The position of CSEL was integrated into the structure of Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast (HQ MNC NE) in 2018 and has been manned by the Canadian Army. The outgoing CSEL, CWO Eric Poissant, was the second to take up the post, which he considered a tremendous honour and privilege. As emphasized in his farewell address, to serve meant dedicating oneself to something higher.
"The mandate of CSEL is not given to promote him or her but to achieve the commander's vision by working as a team." – CWO Poissant said – "The CSEL promotes the NCO corps."
He also stated that the complexities of global security placed growing demands on military personnel regardless of their ranks. As HQ MNC NE has burgeoned into the highest headquarters of the NATO Force Structure in the Baltic region, every service member should firmly adhere to the commitment of self-improvement and partnership.
"We are in the process of restructuring. We are designing the future way of how we will train and fight." – CWO Poissant reminded – "We have done a great job so far. Yet, we always need to look ahead."
While giving his first official address as the newly appointed CSEL, CWO Michael Hamilton expressed his great satisfaction in continuing the work started by his predecessors. At the same time, he spoke of his pride in joining the team of HQ MNC NE.
CWO Michael Hamilton is an experienced soldier with over three decades of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Reaching back to his previous assignments, the Chief Warrant Officer was the Regimental Sergeant Major at the Infantry School (New Brunswick), the Sergeant Major of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, and the Formation Sergeant Major at the Combat Training Centre (New Brunswick) – to name but a few of the position he held. Over the course of his military career, he served in all three battalions of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Additionally, CWO Hamilton has proven himself in real combat as he was deployed in Afghanistan. His operational experience also includes the Balkans. The newly appointed CSEL will serve in Szczecin for three years.
I look forward to working with you and, more importantly, learning from you. As we move towards our 20th anniversary and reflect on all the factors and events that brought us to where we are now, I am honoured to have the opportunity to influence and shape the next 20 years.
During the ceremony, Lieutenant General Sławomir Wojciechowski – the Commander of Multinational Corps Northeast – highly praised the professionalism and military excellence of CWO Hamilton and CWO Poissant. The General emphasized how essential it was to introduce the position of CSEL into the Corps' structure.
The CSEL provides the Commander and the Command Group with the enlisted perspective on the functioning of their organization. Equally important, he or she leads the command's efforts concerning enlisted personnel development and engagement. Even though he or she does not carry out commanding functions, they are an integral member of the leadership team. Information that CSEL conveys across the force structure reinforces the command's intent while providing feedback to decision-makers.
The ceremony concluded with the awarding of coins and certificates for soldiers and civilians who have distinguished themselves by their remarkable service.