MONS, Belgium – Canadian Army Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Mathers replaced Estonian Army Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste as the 7th Allied Command Operations (ACO) Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) in a change of responsibility ceremony on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
The ceremony was presided over by Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Tod D. Wolters in the Montgomery Auditorium at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
Chief Warrant Officer Mathers joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1985 where he was first posted as a Crewman to the Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC) in Calgary. Throughout his career and multiple deployments he served at all three Canadian Armour regiments, worked for the Directorate of Military Careers as part of the Crewman Management team, the Canadian Forces Training Development Centre, served as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Canadian Forces Armour School and prior to his most recent post as CSEL of NATO's Allied Land Command based in Turkey, he completed a tour as the Chief Instructor of the CWO Robert Osside Institute.
"Now more than ever, the Alliance, the partnership of NATO members, rings truer today than it did when I was 19 years old. I believe in that, that's what motivates me to keep doing this. I love what I do and I love the work that you do," said Chief Warrant Officer Mathers.
The CSEL serves as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. CSEL is responsible for mentoring the Alliance's enlisted force and representing their needs to the leadership.
"Working in such a multinational, diverse environment, you can experience such a vast array of people and cultures which makes this position so rewarding for those of us fortunate enough to serve within ACO," said Command Sergeant Major Saliste. "This has been the unlike any other experience I've had throughout my career, and I am incredibly grateful to the command group, the community, my team and most importantly all of our Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that day in and day out make us the strongest Alliance in history and a force for peace and security around the world."
The CSEL ensures the NATO NCO Bi-Strategic Command Strategy and NCO Guidelines are nested with SACEUR's command priorities; establishes policies, procedures, and responsibilities for all organisations within Allied Command Operations to plan and execute NCO and junior enlisted personnel development programs; and works closely with Allied Command Transformation to ensure NATO School's distance learning courses are current, relevant, and nested with the resident curriculum.