Monday, October 16, 2017

Historian, A-2. SHAPE, Mons. Open until 20 October 2017


TALEO Job Number: 170425

Vacancy Number: A13/0817

Post Number: OSC ZOH 0020

Job Title: Historian

NATO Grade: A-2

Basic Monthly Salary (12 x per year): 5.260,30 €, tax free 

Closing Date: Friday 20 October 2017

Duration of contract: Serving staff members will be offered a contract according to the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations (NCPR).  Newly recruited staff will be offered a definite duration contract of three years normally followed by an indefinite duration contract.    


SHAPE, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, is the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of the two major military commands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).  ACO safeguards an area extending from the northern tip of Norway to the eastern border of Turkey.  This equates to nearly two million square kilometres of land, more than three million square kilometres of sea, and a population of about 320 million people.


Location: Casteau/Mons, 60 Km south of Brussels (Belgium)

Division: DOM

POST CONTEXT SHAPE is the Strategic Headquarters for Allied Command Operations. The Directorate of Management (DOM) is on behalf of the Chief of Staff (COS) responsible for the direction and coordination of selected aspects of the day to day operation of SHAPE as well as the assurance of the provision of essential support facilities and services to the headquarters, co-located agencies and units and, to individual staff members and their families. The Knowledge Management (KNM) Branch is responsible for facilitating, coordinating and implementing Command Group (CG) requirements through the assessment, direction and management of staffing operations, services and CIS Support to SHAPE. It is also responsible for Information Management and Knowledge Development across ACO in support of the comprehensive approach to planning and executing operations.  The Historical Office is responsible for:  -  Maintaining an accurate historical record of NATO-led operations and key ACO issues to meet the information requirements for future staff use and the historical record of ACO;  -  Advising the CG on the historical aspects of current issues and operations;  -  Satisfying the historical information requirements of the CG, SHAPE Staff, and higher/lower headquarters concerning past/present operations and issues;  -  Preparing histories, staff studies and information papers for the CG and other key staff members;  -  Declassifying older SHAPE and ACO records and assisting the work of the NATO Archives Committee.  The SHAPE Historical Office serves as the institutional memory for SHAPE and ACO by preserving key historical data, providing historical advice to the CG and staff, and responding to requests for historical information from inside and outside the headquarters. The Historian serves as the Assistant SHAPE Historian in the Historical Office.

REPORTS TO Chief Historical Office, OSC ZOH 0010.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES The incumbent’s duties are : a) During absences of the Chief of the Historical Office, exercise his/her functions, including contacts with higher and lower headquarters and outside organisations and individuals in coordination with and directed by the Chief of the Historical Office. b) Provide advice to the Command Group (CG) on historical issues. c) Review historical information contained in CG speeches and publications to ensure that they are accurate and that sensitive historical issues are handled in such a manner as to avoid controversy or embarrassment to SHAPE/NATO. d) Assist in developing policies for the ACO Historical Programme, which includes issuing guidance on determining the historical significance of older records for preservation decisions, preparing historical summaries of the activities of SHAPE and ACO for future rapid reference, and taking downgrading/declassification decisions for older records.  e) Supervise the work of the office’s Historical Assistant and manage the clerical and administrative functions of the office.  f) Establish policies and procedures for administering the office’s extensive document holdings and serve as the office’s Security Officer, ensuring the correct application of NATO security procedures for the accounting, production, storage, classification, receipt, dispatch and destruction of classified material. g) Prepare detailed histories on specific subjects as requested by the CG, which requires developing research strategies, conducting the research and then writing the histories.  h) Research and write staff studies, memoranda for the record, briefing papers, and responses to taskers and queries on historical issues. i) Collect information from a wide range of sources on current crisis situations and NATO-led operations and then prepare constantly updated Operational Diaries for use by the CG, SHAPE staff, and any subordinate headquarters in ACO involved in planning or operations related to the crisis or operation. j) Prepare for and conduct recorded interviews with senior officers and other key members of the staff, as well as personnel from higher and lower headquarters and outside organisations, in order to obtain essential information not always included in official documentation. Edit the interview transcripts. k) Attend important staff meetings, briefings and conferences, taking notes for the historical record, and also participate in working groups and/or committees as directed by the chain of command. l) Assist staff officers and visiting official historians from the member nations with their research in SHAPE’s older records. m) Provide guidance to additional duty historians in all ACO Headquarters and to field historians deployed in support of NATO operations. n) Advise subordinate headquarters in ACO on the retention of documents of historical significance requiring long-term preservation and how they can be made accessible to the SHAPE Historical Office for historical research in support of the Command Group.  o) Review document holdings in SHAPE divisions to determine which documents should be transferred to the Historical Office or SHAPE Registry & Records for preservation as SHAPE historical records. p) Determine which older SHAPE and ACO documents may be downgraded or declassified and released, consulting with staff subject matter experts and National Military Representatives (NMRs) as necessary.  Then coordinate the results with the Chief of the Historical Office for final decision. q) Contribute to the development and implementation of a comprehensive records management programme for the archiving in SHAPE that encompasses all stages in the records life-cycle. r) Within the area of responsibility the incumbent is responsible for ensuring that strategic risk to the achievement of CG priorities are managed in accordance with ACO Enterprise Risk Management framework.

Legal authority is held: None Budget authority is held: None Decision authority is held: None Supervisory duties: Dependent on requirements may be required to direct and supervise the work priorities of an ad hoc or permanent team within the functional area. There are no first line reporting responsibilities. The incumbent deputises for Chief Historical Office (OSC ZOH 0010).

ADDITIONAL DUTIES The incumbent handles routine or special matters as directed by the chain of command .   The incumbent may be required to undertake deployments in support of military operations and exercises, and/or TDY assignments, both within and without NATO boundaries up to 30 days.

