US Marine Corps Sergeant Major McMichael Appointed First ACO Senior Non-Commissioned Officer
25 September 2003
SHAPE, Belgium – U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael became the new Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) for Allied Command Operations (ACO) during an assumption-of-responsibility ceremony held here yesterday.
Sgt. Maj. McMichael is the first NCO in history to represent the Alliances’ entire enlisted force. He will be responsible for mentoring the NCO cadre and representing their needs to SHAPE’s top leadership.
“When I became Commandant of the Marine Corps I selected Sgt. Maj. McMichael to lead the non-commissioned officer corps,” said General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. “It was the best decision I made during my tenure and now SHAPE will experience what he has to offer.”
Sgt. Maj. McMichael, a 33-year Marine, brings a wealth of experience to his new assignment. His tours have included the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark and most recently Sgt. Maj. of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Hot Springs, Arkansas native entered the Marine Corps in 1970. After completing infantry training school and basic infantry training at Camp Pendleton, California he was assigned to Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Following that post, he moved on to various positions, to include tours with the 1st Marine Division, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Marine Corps Officer Candidates School.
In addition to his responsibility as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, McMichael will be charged with offering advice to interested NATO nations on how to maximize the leadership potential of their enlisted forces.
During the ceremony McMichael stated that the new position was not about him, it was about transformation and the professional relationships between the officers and the NCO corps. “Our enlisted personnel are among the greatest resources commanders have. We bring great value to the table,” he said.
“When I asked Sgt. Maj. McMichael to come here, he postponed his retirement to assist the Alliance during a time of transformation,” said Gen. Jones. “I could think of no one better for the job.”
By 1st. Lt. Virgil Magee