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Command Senior Enlisted Leader  /  In Formation  /  Different Perspectives on the Swiss Armed Forces College NCO Advanced leadership Course

Different Perspectives on the Swiss Armed Forces College NCO Advanced leadership Course

LUCERNE, Switzerland -The 12 day NCO Advanced Leadership Course is in line with the proposed NATO/PfP Standards for SNCOs at OR 8/9 level. The course’s central theme is the development of leadership skills for NCOs, focusing on the international environment/units and is aimed at enhancing the cultural awareness of the participants to be able to work and lead in a multinational joint environment. The following is two different perspectives on the course the first from Sergeant First Class Mihalec Darko of Slovenia and the following from Sergeant Major Trachanis Georgios of Greece.

By Sergeant First Class Mihalec Darko, Slovenia
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the Advanced NCO Leadership Course, hosted by the Swiss Armed Forces College, which took place place in the beautiful town of Luzerne, Switzerland. The Accomodations were comfortable  and the course instructors were amazing; everything was well prepared and organized, and ran according to the plan.

At the start of this course, the instructors immediately emphasized that we would be taught not what to think, but how to think. As with most courses, the students immedately looked for their native classmates but that changed as the instructors broke us into separate gruops and made it necessary to engage with the other countries represented within our small groups. 
This course forced every student to speak and be engaged, which was quite challenging for some of the participants.  Only a few teaching aids where given to us and most of the course allowed us to share  our thoughts, experiences and feelings through debates and syndicate work. These methods ensured maximum student participation and was an excellent way to learn from eachothers experiences. This course outline included all aspects of NATO functions and also provided instructions on  Leadership, Counseling, Communication and Ethics. 


At the beginning I saw no connection between those subjects, but at the end I could see how the puzzle came together and everything started to make sense.   The most interesting part of the course for me was discovering my personal profile and learning about myself the way I never did before.
The knowledge that I have received is not so backed up with the theory, but is more experiential, and built on the basis of the sharing of experiences and feelings. This Course has opened my eyes on different cultures, religions, armies and modus operandi of members of various armies.  If I could summerize this course i was simply state:  Know Yourself, Be yourself and let other be themselves. Learn how to treat other people and always be well prepared. With a few simple tools and by taking different types of personalities into account, You can become a more successfull leader. 
 
By Sergeant Major Trachanis Georgios, Greece 
In all aspects, this was one of the best organized courses that I have had the opportunity of attending to date.  After twenty years in service and at least 7 different assignments, including a tour in NATO (ACT), I was very skeptical and thought that I knew everything that these training opportunities had to offer. 
 
Well guess what, I was totally wrong!  One the main focuses of the Advanced Leadership course was to actually take you out of your "comfort zone” where everything is clear and solved and put you in a real situation, where the parameters are constantly changing.  
 
Also, the course materials greatly enhanced your interpersonal skills by giving you the opportunity to understand how you really are and what your limitations are as a leader. During this training I was mostly impressed by the following: Infrastructure, which was comparable to a university campus.
 
The Instructors and Support staff displayed a high level of professionalism and their continuous efforts and devotion ensured that we received the best teaching experience. Finally, the closure of the training was held in one of the most symbolic places in Lucerne.  That meant a lot to me. Overall, I am very proud to be amongst the few graduates of this course and feel an obligation to transfer all this knowledge to my fellow comrades.   
 
 
I would like to say thanks, to the Swiss Armed Forces College for this extraordinary Experience and I and confident that they will continue to put forth a magnificent effort with future courses.    
 
 The 12 day NCO Advanced Leadership Course is in line with the proposed NATO/PfP Standards for SNCOs at OR 8/9 level. The course’s central theme is the development of leadership skills for NCOs, focusing on the international environment/units and will subsequently enhance the cultural awareness.

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