First permanently-assigned U.S. Soldiers arrive in Poland
U.S. Army V Corps reached another large milestone that has set the foundation for future Soldiers who permanently change their duty station to become new members of Victory Corps forward at Camp Kosciuszko, Poland. V Corps has offered Soldiers the opportunity to conduct a Permanent Change of Station, known as PCS, to the camp, which will further enhance readiness and show further commitment to NATO allies and partners.
The corps’ forward element recently received their first PCS Soldier, Sgt. Walter Malecki, a security cooperations specialist who was previously a student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
The permanent presence of V Corps Soldiers in Poland plays a vital role by boosting and assuring operational readiness.
“[Malecki] is not just another Soldier changing duty stations,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher A. Prosser, V Corps Forward command sergeant major. “He is the first of many who will experience the culture of Poland and become familiar with the corps’ missions relating to interoperability. His presence here, as a U.S. Army Soldier, continues to solidify our relationship with Poland.”
Not only are the corps’ ranks being filled with new arrivals such as Malecki, but also Reserve and Guard Soldiers on Active Duty Operational Support, referred to as ADOS. ADOS Soldiers provide valuable support to the active component by supplementing the corps’ manpower and providing additional expertise and experience to the team.
Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Stewart, a U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs Soldier assigned to the 490th Quartermaster Company, 413th Combat Sustainment Support Group, 301st Region Support Group, 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, based out of Rochester, New York, was recently assigned as a community outreach coordinator for V Corps at Camp Kosciuszko.
“In the Reserve, you train alongside Soldiers that work in many different career fields in civilian life. Furthermore, Reservists are typically proficient in flexibility and work-life balance,” said Stewart, who has served in the Army Reserve for 23 years. “My background [in logistics, customer service, operations and law enforcement] will benefit V Corps while conducting outreach and engagements. I can also utilize my knowledge, skills and abilities in mentoring junior Soldiers to help them become more diverse and improve their interoperability.”
While both Soldiers have PCSed to Poland, the process looks different for ADOS versus active duty.
As part of the ADOS PCS process, Stewart was sent to the CONUS Replacement Center located at Fort Bliss, Texas, to ensure he was ready to be sent overseas. The CRC ensured Stewart was set up for success by checking legal, financial and medical information systems to ensure all data and information was in place and secure.
For Malecki, the process to PCS was standard for many active duty army components. The process consisted of clearing out of his previous unit and receiving information about his new duty station.
Prior to their departure to Poland, both Soldiers were given information on the pcs process, what to expect when they arrived and given a welcome aboard package by a V Corps representative.
“Considering that establishing a new Corps is a great undertaking, I think that Victory Corps is doing a great job,” said Malecki. “The teams I work with are all filled with incredibly knowledgeable and hardworking self-starters who are consistently demonstrating their competencies and subject-matter expertise. Having 1st. Sgt. Alexander [V Corps Forward Company 1st Sgt.] and Cpt. Mumford [V Corps Forward Company Commander] here has done well to lay a solid foundation for that type of environment; they are among the best, if not the best, that I have had the opportunity of working with thus far in my career.”
Stewart had similar things to say about the process. According to him, Army Support Garrison Poland and V Corps provided quality tools for a successful PCS to Poland.
“The information gave me an idea of how far I would be walking to work, because it is a big city. In my experience, bases are not usually located in the middle of cities,” Stewart explained. “Being able to see where select apartments are located put me at ease knowing where I can select to live. It was a really big help. I was also able to get with Army Garrison Support Poland and they helped me find realtors and websites for housing.”
When a Soldier conducts a PCS, it is up to them to find housing on the local economy. Even though that may sound like a daunting task, especially for Soldiers that are new to the European Theater, ASG Poland and V Corps maintain regular communication guidelines and information to incoming personnel.
“ASG did a pretty good job ensuring people have access to trusted realtors,” said Malecki. “Overall, they did well to provide tools to the best of their ability.”
Malecki, who has experience in Europe, noticed the benefits of living in off post housing in the city.
“The apartments that I have seen offered around the area are clean and modern,” said Malecki. “Public transportation is also nearby, so it is easy to travel around.”
Malecki and Stewart are adapting to life in Poznan. As Soldiers that have recently arrived to the city, many areas of interest are waiting to be explored within the city.
“My favorite part about the city is being able to visit the old buildings and admire the unique architecture,” said Stewart.
“Being able to stretch the U.S. Dollar here is great,” said Malecki. “You can go out and eat dinner on the economy for really cheap.”
In July 2022, President Joe Biden announced the permanent presence of U.S. forces in Poland. V Corps, which is dual headquartered in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Poznan, Poland, is fortifying its forward ranks with permanent, one-year, unaccompanied tours. Previously, Soldiers assigned to V Corps were required to do nine-month rotations.
Soldiers interested in working for V Corps in Poland can contact V Corps Strength Management department which can be found on the V Corps website, www.vcorps.army.mil, for more information.