Lieutenant General Mieczyslaw Bieniek
Military Representative – Poland
Lt General Bieniek was born in Krapkowice in Poland on 19 June 1951. He joined the Polish Army as an Officer Cadet in 1969. Following commissioning he served in a variety of posts including platoon leader, long range reconnaissance, company commander and staff officer in 7th Reconnaissance Battalion of 10th Armoured Division.
From 1978 to 1981 he attended the Polish Armed Forces General Staff Academy. After graduation he served as the G-3 Plans of the 6th Airborne Division. In 1983 he became COS, and in 1985 he became commander of the 16th Airborne Battalion in the 6th Airborne Division where he served until 1989. Promoted to Lt Col in 1989, he was appointed as COS and then CO of the Polish Contingent on the GOLAN HEIGHTS in the UNDOF UN Mission where he served until 1991.
After a tour of duty as a Section Chief in the OPS Division of Cracow Military District, he became a Chief Logistic Officer in MINURSO, the UN Mission in the Western Sahara Desert which he completed in 1993. Promoted to Colonel in 1994 he assumed command of the 6th Air Assault Brigade in Cracow. He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1995 and, after graduation in 1996, took over command of the 25th Air Cavalry Division. In the same year he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. In 1997 he attended the Senior Defence Management Course in Monterrey. In 1999 he took over North Polish Brigade Command in SFOR (B&H) and successfully commanded that Brigade in the field for over 7 months. In 1999 he became Chief of Crisis Management Division in the Polish MOD. At the end of 1999 he became Chief of the Exercise, Education and Training Branch in SHAPE, Belgium. In May 2002 he became Deputy Commander of the 3rd (TU) Corps (NRDC-T). During the period January - July 2004 he successfully commanded Multinational Division Central-East in Iraq, during the operation "Iraqi Freedom". Then, he was appointed as the 2nd Mechanized Corps Commander. In January 2007 until August 2007 he became Special Envoy of the SACEUR in AFGAHANISTAN where he served as an advisor of the AFGHANISTAN Minister of Defense.
In October 2007 he took office in Polish MOD where he served as an senior military advisor to the Polish Minister of Defense.
He is also a qualified Parachute Jump Master, having more than 3000 jumps. Moreover he is qualified to jump together with US, UK and Belgian Airborne Units. On 15th August 2004 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Lt General Bieniek's education includes the Army Academy, Army General Staff Academy, Royal College of Defence Studies in London, as well as the Senior Resources Management Course in Monterrey, California at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has attended several NATO courses including the NATO Nuclear Policy Course, the NATO Senior Officer Policy Course and the NATO, Crisis Management Course. Lt General Bieniek holds a Master of Arts Degree in Physical Education from Cracow Physical Education Academy as well as Phd in international security from Polish NDU. In addition to English he is also fluent in Russian. Lt General Bieniek has been awarded the Officer and Commandor Cross of the Rebirth of Poland, Golden Cross Achievement, the Golden Armed Forces Achievements Medal, The UN Medal for operations in UNDOF, the UN Medal for operations in MINURSO and the NATO Medal for operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Medal for operatons in Iraq , Afghanistan as well as US Bronze Medal of Merit.
His interests include history, literature and sports, especially tennis, snowboarding, windsurfing and parachuting. He holds the Jump Master qualification for both military and civilian parachuting with more than 3000 jumps under his belt. Lt General Bieniek is married to Grazyna. They have four grown-up children - Mieczysław, Piotr, Pawel and Magdalena.