U.S. Army Central hosted the 1st Multinational Noncommissioned Officer Symposium in El Paso, Texas at the home of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, May 18-22. Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Temirbek Khalykov, the sergeant major of Kazakhstan’s armed forces, along with senior NCOs and officers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan exchanged perspectives on the role of the NCO in the Armed Forces.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Kelley, the command sergeant major for U.S. Army Central, led the symposium which aimed to strengthen relationships and improve interoperability between partner nations. “I hope everyone learns something from this that can make their country stronger,” said Kelley. “That goes for us, too.”
The participants from each country shared their perspectives on the importance of the NCO system, and discussed how trust in professional sergeants improves the effectiveness and authority of unit commanders.
The visit to the U.S. Army Sergeant Major Academy was a return to familiar ground for CSM Khalykov, who graduated from the academy in 2008 and was inducted into the U.S. Sergeant Major Academy Hall of Fame as a distinguished graduate.
Khalykov attributes many of the improvements within Kazakhstan’s NCO Corps to the lessons he learned during his studies at the Sergeant Major Academy. He also praised the opportunity the symposium provided to be exposed to new ideas from other countries.
“The NCO Corps in Kazakhstan was developed about 20 years ago so we have done good work to develop them so far in accordance with what we’ve learned from the U.S.,” Khalykov said. “We can take what we’ve learned here from what’s worked for other countries back home with us and energize our own forces.” Kazakhstan’s NCOs will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in June during multinational Steppe Eagle 2015 peacekeeping exercise.
The first ARCENT Multinational NCO Symposium was a success, said CSM Kelley, as long as everyone found something to take back and make their NCO corps better. Kelley will travel to Kazakhstan to participate in a senior NCO conference at the Kazakhstani Cadet Corp in Schuchinsk later this summer.