New Commander-in-Chief designated for Polish Army

General of arms Rajmund Andrzejczak has held the position of the Polish Army’s Chief of General Staff since July 3. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Poland’s president Andrzej Duda designated the Polish Army’s Chief of General Staff gen. Rajmund Andrzejczak as the future Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces should the country be at war.

The presidential decision was issued upon PM Mateusz Morawiecki’s request, whereas the official appointment will take place on August 15, during Poland’s Armed Forces Day.

The National Security Bureau (BBN), a Polish government agency executing tasks given by the President of the Republic of Poland regarding national security, stressed that the designation of the Polish Army’s Chief of General Staff as Commander-in-Chief is in accordance with recent structural changes to the command of the Polish Armed Forces prepared by the Defense Ministry.

Changes in the army's command and control system, previously effective since 2014, which entrusted the general staff with the functions of strategic planning, but not of commanding, were one of the defense ministry's first announcements following the ruling Law and Justice party's victory in the 2015 parliamentary elections.

In line with the act on the general obligation to defend the Republic of Poland, the Polish president, being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, designates, at the motion of the PM, a person to be Commander-in-Chief in case of an armed conflict.

The Commander-in-Chief, in line with the Constitution of Poland, commands the Armed Forces and other organizational units according to national plans of the Armed Forces’ usage for the defense of the state. Gen. Andrzejczak will also be responsible for planning the strategic use of armed forces, the preparation and training of armed forces, participation in foreign missions and advising the Defence Ministry's top officials.

Born in December 29, 1967 in the city of Świdnica Śląska in southwestern Poland, Gen. Andrzejczak graduated from the Stefan Czarniecki Officer’s Upper School of the Armored Forces in Poznań, the Czersk Army’s Defense Academy, the Academy of National Defense in Warsaw and the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom in London.

Gen. Andrzejczak has already been awarded the Commander's Cross (second class) of the Order of the Military Cross for “distinguished service, sacrifice, and courage in action against terrorism in the country or during foreign deployments of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland in times of peace,” as well as numerous other awards.

Gen. Andrzejczak also received the Star of Iraq for his service in the country between 2007-2013, as well as the Star of Afghanistan. He was also decorated with the Armed Forces’ silver medal for service to the Homeland, and the medal of Merit for National Defense.

Gen. Andrzejczak has held the position of the Polish Army’s Chief of General Staff since July 3.