SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED POWERS EUROPE
TALEO Job Number: 200891
Vacancy Number: A03/0121
Post Number: OSC GXCH 0010
Job Title: Historical Advisor
NATO Grade: A-3 / NATO Grade 17
Basic Monthly Salary (12 x per year): 6.854,04 €, tax free
Closing Date: Sunday 24 January 2021
SHAPE is looking for a full time professional Historian to serve as an advisor and to
provide expertise on matters of historical aspects in the context of strategic high-level
meetings, conferences, exercises and other decision-making. If you have extensive
experience as a Historical Researcher and enjoy the challenges of working in a dynamic
international environment, this post is for you.
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: Office of Chief of Staff
Post Context/Post Summary
SHAPE is the strategic level command responsible for the planning, preparation, conduct
and execution of NATO operations, missions, activities and tasks as directed by Council
in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the Alliance.
The Command Group (CG) provides and sustains strategic level command and control
capabilities to support SACEUR in exercising his command functions.
COS receives decisions of SACEUR. Directs, coordinates and supervises all activities of
the SHAPE staff and ensures that the best and most timely staff work is produced.
The Office of the Historical Advisor serves as ACO’s strategic historical research and
advisory entity and is responsible for serving as the institutional memory of plans,
operations and decisions within SHAPE and ACO.
The ACO Historical Advisor as SHAPE Command Group Advisor reports to the Vice
Chief of Staff SHAPE and provides strategic historical expertise and advice to the
SHAPE Command Group and ACO Commanders. The Advisor determines processes
relating to historical research and expertise matters for ACO and ensures the processes
The incumbent's duties are:
1) Function as principal of the Office of the Historical Advisor as ACO's strategic
historical research and advisory entity that serves as the institutional memory of plans,
operations, and decisions within SHAPE and ACO.
2) Provide advice to the Command Group (CG) on the whole range of historical
issues and the historical context of current issues on own initiative and in response to
3) Provide expertise on matters of historical aspects in the context of strategic high level meetings, conferences, exercises and other decision-making.
4) Review historical information contained in CG speeches, documents 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.
5) Provide overall direction to and develop policies for the ACO Historical
Programme, which includes issuing ACO-wide 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
downgrading/declassification decisions for ACO records.
6) Establish priorities for the work of the Office of the Historical Advisor, determining
the balance between research requests and the preservation of an accurate record of
SHAPE's decisions and actions.
7) Prepare detailed histories or staff papers on specific subjects requested by the
CG, which requires developing research strategies, conducting the research and then
writing the histories/staff papers.
8) Research and write Operational Diaries of NATO-led operations, memoranda for
the record, briefing papers, and responses to taskers and queries on historical issues
from the CG, SHAPE staff, higher/lower headquarters, and other international
9) Set priorities for and conduct an oral history program consisting of recorded
interviews with senior officers and other senior officials in order to obtain essential
information not always included in official documentation. Interview other senior officers
in ACO as required.
10) Attend important staff meetings, briefings and conferences.
11) Represent SHAPE and ACO at meetings of the NATO Archives Committee when
historical issues, the question of access to ACO records and ACO record
downgrading/declassification matters are involved.
12) Coordinate with force planners and nations to arrange for deployment of field
historians to provide historical coverage of major NATO operations and then provides
guidance to these field historians in collecting and reporting historical data from their
theatres. Conduct staff visits to these operations as required.
13) Assist staff officers and visiting official historians from the member nations with
their research in SHAPE’s older records, and conduct necessary coordination with
14) Meet with heads of historical offices of the NATO member nations and convene
meetings of these officials to discuss issues of mutual interest regarding NATO’s history.
15) Conduct downgrading/declassification reviews of older SHAPE and ACO
documents, including those held in national archives; respond to national requests for
declassification reviews of individual documents, coordinating with National Military
Representatives (NMRs) and staff subject matter experts where necessary.
16) Encourage Professional Military Development of assigned SHAPE personnel
through increasing their knowledge of Military History.
17) Prepare historical displays to assist CG in celebrating major SHAPE/ACO
anniversaries and other historical events.
18) Provide historical support to SACEUR initiatives.
19) 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.
He/she holds the authority to make the final recommendation on the release of ACO
information to third parties.
He/she decides on historical content to be released to the public for various types of use
in NATO Nations and Partner Nations and takes part in various committees.
Special Requirements and Additional Duties
The employee may be required to perform a similar range of duties elsewhere within the
organization at the same grade without there being any change to the contract.
Provide historical support to NATO Headquarters, which does not have a historical office,
by providing historical advice, responding to queries and preparing papers, lectures or
histories at the request of the NATO Archivist or the NAC.
The incumbent handles routine or special matters as directed by the Vice Chief of Staff
and the Chief of Staff SHAPE.
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 risk of injury is categorised as: No risk / risk might increase when deployed
The work is normally performed in a Normal NATO office working environment.
1) Minimum 4 years of recent experience in carrying out historical research and
writing using archival materials, as evidenced by scholarly publications and/or the
preparation of official histories and research papers.
2) Demonstrated success with development of policy, concepts and strategic papers
and their implementation.
3) Minimum 2 years recent experience in a relevant position involving managing and
leading teams in a dynamic environment.
4) Demonstrated experience in networking and coordination with internal and
external stakeholders with positive impact on decision making.
5) Proven experience of applying knowledge of historical context of the 20th and
21st century in the international relations into organizational environment.
6) Minimum 3 years experience in reporting to a high level of authority.
University Degree in history, politics, economics, operations research or related discipline
and 4 years post related experience, or Higher Secondary education and completed
advanced vocational training in that discipline leading to a professional qualification or
professional accreditation with 7 years post related experience.
