NATO Allies and partners join forces to strengthen the professionalisation of Non-Commissioned Officers
The Croatian Ministry of Defence hosted the 2nd Annual Conference of Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academies and Schools (18-20 September 2023), in cooperation with NATO’s international staff and the Partnership for Peace Consortium. The event in Split, Croatia, marked an important step in the process of further professionalisation of Non-Commissioned Officers across NATO Allies and partners and confirmed the indispensable role that NCOs perform in modern military operations.
In his opening address, Tom Goffus, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Operations, said that: "a strong, vibrant, innovative Non-Commissioned Officer Corps is the hallmark and engine of successful, western, modern, democratic militaries. Since 2009, as part of the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), NCO professional development teams have assisted partner nations enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of professional NCO corps through training and education.” He added: “in response to growing demand, we are introducing the NCO School Instructor Development Reference Curriculum, intending to establish, develop, or supplement professional development courses for instructors at NCO schools".
Major General Slaven Zdilar, Commander of the Croatian Defence Academy, reaffirmed Croatia’s commitment to support NATO’s efforts towards NCO development in Allied and partner countries, and highlighted that professional NCOs are the backbone of modern and interoperable Allied militaries.
Multinational NCOs and experts on professional military education shared views on different topics, including the implementation of the instructors’ development guide, roles, responsibilities and career advancement for NCOs, and the appointment and responsibilities of Commandants of NCO Schools. The discussions drew from real-world experiences, including insights from Ukrainian NCOs, who offered invaluable lessons from the frontline.
For more information on the Instructor Development Reference Curriculum, see: NATO - Topic: Non-Commissioned Officer School Instructor Development Reference Curriculum