The batch of command SNCOs are the first to graduate from the prestigious, regional military school in its 20-year existence.
"This [CSELC] brings together our Partner and Allied Command Senior Enlisted Leaders in order to learn how to lead our soldiers in this complex environment," said Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste, during his visit to the course in September. "Once the course is done, [the CSELs] go back to their units, their organisations and they're going to advise their national decision makers and altogether make our Alliance better."
According to the college doctrine, the course aimed to prepare Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (CSELs) to effectively advise, support, influence and enhance strategic-level leadership decision making to meet anticipated political and security challenges within a dynamic and complex Baltic regional environment.
The content covered advanced and strategic leadership, as well as national and international security, diving into strategic conversations regarding armed forces in the 21st century.
"The [students] learn individual skills that are needed for CSELs at a strategic level as well as we study their respective national security challenges," said Estonian Sergeant Major Meelis Koger, course director. "Each and every CSEL has enormous levels of experience working at very high levels within their national defence forces and that wisdom brought a lot to the course lessons."
Seven weeks of distance learning with five and a half weeks of residential studies were required to graduate the course. The graduates were from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the United States.
A student of the course, Danish Command Sergeant Major Claus Anderson, said the course is important for the regional NCO community, giving strategic guidance to senior enlisted leaders. CSM Anderson is the senior enlisted leader of the Danish Army Non-Commissioned Officer School.
The course started forming in May 2017, after its conception was raised during the Northern Europe Chiefs of Defence Conference in Stockholm. Finances were awarded, instructors selected and Allies and Partners (Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United States) contributed to building the course content. The NATO School – Oberammergau, US European Command and US Special Operations Command facilitated the course and provided subject matter experts for instruction. In addition, Canada provide a senior mentor for the pilot course.