Wednesday, 24 October 2018 r.
Interview with Lieutenant General Mieczysław Gocuł, conducted on 18 April 2012 on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of a new Deputy Commander of Multinational Corps Northeast, Major General Bogusław Samol.

Anna Gałyga: Sir, you participated in the inauguration ceremony of a new Deputy Commander of the Corps, Major General Bogusław Samol. What are the privileges and responsibilities connected with that position?

Lieutenant General Mieczysław Gocuł: This position in the Corps, in an international structure, is very important for many reasons. First, it is a command which is located in Poland, which entails the provision of support from the Host Nation and cooperation with civilian authorities. This is the area of national responsibility which general Samol will deal with. Moreover, General Samol is Deputy Commander, and thus he shoulders the responsibility for the co-development of the Corps’ policies, its daily operation and all operational tasks. And we all know that these tasks are numerous - the mission in Afghanistan, training and joint exercises. Finally, it is maintaining the high status and prestige which the Corps has earned. I also think that general Samol’s most important task will be to support the Corps Commander.

What would you wish for General General Samol on his inauguration day?

I always wish soldiers what I wish myself: to make the work you do produce notable effects – this is why we are soldiers this is why we have prepared for this role. I wish him health and success at work. I wish him and myself as well that a Polish general becomes not only a partner for the leadership, but for every soldier of the 12 nations that currently serve in the Headquarters.

General Samol is undoubtedly one of the people who know how to win people over and who likes to stay with people and work together with them. In addition, general Samol’s advantage is the privilege of being a very experienced officer - he has insight into the military as a brigade and division commander, has had a broader view from the General Staff, has served in Afghanistan for nearly a year and so he has seen it all from a broad perspective. He knows what micro and macro means for the Corps. And so I wish him to translate his experience into tangible benefits for the good of the Corps and for the good of the Armed Forces.

How do you perceive the role of the Corps with regard to Polish Armed Forces?

This is a very unique entity at the scale of the Armed Forces, whose position is very special. This is the first unit, established on the territory of Poland, about which we may say today that it is NATO's international entity, and we attach a great importance to this. The body exists among the Armed Forces structures, but it has also its own life, it creates its policy on the basis of arranged directions of development. The Corps maintains its established position and it is such a strong body that it plays a significant role on the map of the Polish Armed Forces.

From the perspective of the fact that Poland assumes the role of a framework nation in the French Eurocorps, the Corps very well plays its role in the preparation of the Polish personnel – commencing with the structures of the Polish 2nd Mechanized Corps, through an international structure of the Forces of Lower Readiness, to which this Corps belongs to, with the assumption of the contributing of the trained personnel to the Corps of Higher Readiness, such as Eurocorps.

I think that perspectives for the Corps, defined by the Commander during discussions, are clear, transparent and reasonable and we will support them. We intend the Corps to still increase its multinational aspect; we will support subsequent countries which will be willing to join this unique structure.

And how would you evaluate the so far cooperation with the Corps?

We have never complained about the cooperation with the Corps; I am of the opinion that the cooperation is good, however, it shall be borne in mind that from the perspective of the General Staff and Land Forces there is always some “room for improvement” and it shall be searched for. We will improve forms of cooperation and interaction; the situation changes, the civil-military environment changes. Additionally, we shall remember that the times of the crisis require a special approach to the structures. I think the Corps has already established the direction for further actions in that respect and now I declare a full support of the General Staff, I am also convinced Land Forces declare a similar support.

Photo by Marian Cihon, SVK CIV