EUCOM and SHAPE Senior Enlisted Leaders talk NCO leadership
Last fall the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR) and Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Adm. James Stavridis noted how encouraged he continues to be about the ongoing work to optimize our NATO non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps; to make them leaders capable of taking on the hard challenges throughout the NATO enterprise.
NCOs form the backbone of the modern military and serve as the bridge between planning and executing all military operations. The vitality of an NCO Corps is paramount to the success of missions. Much time and resources have been devoted to assisting our allies and partners in the development of their NCO Corps, and our efforts have paid dividends.
In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, we are continuing our work to hone the abilities of a key element of the NATO NCO corps—our top senior enlisted leaders—via the annual International Senior Enlisted Leader Seminar (ISES).
ISES was launched in 2005 to broaden the professional development of key senior enlisted leaders through exposure to a wide array of relevant strategic topics impacting NATO and its member nations and the EUCOM area of operations. It's organized and led by the command senior enlisted leaders of Allied Command Operations and EUCOM, working in full partnership with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. This partnership is what sets ISES apart from every other senior enlisted developmental event.
Through joint sessions with the Marshall Center's Senior Executive Seminar (SES), ISES provides these key leaders access to a wide array of strategic topics presented by talented, internationally respected subject matter experts. And, it exposes them to leadership and problem solving in the unique multi-cultural learning environment of the Marshall Center campus.
For 2012, ISES includes senior enlisted leaders from 36 nations, the most diverse group in seminar history. This year, the seminar also welcomes 22 senior enlisted leaders from the U.S. National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. This program, one of EUCOM's most effective security cooperation efforts, links U.S. states with designated partner countries to enhance capabilities and improve interoperability; both key to effective military operations and a strong NCO corps.
The seminar provides the opportunity for discussions on issues and topics relevant across the full spectrum of military matters, the challenges collectively faced. Bringing together these diverse backgrounds creates an environment where each individual's experience and knowledge broadens the perspective of all who attend, as well as paves the way for much greater cooperation in the future.
ISES serves to deepen the senior enlisted leaders' understanding of tactical, operational and strategic issues, while improving their ability to serve at the highest levels of NATO and national command structure formations. It provides a forum in which to build upon personal exchanges, which is at the heart of smart power.
The training we do together here in Europe directly affects the missions carried out by NATO forces in locations such as Afghanistan and Kosovo and is crucial to improving the collective defense capabilities of the Alliance. It is at events such as ISES, which enable the exchange of ideas and experience, that we are able to better understand each other and build trust and confidence in one another.
ISES, NATO and EUCOM's flagship NCO event, advancing professional development, promoting international interaction and building bridges where none previously existed; between our senior enlisted leaders.