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Apr 30 2019

ACO bids farewell to departing, welcomes new CSEL

MONS, Belgium - Croatian Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Davor Petek, outgoing command senior enlisted leader (CSEL) of Allied Command Operations (ACO), turned over his position to Estonian CSM Siim Saliste during a change of responsibility ceremony at SHAPE on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 

General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), presided over the ceremony, thanking CSM Petek for his efforts as the command's senior enlisted leader.   

"I've seen great growth take place throughout Allied Command Operations over the past four years," said outgoing ACO CSEL, Command Sergeant Major Davor Petek. "Our NCOs remain the backbone of NATO military forces and continue to train and develop to consistently improve readiness and resilience. They are educated, employed, enabled and empowered." 

(From Left) Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste, Allied Command Operations Command Senior Enlisted Leader, General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, CSM Davor Petek, outgoing ACO CSEL, salute during a change of responsibility at SHAPE, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (NATO photo by MC1 Brett Dodge, Navy)

Command Sergeant Major Petek was essential in updating the NATO NCO Bi-SC Strategy and Guidelines, increasing professional development programs for NCOs and junior officers throughout ACO and improving the NCO corps in Allied and Partner nations.  

General Scaparrotti also welcomed the new ACO CSEL, CSM Saliste, to his new position and headquarters.  

"Although I am new to the position, I am not new to being a part of NATO," said incoming ACO CSEL, Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste. "We have exceptionally dedicated military forces ensuring the continued peace and prosperity of the Euro-Atlantic region and I'm grateful for my chance to be a part of this continued lineage."   

The ACO CSEL serves as the principal advisor to SACEUR on matters affecting non-commissioned members (NCM) in the Alliance, while providing the command's force structure and SHAPE staff with NCM and junior officer development, utilisation and engagement.   

Command senior enlisted leaders are relatively new to NATO; CSM Saliste is the sixth ACO CSEL and the second non-US to fill the position. 

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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