General Staff of the Polish Army to celebrate Poland's Independence centenary with NATO

Polish Army parading. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The centenary of Poland’s regaining independence will also be the centenary of the General Staff of the Polish Army; as part of the planned celebrations, an away session of the NATO Military Committee will take place in Warsaw.

"In 1918, already on October 25, that is, two weeks before Poland's formal regaining of independence, the General Staff was already working to create the foundations of the Polish Army. As such, we are one of the oldest, if not the oldest institution in the state," said Colonel Tomasz Szulejko, a spokesman for the SGWP (General Staff of the Polish Army – PAP).

"We would like to give the SGWP its appropriate status and add our military and staff celebrations into the entire cycle of undertakings related to the jubilee of the 100th anniversary of the independence of the Polish state," he added.

On this occasion, the SGWP is preparing a series of activities culminating in a solemn ceremony planned for October 25, 2018 at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located at Warsaw's Pilsudskiego Square, with the participation of the head of the armed forces, the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.

"The place is not chosen incidentally. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, this colonnade, is a fragment of the Saxon Palace, which before World War II was the seat of the General Staff of the Polish Army," said Szulejko.
Earlier, in the spring, the SGWP is preparing an international scholarly conference devoted to the role and place of the General Staff in the defense system in the years 1918-2018. "We would like to organise this session at the Royal Castle," said Szulejko.

"An important event will be an away session of the NATO Military Committee. At the turn of September and October 2018, a meeting of chiefs of general staffs and heads of defence of all North Atlantic Alliance states will take place in Warsaw. This will be, in its own way, a tribute to Poland and the Polish Army. The most important commanders of all NATO countries will come to Warsaw for this external meeting, which will be a tribute to the role of Poland in the alliance, and an homage to the institutional continuity of the General Staff of the Polish Army," said the spokesman.

The 100-year history of the Staff will also be presented at the Museum of the Polish Army, the Central Military Library, as well as at external exhibitions at the SGWP building complex in Warsaw's Mokotow district, and at the Lazienki Park.