Lieutenant General Mieczysław Gocuł
Chief of Defence – Poland
Lieutenant General Mieczysław Gocuł was born on 21 May 1963 in Choszczno in North-Western Poland and began his military career in 1983. After graduating from the Armoured Officer College in 1987, he took command of a tank platoon in the 9th Mechanised Regiment, 12th Mechanised Division followed by command of a training tank platoon and training armoured company within the same Regiment.
After graduating from the National Defence University in Warsaw Lt Gen Gocuł was appointed Tank Battalion Commander in the 6th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 12th Mechanised Division. In 1999 he graduated from the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College and joined the 6th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 12th Mechanised Division as the Chief of the Training Section in this unit.
Between 2001 and 2003 Lt Gen Gocuł was the Chief of the Operation Section and subsequently the Chief of the G3 Operational Branch within 1st Mechanised Corps. In 2003 he served in the stabilisation mission in Iraq as Chief of the G3/5 Operational Branch of the Multinational Division Centre-South. From 2004 to 2005 he served in the Polish Joint Operational Command, firstly as the Chief of the Operational Team, within the Organisational Group, and latterly as Chief of the Operational Planning Branch, within the Planning Centre, before becoming Deputy Chief of the Planning Centre.
In 2005 Lt Gen Gocuł attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in Great Britain. Upon graduation he was appointed to the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces as the Deputy Chief of the J3 Operational Planning Directorate. He was then appointed as Chief of the J2 Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Directorate. Simultaneously, at the same time he assumed the position of the Polish Member to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in the Republic of Korea. In 2008 Lt Gen Gocuł became the Chief of the J5 Strategic Planning Directorate and subsequently in October 2010 he became the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in 2011. On the 7th of May 2013 he was appointed as the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces.
Lt Gen Gocuł is married to Hanna and they have two children. His interests include bridge and football (in a watching capacity only in recent years).