Organization > Structure >

Senior Leadership

Michael A. Davis Jac-Peter Tölkes
Commandant Deputy Commandant
& Chief of Staff
Colonel (OF-5)
United States Army
Colonel (OF-5)
German Army
Ryan B.  Craycraft Gorazd Škorjanc
Dean of Academics Command Senior
Enlisted Leader
Colonel (OF-5)
United States Air Force
Command Master Chief (OR-9),
Slovenian Navy

Biography Commandant

Colonel Davis

Michael A. Davis

Colonel (OF-5)
United States Army

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As the Commandant of the NATO School Oberammergau, Colonel Michael Davis commands a faculty and staff representing 22 different NATO and Partnership for Peace nations that are responsible for the education and development of more than 10,000 students per year through more than 110 different formal education courses.

Colonel Michael A. Davis graduated Cum Laude and was commissioned from James Madison University as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1995. His early career included Airborne and Special Forces assignments at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Ft. Benning, Georgia; and Ft. Carson, Colorado. Colonel Davis’ operational deployments include multiple peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and combat operations in Operations IRAQI FREEDOM I, II, III, and IV.

Colonel Davis began Foreign Area Officer (FAO) training in 2005. Following his initial FAO studies in European Affairs and an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, Colonel Davis conducted numerous international assignments such as the U.S. Liaison to the Turkish Special Forces, the U.S. Military Exchange Officer to the Belgian Defense Forces, and at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters in Brussels, where he served as the Aidede- Camp to the Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

Subsequently, Colonel Davis served as the U.S. Army Attaché to the Republic of Austria and as an Arms Control Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Following graduation from the U.S. Army War College, Colonel Davis served as the Military Assistant and Speechwriter for the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, NATO’s senior military officer. Colonel Davis then served at the U.S. Embassy in Rome as the U.S. Military Attaché to the Republic of Italy.

Colonel Davis enjoys skiing, history, hiking, swimming, and reading/writing about leadership, international affairs, and energy security. Colonel Davis is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the French Army Staff College (CSEM) and holds a B.A. from James Madison University, an M.A. from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an A.A. in French from the Defense Language Institute.

He and his wife, Kelly, have an eight-year-old daughter, a six-year-old son, and a five-year-old daughter.

Biography Deputy Commandant & Chief of Staff

Colonel Toelkes

Jac-Peter Tölkes

Colonel (OF-5)
German Army

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As Chief of Staff, Colonel Jac-Peter Tölkes supervises, directs, and coordinates the day-to-day operation of the NATO School Oberammergau with its staff body of about 200 personnel. He reviews, evaluates, and coordinates correspondence studies, procedures, and directives concerning plans, procedures, and operations and acts as the reviewing and coordinating official for all matters requiring the Commandant’s attention to include budget matters and fiscal documents.

Colonel Jac-Peter Tölkes started his military career in 1981 when he joined the German Armed Forces for basic training followed by the Officers' Candidate Training at the Armored Troops School in Munster. In 1986 he graduated with a Master of Science diploma in Educational Sciences at the German Armed Forces University in Munich. From 1986 to 1994 Colonel Tölkes attended several officers' courses in Hammelburg and Hannover and served as Platoon Leader, Company Commander and Deputy Battalion Commander. In 1996 he graduated from the General Staff Officer Course at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Hamburg. In 1998 he graduated from the French General Staff Courses in Paris.
Hereafter, he has served in a variety of positions such as Commander Mountain Infantry Battalion 233 in Mittenwald. Furthermore, he served at French Ministry of Defense, and as section head in Bundeswehr Transformation Centre. Prior to assuming his assignment at the NATO School he served as ACOS Training and Exercise (CJ7) at Multinational Joint HQ in Ulm.

In support of SFOR he has deployed to Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina in 1999/2000. As part of the ISAF mission he has deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003, and as part of the RS mission again to Kabul in 2019/2020. Furthermore he served as COS for establishing the EU Ops Centre in 2012.

Colonel Jac-Peter Tölkes is married and has two children. He and his wife live in Bavaria.

Biography Dean of Academics

Colonel Ryan B. Craycraft

Ryan B. Craycraft

Colonel (OF-5)
United States Air Force

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Colonel Ryan Craycraft is the Dean of Academics and Senior National Representative for Student Affairs at the NATO School Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany. As Dean, he is responsible for ensuring the program of instruction, comprising more than 110 courses educating over 10,000 students annually, meets current and emerging training needs of the Alliance and a host of partner nations. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Inspector General for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-U.S. Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he led the inspection program including responsibility for scheduling, planning, and conducting Unit Effectiveness, Nuclear Surety, and Joint Safety and Security inspections, as well as the command’s complaints and resolution program.

Colonel Craycraft is a 1994 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He has also served as the 49th Wing Vice Commander at Holloman AFB, NM. Additionally, Colonel Craycraft commanded an MC-12W squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan and completed a joint tour as an arms control inspector and escort for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Colonel Craycraft is a command pilot with over 3,000 hours in the MQ-9, MC-12W, F-16, and T-38. He has more than 950 combat hours in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM.

Biography Command Senior Enlisted Leader

MCPO Škorjanc

Gorazd Škorjanc

Command Master Chief
Slovenian Navy

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As the Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Command Master Chief (CMC) Škorjanc serves as an advisor to the Commandant and the staff element leadership. He makes recommendations to the Commander on all matters pertaining to NCO ranks. He leads the NCOs and enlisted personnel of the school, ensures policy compliance, adherence to standards in performance and maintenance of good order and discipline.

CMC Škorjanc, a native from Celje, Slovenia, enlisted in the Slovenian Armed Forces in March 1993. Following completion of the Non-Commissioned officers’ school in Ljubljana, he reported to 460th Training Centre, Postojna, where he started his career as an Infantry Instructor.

After a year of successful work as an Infantry Instructor, he advanced to Platoon Sergeant. In 1996, he reported for duty in the Slovenian Armed Forces Naval Detachment where he successfully completed training on the Fast Patrol Boat (FPB), and assumed the position of Chief of Navigation and Artillery Department on-board FPB ANKARAN-21, where he stayed until 2003. In 1998, he was promoted to the Executive Officer and in 1999, assumed the position of Commanding Officer.

In 2003, CMC Škorjanc was transferred to Joint Force Command, Vrhnika, where he was assigned in J3 as the Operation Planning Assistant. His secondary duty, as a leader of the NCO’s board, was to develop the NCO Core at the Slovenian Armed Forces.

From 2005 to 2009 he was assigned at the NATO Maritime Component Command, Naples, Italy as a Staff Workflow & Information Management Assistant. CMC Škorjanc received an award as “NCO of the Semester” for his outstanding performance.

In 2009, CMC Škorjanc was transferred to General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces and assumed the position as CSEL of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces.

In July 2012 he was deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months as Senior Enlisted Advisor and CSEL to the ANA Training and Education Command Training Advisory Group.

In 2014 he was transferred to Joint Operation Centre, Vrhnika where he assumed the position as CSEL of the Joint Operation Centre.

Since August 2016 CMC Škorjanc is assigned to NATO School Oberammergau, NCO PD in position of Course Director / Instructor and Deputy Department Director. Additionally, CMC Škorjanc holds an Associate Degree of Maritime Transport. He has completed courses as Platoon Leader, Tasker Tracker Functional Admin Course, WISE Ops and Admin Course, NATO Senior NCO Leadership Course, NATO CSEL Course, and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, Class 158.

He is married to his wife Suzana and has two children, Liza and Blaž.