of Macedonia and the Netherlands.
Anthony Tata’s graduation from high school did not launch him into the unknown. Tata’s ambitions had aimed high for some time as the son of teachers who served their communities as educators, a school board member and as a long term representative on the Virginia General Assembly law-making body. Tata himself laid his plans early on, and was accepted upon graduation into the United States Military Academy. USMA is also referred to as West Point, Army, The Academy or simply The Point. Located in West Point, New York, this four-year federal service academy has overlooked the Hudson River since cadets were first trained in artillery and engineering in what was then a garrison in 1794. West Point was constructed as a defensive garrison post in 1778 by Polish engineer and hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The Hudson River Chain and the high ground above a narrow S curve in the river was an excellent position for the Continental Army to stop British ships from sailing further up the river, which would have divided the Colonies. Commander Benedict Arnold of West Point committed an act of treason by trying to sell the fort to the enemy. Arnold’s treason prompted the Army to change the garrison’s name to Fort Clinton.
Anthony Tata’s alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, was idle in the years after the Revolution. It wasn’t until 1801 that the newly inaugurated President Thomas Jefferson directed the establishment of plans to establish the Military Academy at West Point, appointing the first superintendent.