Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste is the sixth Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) for Allied Command Operations (ACO) at NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). He serves as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's principle advisor on matters affecting non-commissioned members (NCM) in the Alliance. CSEL Corner: For NCOs
Additionally, he provides the ACO Force Structure and SHAPE staff with NCM development, utilization and engagement. He is also responsible for mentoring the Alliance’s NCMs and represents their needs to leadership. As CSEL, he ensures the NATO NCO Bi-Strategic Command Strategy and Guidelines are nested with the SACEUR’s command priorities; establishes policies, procedures, and responsibilities for all organisations within ACO to plan and execute NCM and junior officer personnel development programs; and works closely with Allied Command Transformation to ensure NATO School’s distance learning courses are current, relevant and available to NATO service members.
Command Sergeant Major Saliste was born in 1974 and is a native of Tallinn. He has vast experience serving as a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO) in multiple operational theatres and has proven leadership capabilities at various commands from the tactical to strategic levels. He was appointed as Estonia’s first Sergeant Major of the Land Forces as well as the first Sergeant Major of the Estonian Defence Forces, a position held for five years. His focus was improving and building the Estonian NCO Corps along with a modern NCO education system and advancing NCO involvement in leadership throughout the Estonian Defence Forces. He is also the founder of the annual Nordic Senior Enlisted Leaders Seminar, a venue focusing on cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.
Command Sergeant Major Saliste is a combat veteran who has deployed multiple times in support of NATO operations. He served as the Kosovo Force CSEL in 1999; scout platoon sergeant in the Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and a Situation Awareness Centre Sergeant Major in support of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Additionally, Command Sergeant Major Saliste served at Headquarters Allied Force Command Heidelberg, Germany—now NATO’s Allied Land Command—as the G7 Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major of the Situation Cell, and Operations Sergeant Major for the Joint Coordination Centre.
Command Sergeant Major Saliste is a graduate of various military institutions: the British Royal Marines Instructors Course/Senior NCO Course, NATO Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course, and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Class 57. His various awards include the Land Forces Silver Cross of Merit and Defence Forces Meritorious Service Cross.