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Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bartelle replaced Sgt. Maj. Alford McMichael as NATO’s senior noncommissioned officer during a ceremony Monday at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.

Marine Gen. James L. Jones, supreme allied commander Europe, presided over the event, which included the official passing of the sword that represents responsibility for all enlisted personnel in NATO, according to an alliance news release.

McMichael had served in the position since 2003, when he was selected by Jones as the first NCO to preside over allied command operations.

In addition to his new assignment, Bartelle will maintain his current duties as senior enlisted leader for the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

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