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Jun 30 2022

OUTGOING COMMAND SENIOR ENLISTED LEADER MNC NE: "NATO draws strength from unity while using diversity to build a better team"

SZCZECIN, Poland - Ahead of the official Transfer of Responsibility at the post of Command Senior Enlisted Leader Multinational Corps Northeast (CSEL MNC NE), the outgoing CSEL, Chief Warrant Officer Michael Hamilton of the Canadian Army summarizes his assignment and talks about future plans.

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How do you reflect on the past three years as CSEL MNC NE?

Simply put—rewarding and challenging. Moving into a multinational organization coming from a strictly Canadian formation presented new challenges, new organizational structure, different employment models for Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) but at the same time rewarding when forward progress was made.

What do you consider your biggest achievement during your time at MNC NE?

To assist in the organizational reorganization that saw MNC NE move from a NATO headquarters to an operationally effective regional command, responsible for coordinating and commanding the deterrence and defence through the Baltic Sea Region. There was not one action that helped achieve this, but the many smaller actions and realignments over the past three years that allowed for a steady change and adaptation to our new role.

What was the biggest challenge you have encountered?

Understanding the many different manners in which NCOs are recruited, trained, employed and empowered in all the nations represented at HQ MNCNE. With 30 different member nations, NATO draws strength from unity while using diversity to build a better team. Our MNCNE NCO corps is very diverse, with different backgrounds, experiences and training. Translating this to realistic and attainable expectations was my biggest challenge.

How did you find your stay in Szczecin, Poland?

My time in Szczecin has been incomparable when compared to all my other postings and assignments. My knowledge of Poland and the Baltic Sea Region was limited and spotty at best before 2019. In the past three years, I've been fortunate to experience much of the local entertainment, culture, events and most of all the people.

What are your plans for the future?

Retirement from the armed forces to a small town in Northwestern Ontario. Lots of fishing, hunting, golf and outdoors time. On the days when the weather keeps me in, there is a wood stove in the garage/workshop where I have no shortage of projects to keep me busy. I will look for ways to continue to contribute to those in uniform as those opportunities present themselves. Our profession of arms is a unique culture that is very hard to completely let go of. Comradeship, selflessness, sacrifice and dedication have become a part of what we are and I will use those traits by providing coaching/mentoring/leadership to our Cadet program when possible. I fully intend to make more trips back to Poland as there is still much to see and do!

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CWO Michael Hamilton had served at CSEL MNC NE for three years (2019-2022). 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 was deployed in Afghanistan. His operational experience also includes the Balkans.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin
Poland