English - SLP 3333 (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.
a. Professional Experience
1) Additional professional training in history or related fields, in particular an
advanced degree in history or international relations is desirable for additional research
skills and effective interaction with advanced-degree historians in national historical
offices and universities.
2) Extensive professional knowledge of the history of NATO (research, teaching,
publications, lectures, etc.).
3) Familiarity with military staff procedures through previous military or civilian
service at a senior headquarters.
4) Experience in an international organization.
1) PhD in History and/or International Relations.
English - SLP 4444 (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing)
French - SLP 3322 (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing)
a. Personal Attributes
The post requires a high degree of initiative in establishing policies and priorities.
Another requirement is considerable flexibility in order to respond to the varied requests
for information from inside and outside of SHAPE, as well as to prepare historical reports
that analyse 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 staff papers or entire histories on complex subjects requires considerable
thought and judgement.
In order to gain essential but often sensitive information from very senior officers and
officials, the historian must be able to inspire their trust and confidence in his ability to
maintain confidentiality, and he must also exercise a high degree of tact and judgement,
as well as polite perseverance, in conducting such historical interviews.
b. Managerial Responsibilities
Manages the ACO wide process of downgrading and declassification of ACO information
up to NATO CTS-A in close coordination with the NATO Archivist and advises the
Command Group on options for decisions on such matters.
c. Professional Contacts
Has direct access to and close contact with SACEUR and the other members of the
SHAPE Command Group, providing advice on own initiative or in response to requests.
Represents ACO at meetings of the NATO Archives Committee consisting of Deputy
Permanent Representatives and senior representatives of the archives of the member
As the senior NATO historian, responds to historical queries from the official history
offices of the member nations, from university professors and students interested in the
history of NATO, and from the media (in coordination with the Public Affairs Office) and
the general public.
Responds to outside requests to represent NATO by preparing papers on the history of
NATO for scholarly conferences or serving as panel chair/commentator at such
conferences, thereby interacting with university professors and officials from inside and
outside of NATO.
The incumbent assists national archives with downgrading/declassification reviews,
through the National Military Representatives.
He/she interacts closely with very senior civilian and military officials from the NATO
member nations and other VIP visitors to SHAPE on occasions of conferences,
exercises, and other high-level protocol events.
d. Contribution To Objectives
Makes a major contribution to the work of SHAPE, ACO, and the Alliance as a whole by
establishing and carrying out all necessary procedures to ensure that SHAPE and the
Alliance as a whole have an effective institutional memory so that needed information
can be provided to the Command Group, SHAPE staff and other bodies as quickly as
The Operational Diaries, chronologies of other key issues, staff studies and histories
prepared by the Office of the Historical Advisor provide information in response to
queries by the Command Group or higher headquarters that would otherwise either be
unobtainable by the staff or would require a huge amount of staff time and effort to
answer and thus could not be done on a timely basis.
The Office of the Historical Advisor products also prevent duplication of work done in the
past, provide essential information needed by current staff members and senior officers
for understanding current issues, and constitute an invaluable record of the work of
SHAPE and ACO for use by future generations.
By serving as an advisor to SACEUR and other senior officers on the historical
background of current issues, the ACO Historical Advisor provides information that
influences the decisions and policies of SHAPE and also helps avoid controversies or
embarassment to the Alliance that could otherwise arise from sensitive historical issues.
By providing professional expertise in representing SHAPE and ACO at NAC and NATO
Archives Committee meetings concerning archival and declassification issues, the
Historical Advisor assists in the development of effective NATO-wide policies.
He/she also contributes to NATO’s policy of openness by reviewing older documents for
declassification and release, preparing unclassified papers and studies, participating in
conferences about the history of NATO, and assisting the work of government and
academic historians studying NATO's history.
This post reports to OSC GXCX 0010 - Chief Of Staff (COS)
e. Supervisory Responsibilities
Direct and supervise the work priorities of a major unit in the HQ, providing professional
guidance and instruction to the staff of the organizational element and to similar
elements in subordinate headquarters in ACO.
Provide general guidance and advice within the assigned sub-functional area.
Dependent on requirements may be required to direct and supervise the work priorities
of one or more HQ multifunctional teams.
Supervise the assigned staff of the Office of the Historical Advisor (1xA2, 1xB3) and
temporary staff personnel.
Provide guidance to full-time and additional duty historians and archivists at subordinate
headquarters and deployed on NATO operations.
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 full
time, definite duration contract of three years normally followed by an indefinite duration
Given the COVID19 situation the selection process for this post will proceed in phases at
dates to be fixed according to the evolution of current limitations. On-line testing /
interviewing might be considered.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A NATO CIVILIAN POST AT SHAPE:
Applications are to be submitted using NATO Talent Acquisition Platform (NTAP)
(https://nato.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobsearch.ftl?lang-en). Applications submitted by
other means (e.g. mail, e-mail, fax, etc) are not accepted.
NTAP allows adding attachments. A copy of the qualification/certificate covering the
highest level of education required by the job description must be provided as an
Essential information must be included in the application form. All answers should
be in English.
Shortlisted candidates will be requested to provide original documentary evidence
supporting statements in their applications.
A) Only nationals from the 30 NATO member states can apply for vacancies at
B) Applications are automatically acknowledged within one working day after
submission. In the absence of an acknowledgement please make sure the submission
process is completed, or, re-submit the application.
C) Qualified redundant staff of the same grade interested in this post should inform
this office, via their HR/Personnel Office by not later than vacancy’s closing date.