Soldiers from U.S. Army NATO Brigade pack up the flags representing 30 NATO nations at the conclusion of the Senior Army Leaders Meeting XXI in Garmisch, Germany on August 4.
Soldiers from U.S. Army NATO Brigade pack up the flags representing 30 NATO nations at the conclusion of the Senior Army Leaders Meeting XXI in Garmisch, Germany on August 4. (Photo Credit: Allison Lillemon) VIEW ORIGINAL

GARMISCH, Germany – Every year, the U.S. Army NATO Brigade staff organizes a Senior Army Leader Meeting to give leaders from 81 locations in 22 countries the opportunity to meet face-to-face and share knowledge and ideas on NATO operations and how best to support the roughly 1,300 U.S. Soldiers serving within NATO organizations.

“The SALM was a first-class event that would not have been possible without each and every one of the Soldiers and civilian employees who worked for months to organize the event,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan J. Valenzuela, U.S. Army NATO Brigade. “What you accomplished behind the scenes was once again top-notch and exceeded expectations.”

U.S. Army NATO Brigade has just a handful of people in the G3 office that spend months planning the event. Probably the most complicated aspect of the event is scheduling a host of speakers ranging from the Supreme Allied Commander Europe to experts in international relations and even including experts in such areas as children’s education and the military medical care system.

Some other key behind-the-scenes activities are organizing presentations and reading materials, providing secure network communications onsite, contracting for required services, and ensuring participants have access to safe transportation to and from the venue.

“It was amazing to see all the logistics and administrative support put in behind this world-class event that brought so many of our senior Army leaders together to talk about and synchronize with the future of NATO,” said Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Corey, senior religious affairs NCO for U.S. Army NATO Brigade.

Approximately 60 participants from across Europe attended the event this year with about 20 U.S. Army NATO Brigade Soldiers and civilian employees providing support at the event. That does not include all the military police and security guards provided by the Installation Management Command or the dozens of employees provided by the U.S. Army owned and operated Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.

“What this team does each and every day in support of our Soldiers and families is incredible yet they never seek or ask for personal accolades,” said Valenzuela. “Their professionalism and dedication is indicative of how resilient our brigade is and how we can unite as a team to make the seemingly impossible look easy.”

Every year, the U.S. Army NATO Brigade staff organizes a Senior Army Leader Meeting to give leaders from 81 locations in 22 countries the opportunity to meet face-to-face and share knowledge and ideas on NATO operations and how best to support the roughly 1,300 U.S. Soldiers serving within NATO organizations.