President appoints new army commander for Poland
President Andrzej Duda appointed Gen. Jaroslaw Mika as the new general commander of Poland’s armed forces, while relieving Gen. Miroslaw Rozanski, who had decided to leave the army.
"This position and the responsibility that it involves is going into the right hands," President Duda said as he appointed Mika during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.
He also noted that Mika’s responsibilities include taking part in the process of continued modernisation of Poland’s armed forces to make sure "they function well on an everyday basis and, above all, take good care of the safety of citizens."
Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz thanked Rozanski for his service, calling him "a soldier who has a number of significant achievements under his belt." He added that the job now goes to another "experienced officer with a huge record of achievements."
The outgoing commander of Poland’s armed forces thanked the president for his "warm" farewell words at the ceremony and said that "the army can be a source of pride for Polish society."
He also said that the armed forces under his command have undergone a "metamorphosis" in recent years.
"The last 15 years has been a time of change in equipment, procedures, training, but most important, in my opinion, it has been a time of change in the mindset of our soldiers," Rozanski said.
Rozanski was formally recalled by the president in late January. This was after he decided to leave the army in December.
Mika, 55, was previously commander of the 11th Armoured Cavalry Division beginning in February 2014. Earlier he was deputy commander and chief of staff in the 12th Mechanised Division in the northwestern city of Szczecin.
Mika has also held senior roles in Poland's military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.