Home > Uncategorized > Bosnia, Jordan, Ireland: New NATO Course Trains Global Partners

Bosnia, Jordan, Ireland: New NATO Course Trains Global Partners

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

September 21, 2013

NATO Senior Enlisted Course Help Prepare Leaders for Multinational Challenges
Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Hendrick Dickson

There are not many organisations that depend as heavily on its leadership structure as the military. In every military – in every nation – Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (CSELs) have a vital role in their success.

They are the leaders who dictate and ensure that orders from the commanders are carried out successfully.

Within NATO organisations however, the CSELs job can be even more challenging. In addition to having to lead in a joint-structure much different from their own, they must be cognizant of the array of nations – and cultures – within their command.

Two years ago, the NATO School (NSO) in Oberammergau, Germany, launched its CSEL course to provide senior enlisted leaders the tools and networks needed to be successful while assuming responsibilities as CSELs in an international setting. The aim of the course is to prepare non-commissioned officers (NCOs), designated by their nation, to serve next to the Commander in a NATO organisation by updating them on the current status of operations, NATO structure and procedures.

“There are many challenges in multi-national positions which the average CSM (command sergeant major) is not prepared for, dealing with international military unions, scope of authority, protocol etc., so this course tries to present these issues and of course broaden the network of the leaders so they know where and how to glean info that may not be readily apparent,” said Canadian Army Command Sergeant Major Michael McDonald, NATO School Command Senior Enlisted Leader.

“Our leaders need to be able to train multinational forces and advise our Commanders in such a way that it will strengthen the Alliance,” said UK Royal Marines Command Sergeant Major Marc Wicks, NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Command Senior Enlisted Leader. “Part of that is being able to work within a cohesive, interoperable team.”

The bi-annual course was structured from study groups at ACT and NATO Allied Command Operations (ACO) levels.

“This course bridges the gap, so those without formal PD training are better prepared to take on the challenges of the positions,” said McDonald. “But also for those that have formal PD training to prepare them for national CSEL positions, the course allows them to see the vast differences between being a CSM in a national position vice in a NATO type multi-national position.”

The fifth iteration of the course, held in September, included 12 CSELs representing the United States, Canada, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Jordan and Ireland.

“The best thing about it is bringing people together from different nations to learn from each other and build a camaraderie,” said Sergeant Major Necati Akpinar, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Allied Land Command. “All of these leaders from all the nations do their job the same way within their nation. We know our nation’s standard. This course is important because it is based on the NATO standard.”

Over the course of two weeks, the leaders gain more than just knowledge of NATO operations and structure, they gain the opportunity to get to know each partner nation a little better – something that will ultimately strengthen the entire Alliance.

“This is an opportunity for us all to build a good line of communication and understand that although we have different cultures, it is just different – not wrong,” said Warrant Officer First Class Mohammad al-Smadi, Senior Enlisted Leader Jordanian Military. “The friendship and communication here with NATO and all its members is bigger and bigger. Jordanian Armed Forces walk shoulder to shoulder with NATO members.”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. ralphiesmom
    September 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    “The Alliance” against the rest of us. Normalizing hyper-militarism. Why do I keep thinking of Princess Leia and the rebels?


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