Today marks the first anniversary of Bridgadier General Sławomir Petelicki, founder of the GROM, along with other GROM and friends.
I had the honor of dining with his widow and current GROM Commander at his residence this year in Warsaw, Poland. While in his great room I could see he was a voracious reader and study of the warrior culture. The most impressive among his collection was an original Samurai suit of armor, along with several original swords.
Current and former members of the GROM I met with all held him in the highest regards, and a more than a few shared stories about the grueling physical fitness training the General would personally lead.
My visit to their unit, the bond of brotherhood, and the intimate dinner hosted by the General’s widow was an experience I’ll never forget.
Regardless of the strangeness, and mystery that surrounds his death, General Petelicki leaves behind not only a great family but a unit legacy that thrives, and is known, and respected around the World.
I’m grateful for the experience, and look forward to the final edit of our GROM series on our Spec Ops Channel.
Strength & Honor General.
Sławomir Petelicki was born September 13, 1946 in Warsaw. In 1969 he graduated from the Law Faculty of the Warsaw University. The same year he joined the I Department(Intelligence) Ministry of Internal Affairs of People’s Republic of Poland and, until 1990, he served at various posts in theintelligence. On various posts in Polish embassies abroad he was responsible for counter-intelligence. Since 1973 a military advisor at the Polishconsulate in New York. Upon his return to Poland he continued his service in the economical intelligence. After a brief stay in Sweden between 1983 and 1987, where he served as the head of the Polish intelligence in the embassy in Stockholm, he returned to Poland where he was assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the commanding officer of all the security services guarding Polish embassies and consulates.
Apart from his intelligence service, Petelicki was also an active member of special forces. He gained extensive experience in reconnaissance and diversion. Very little is known of the missions he was part of, apart from the missions to North Vietnam in 1971 and to China the following year.
In 1990 Petelicki was assigned to a newly-formed, then top secret JW 2305 special forces. Initially consisting only of himself, the unit was soon expanded to become GROM. For the first several years the unit remained completely secret. It was first reported to the press in 1992 and became known to the public in 1994, after their first major military operation in Haiti. Dismissed on December 19, 1995, Petelicki remained unassigned.
Between May 14 and June 13 of 1996, Petelicki was the deputy Prime Minister for fighting organized crime. On December 7, 1997 he was again assigned as the commanding officer of the GROM unit. On August 15, 1998, the Day of the Polish Army, he was promoted by president Aleksander Kwaśniewskito the rank of brigadier general. On September 17, 1999 he finally gave up the command of GROM and retired. Thereafter, he headed the Foundation of Former GROM Soldiers, which helps veterans to meld into society.
Featured Image: The Polish Uprising Symbol from 1944