Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

General Franciszek Gągor

2006 -

General Franciszek Gągor was born in 1951 in Koniuszowa near Nowy Sącz, Poland.

He graduated from the Mechanized Infantry Officer College in Wrocław
in 1973 and holds a master of arts degree in English philology from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (1983).  In 1998 he earned a doctorate in military science from the National Defence University in Warsaw.  The General also graduated from the NATO Defense College in Rome in 2001 and in 2002 he was
a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College of the National Defense University in Washington DC.

In 1973 General Gągor was appointed to his first military assignment as part
of the 2nd Tank Regiment, 10th Armoured Division in Opole, where he remained in various command posts at junior ranks until 1978.  Meantime he was an operations and executive officer responsible for planning and operational activities in UNEF and UNDOF missions.  In 1978 he moved to the Mechanized Infantry Officer College
in Wrocław, where he performed duties of senior instructor responsible for preparations and training of Polish contingents designated for peacekeeping operations until 1988 and, during that time, took an active part in operations (1980/1981 and 1985/1986 - UNDOF) as an operations officer.  Between 1988 and 1990 General Gągor served at UNDOF HQ as Deputy Chief of Logistics.

He was then assigned to the Combat Training Division and next to the Military Foreign Affairs Division of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces.  In the role of Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Branch he dealt with operational and training issues, was directly responsible for the preparation, coordination
and monitoring of Polish units abroad and he fulfilled foreign military missions and multinational military co-operation at the strategic and operational levels.  Meantime, in 1991 he was an executive officer/2nd in command at the Polish Military Contingent to Desert Storm Operation and in 1991/1992 – Deputy Sector Commander of UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission UNIKOM.

With the rank of Colonel in 1993 he assumed the position of Chief of Peacekeeping Division of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, where he was responsible for command and control over the increased number of Polish units participating in abroad missions.  In 1994 he assumed the post of Director of the Arms Control and Peacekeeping Operations Bureau and in 1996 he became the Director of the Military Foreign Affairs Department and headed the department until 1999.  During that time General Gągor represented the Polish Ministry of National Defence in international negotiations on arms control, disarmament and confidence-building measures, implementation of respective treaties on Polish side, bilateral and multilateral military cooperation.  His area of responsibility included also co-ordination of Polish participation in Partnership for Peace Programme and Planning and Review Process.  He was a key member of the Polish Armed Forces preparations team for Polish accession to NATO, taking care of initial and first rounds of NATO Defence Planning (Force Planning and Defence Review) for Poland.

He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1997 and in 1999 he was assigned as the Chief of the J-3 Operations Directorate in the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, where he served until 2003.  During that period his broad responsibilities included preparation of joint training doctrines, operational planning and readiness of the Polish Armed Forces, current operations and participation of Polish troops in PSO/CRO operations as well as defence planning within the Polish military.

Between 2003 and 2006 General Gągor further broadened his multinational experience in UN peacekeeping missions and within NATO/EU institutions at the highest commanding levels within the following assignments:

  • 2003               Force Commander of UNIKOM, Iraq / Assistant Sec. Gen. UN;
  • 2003−2004    Force Commander of UNDOF, Syria / Assistant Sec. Gen. UN;
  • 2004−2006    Polish Military Representative to NATO and EU Military Committees in Brussels.

On 27 February 2006, General Gagor assumed the position of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces and he was promoted to the rank of General on May the 3rd 2006.

General Gągor’s decorations include the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Golden Cross of Merit, the Golden National Defence Medal, the Golden Military Service Medal as well as the UN Medal in the Service of Peace and several medals awarded by foreign states.

Gen. Gągor is an author of numerous articles and publications on military affairs and co-operation, defence transformation and armed forces modernization.  General Gągor speaks English, French and Russian.  His hobbies and interests include areas of crisis operations, history, English literature, skiing, tennis, volleyball and jogging.

He is married to Lucyna and has two children.