Top enlisted member blazing a trail
29 November 2004
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mellissa M. Novakovich
McMichael and his staff have come up with a training program to create a more cohesive NCO corps among the NATO ranks.
“We’ve established three levels of training: a preliminary leadership course, an intermediate leadership course and an advanced leadership course,” McMichael said. “We hope to take these programs to the Joint Education Center in Oberammergau, Germany.”
To further enhance the ACO NCO corps McMichael with personnel from the George C. Marshall European Center are developing an international senior non-commissioned officer seminar (ISNS) to be held at the Marshall Center located near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
“The ISNS seminar is for sergeants major and senior enlisted members from all NATO countries to learn how to further enhance the enlisted corps,” McMichael said.
Although both of these innovative ideas are still in the planning stages, a joint mobile training team (JMTT), established by the Joint Force Command-Naples senior NCO, is delivering the course in the meantime. The team’s mission is to travel to allied nations that wish to enhance their NCO corps and provide them with training.
Once the team arrives in a requesting nation, they hit the ground running to assess, evaluate requirements and further professionalize their NCOs.
“The appetite for this type of training is greater than
we had anticipated,” McMichael said. “The speed
at which we are moving has caused even greater interest in the
The progress of this new program has been remarkable. However,
blazing a new NCO trail hasn’t been easy. “ The
challenges you face are almost always the same, there are generational
challenges, you have to keep the current generation informed
while trying to build future generations,” he said.
Another challenge of this new enlisted education system is finding new ways to make the program better, “identifying where the lanes of improvement can take off and show improvement within 5-10 years so we can become a more global, agile, streamlined expeditionary force,” he said.
Before arriving at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, McMichael was set for retirement. Upon his arrival here he found himself with a new found energy to do something that would affect more than one service or country.
“It’s my goal to see the gray line blurred between the officer and NCO training process, building confidence so leaders have the courage to delegate. That means great leadership,” he said.
Everyday McMichael feels he is one step closer to the goals
of the alliance. Everyday we complete another piece of the puzzle,”
he said. “We are finding ways to come together for the
good of the alliance, faster than people ever could have imagined.”