Sgt. Walter Malecki achieved a milestone for the Army in February when he arrived at Camp Kosciuszko in west-central Poland.
The security cooperations specialist is one of the first soldiers to receive a permanent change of duty station to Poland, joining the service’s Victory Corps at its new forward headquarters on NATO’s eastern flank.
“[Malecki] is not just another [s]oldier changing duty stations,” Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher A. Prosser said in a service release Wednesday. “His presence here, as a U.S. Army [s]oldier, continues to solidify our relationship with Poland.”
In the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced at a NATO conference in June 2022 the permanent presence of U.S. forces in Poland. There are approximately 10,000 American personnel currently stationed on rotation there, the Department of State said in October 2022.
Poland, a strategic NATO ally, led calls to send Western tanks to defend its neighbor Ukraine and continues to be a principal contributor of military aid to the country.
“The permanent presence of V Corps [s]oldiers in Poland plays a vital role by boosting and assuring operational readiness,” the release said.
Victory Corps, which the Army resurrected to help oversee forces in Europe, splits its headquarters between Camp Kosciuszko in Poznan, Poland, and Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The new permanent tours in Poland, also open to Reserve and National Guard soldiers, are slated to last one year and would be unaccompanied by family, the release said. Previously, soldiers assigned to V Corps were required to do nine-month rotations.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media