Ulm, Germany - Since July 2023, the Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) has a new Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL). Command Sergeant Major Torsten Steinberger explains, how he interprets his role in this young NATO headquarters.
My main focus as CSEL is the same as at all other posts I had: Serving the best way I can, to get the best outcome for the mission of JSEC
What is the CSEL in JSEC?
The Command Senior Enlisted Leader ensures and enhances the achievement of JSEC’s mission by providing leadership and mentorship directly to the command. He is the advisor in all matters concerning JSEC's non-commissioned officers and the staff as a whole. Therefore, the CSEL is the main link between the enlisted personnel and the higher command. His duties include the dissemination and promotion of command policy and matters that support mission accomplishment. He also upholds and enforces the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, while enhancing active communication at all levels of command throughout JSEC. The CSEL reports directly to the commander, advising and providing input and advice in matters affecting operational mission success.
In July 2023, ommand Sergeant Major Torsten Steinberger became the new CSEL of JSEC.
OR-4 Gina Seegert
CSM Steinberger likes the transformational leadership style as it works in a way that followers identify themselves with their leader due to a more mentor like leadership.
OR-4 Gina Seegert
Who is the new CSEL?
Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Torsten Steinberger is the new CSEL in JSEC and took over in July 2023. He moved with his family to Ulm to focus on his job as well as having his wife and daughter around him. “This creates a good balance between strategic thinking and discussing minor issues like what kind of food will be provided”, he says with a twinkling eye. In his past career that was no self-evidence. The 1979 born army soldier is looking back on a 24 years lasting military career that brought him to several stations all over the world. For instance, he has been part of the German Rapid Reaction Forces for Military Evacuation Operations as well as Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Right before his step to JSEC he was serving as Personal Assistant for the Chief of Staff (COS) of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. Demonstrating that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body, the 44-year-old family father enjoys intensive sports like extreme running, CrossFit and martial arts in his free time.
How to become a CSEL?
The CSEL in JSEC is a soldier, that had to qualify for this position over years. CSM Steinberger reached this post on July 2023, but his first thoughts about this new military position came in his mind years earlier. “In 2020 I was on a point in my military career, where I had to decide what I will do in the future”, Steinberger is saying. “As in Germany there isn`t any CSEL structure, I was looking for a position above the company level, which gives me the chance to grow personally and military wise as well. After various talks with several generals and the confirmation, that I could reach the professional level to become a good CSEL I heard in early 2022, that JSEC was looking for a new CSEL and applied for the position. Thankfully Lieutenant General Alexander Sollfrank was choosing me and the journey went to the next level.” CSM Steinberger followed on 1st Warrant Officer Henry Sanday, who was the first CSEL in JSEC’s young history.
Every Command has his history or special structure and composition of individuals which you as a CSEL need to understand to serve the mission the best
What trainings are needed to become CSEL?
Until a soldier is implemented in his role as CSEL, he or she has to complete a special training. “I went to the Baltic Defence College and participated in the CSEL Course in Tartu Estonia”, Steinberger explains. “This course included lectures in strategic leadership, leadership in a multinational environment, national security and national power, multi domain operations and many more. So, all in all a great source of learning at the Strategic level environment.” But the main leading competences for this post, JSEC’s new CSEL has appropriated over his whole military career: “All my experiences prepared me for that job, especially my combat deployments to different countries and my time on 4-star-level at SHAPE which showed me how important each individual in our headquarters is.”
What personal attributes are necessary to be a good CSEL?
According to the multiple roles the CSEL unifies in his job, in CSM Steinberger’s opinion “it is important that a CSEL is ready to adapt to the Commander to the Command and the peers he is working with. Every Command has his history or special structure and composition of individuals which you as a CSEL need to understand to serve the mission the best”. He likes the transformational leadership style as it works in a way that followers identify themselves with their leader due to a more mentor like leadership. Steinberger: “This means, the respective leader will try to empower the soldiers and strengthening the relationship while using individualized communication and personalized attention to find a good balance between the individual needs of the soldier and the needs to fulfil the given organizational task.”
What is the main focus of the new CSEL in JSEC?
CSM Steinberger has a clear vision of the next years as CSEL in JSEC: “My main focus as CSEL is the same as at all other posts I had: Serving the best way I can, to get the best outcome for the mission of JSEC”, he says: “One of the key tasks will be the non-commissioned officer development process, as it is of utmost importance to show the nations that contributing to NATO’s mission is also beneficial for their armed forces. As their soldiers come back more experienced and well trained.”