In what ways was this assignment different from the others in your military career?
Throughout my entire military career, I have never compared my assignments. Actually, what I particularly appreciate about the military profession is that it gives you an opportunity to learn, to educate yourself and to adapt to a new environment every two to three years. However, satisfaction and fulfillment are what I always want to get out of an assignment. Thanks to the people I have worked with and the opportunity to positively shape the environment, the job as Chief of Staff HQ MNC NE has been very satisfying.
What was the most challenging aspect of this post?
The COVID-19 situation and the resulting limitations and constraints have been the most defining feature of my tour of duty. A lot of last-minute adjustments were required. Therefore, everyone had to stay very flexible. Members of the HQ were not able to commute to their homes for months. Social life more or less came to a near standstill. Therefore, a key feature of a multinational HQ was missing. Life at the HQ was lacking vitality. I personally sensed the lack of oxygen within the HQ and saw how the quality of life went down in the process.
For you as a senior military leader, what is the most important takeaway from the tenure at HQ MNC NE?
Multinationalism works very well in a military environment. A vision becomes achievable if it is understood by everybody and communicated and put into practice by means of a common effort.