NATO establishes a new platform for cooperation amongst schools for Allied and partner Non-Commissioned Officers
The NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme has recently organized the first Annual Conference of Non-Commissioned Officer Schools, together with the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The initiative was held from 30 May to 2 June 2022 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It featured more than one hundred in person and online participants, including Commandants and Senior Enlisted Leaders, as well as Senior Instructors of Non-Commissioned Officer Schools from NATO Allies and partners.
Non-commissioned officers are vital to the success of modern militaries, as they provide the critical leadership and professional example for service members. Their ideas for development of the education systems are equally important. This conference is the result of previously organized workshops for Non-Commissioned Officers on education enhancement amongst NATO Allied and partner countries, aimed at strengthening their skills-set through communication activities, exchange programmes, curricula synchronization, and sharing of best practices.
The conference was also attended by members of the Ukrainian Armed forces, including the acting Sergeant Major of the Armed Forces. The participants received briefings on how effective education and training of Non-Commissioned Officers can influence outcomes on the battlefield. The Ukrainian presenters highlighted the changes made in their military education system, with NATO’s support, and the impact that it had on the effectiveness and sustainment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The following conference objectives were met: review programmes and courses provided by individual education institutions for Non-Commissioned Officers and discuss a framework for possible future instructor and students exchange programmes; expand bilateral and multilateral co-operation amongst different education institutions; discuss how the presented programmes are (or can be) synergised or improved by sharing best practices; and present educational areas where NATO can provide further support, through its Defence Education Enhancement Programme.