The employee may be required to perform a similar range of duties elsewhere within the organisation at the same grade without there being any change to the contract.

QUALIFICATIONS ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS 1.  Professional/Experience a) Demonstrated ability to carry out historical research and writing, as evidenced by scholarly publications and/or the preparation of official histories and research papers.

b) Ability to work in a multinational environment and interact effectively with senior officers. c) Knowledge of military and/or diplomatic history, preferably European, in the 20th and 21st centuries.

2.  Education/Training University Degree in history, politics, international relations or related discipline and 2 years of function-related experience, or a Higher Secondary education and completed advanced vocational training in that discipline leading to a professional qualification or professional accreditation with 4 years of post-related experience.

3.  Language English SLP 4444 (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) NOTE: The work both oral and written in this post and in this Headquarters as a whole is conducted mainly in English, and the Assistant Historian must be able to listen, speak, read and write extensively and rapidly in English.

4.  Standard Automatic Data Processing Knowledge Word Processing : Working Knowledge Spreadsheet : Working Knowledge Graphics Presentation : Working Knowledge Database : Basic Knowledge eMail Clients/Web Browsers : Working Knowledge Web Content Management : Not Required

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS 1.  Professional/Experience a) Specialisations:  - Profound knowledge of the history of NATO.

b) Specific Experience:  - Familiarity with military staff procedures through previous military or civilian service at a major headquarters. - Experience in working in an international environment, either in a multinational military headquarters or in an international organisation.

2.  Education/Training – N/A

3.  Language 2nd Official NATO language (French)  PLS 3232  (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) A reading knowledge of French is important in order to be able to use the many older French-language documents on file in the office and in the archives, and understanding French is also useful for the work of the office. 

CIVILIAN POSTS 1.  Personal Attributes The post requires considerable initiative and judgement and a high degree of flexibility in order to be able to respond to the tremendously varied requests for information from the SHAPE staff as well as from NATO HQ, other ACO HQs, outside organisations, the media and the general public. Flexibility and analytical ability are required for developing and carrying out research strategies to find needed information using resources both inside and outside of SHAPE, as well as for preparing historical reports that summarize
and evaluate the wide range of issues being worked by the SHAPE staff. There is often a need to master complex new subject areas in a very short time. Preparing for and conducting interviews of senior officers and officials requires a high degree of thought and judgement in selecting the questions to be asked, gaining the interviewee’s trust and confidence, and developing follow-on questions in the course of the interview. Judgement and a keen awareness of the political sensitivities of historical issues are also necessary in providing advice to senior officers and in reviewing their speeches and publications prior to delivery. Evaluation of material for potential downgrading or declassification requires extensive judgement.

2.  Managerial Responsibilities  Supervise the work of the Historical Assistant in the SHAPE Historical Office and also, in coordination with his/her Section Head, provide guidance to additional duty Historical Officers in subordinate headquarters in ACO and to field historians deployed on NATO operations.

3.  Professional Contacts In addition to extensive contacts with staff officers from all of the SHAPE divisions, the Assistant Historian conducts interviews with very senior officers and officials. He must therefore be able to inspire their trust and confidence in his ability to maintain confidentiality and must exercise a high degree of tact, coupled with polite perseverance, in conducting such historical interviews. The Assistant Historian also has considerable professional contacts outside SHAPE, responding to historical queries from the official history offices of the member nations, from university professors and students interested in the history of NATO, from the media (in coordination with the Public Information Office) and the general public. Coordinates with National Military Representatives on declassification issues and their requests for historical information, and maintains ties with official historians from the member nations.

4.  Contribution to the Objectives The Assistant Historian ensures that SHAPE/ACO maintains an effective institutional memory by gathering and preserving records, conducting interviews to obtain essential (and often sensitive) information from senior officers and key staff officers, and preparing written histories summarizing the activities of SHAPE and ACO. The historical chronologies and reports prepared by the Assistant Historian save considerable staff effort and prevent duplication of work done in the past. The advice provided by the Assistant Historian to the Command Group on sensitive historical issues can prevent controversial situations from arising. The Assistant Historian also assists the SHAPE staff, NATO Headquarters, and subordinate headquarters in ACO by providing needed information that would otherwise not be available.

5.  Work Environment The work is normally performed in a typical Office environment. Normal Working Conditions apply. The risk of injury is categorised as: No risk / risk might increase when deployed.



HOW TO APPLY FOR A NATO CIVILIAN POST AT SHAPE: Only applications submitted via the NATO Talent Acquisition Platform ( will be taken into consideration.  Applications submitted by other means (e.g. mail, e-mail, fax, etc) are no longer accepted.  

When completing the application form using the NATO Talent Acquisition Platform, you will be able to add attachments.  One of these attachments must be a copy of the qualification/certificate covering the highest level of education required by the job description.  If this certificate is not in one of the two official NATO languages, you should include a translation into French or English.  

Please answer each question completely, in English (preferably) or in French.  Expressions such as “please see attached CV, please see annex, please see enclosed document, etc” are not acceptable; this is a cause of immediate rejection of the application.  Particular attention should be given to Education and Experience section of your application form.

If shortlisted for an interview with the Selection Board you will be requested to provide original documentary evidence and a set of copies in support of the statements you make in your application.

If you are or have been employed as a civilian working for NATO or for any Coordinated Organization, please indicate last grade level and step held (next to your job title), and specify in which NATO body or Coordinated Organization you are/were employed.

Note for the personnel officers: if you have qualified redundant staff of same grade, please let us know by message not later than Friday 06 October 2017.

Remarks: A) Only nationals from the 29 member states can apply for vacancies at SHAPE.  The member states are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America. B) Due to the large amount of applications received for all vacancies, telephone, email or telefax enquiries cannot be dealt with.

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