Lieutenant Colonel Anna Czajkowska-Małachowska – Commander of the 161st Light Infantry Battalion

October 19 this year. The commander of the 161st Light Infantry Battalion in Wroclaw was handed over.

You are the first female battalion commander in the Territorial Defense Forces. What changes in your life, in your service?

It is a big problem and a mission entrusted to me. But I must admit that during my 22 years in the military, I prepared for command. While performing the tasks assigned to me in my previous positions, I always tried to perform them professionally, which affected my future professional development. I have been assigned to command soldiers of all ranks, from platoon to company, and now at the battalion level. It worked, but it took a lot of work and discipline. In the military, it is your bosses who know and recognize that you are ready to take on the next important position.

Can we talk about your first days in the army? Where and when it started.

It was the year 2000. I entered the Military Academy of the Land Forces in Wroclaw. He studied for 4 years at the Faculty of Mechanized Forces. Back then, we were preparing to take on the role of commander. At that time, there were only 16 women and more than 300 men in this field, so it was not easy.

Where did the 19-year-old girl’s idea for the army come from?

There were several reasons for this. As a teenage girl, I was Sagittarius, it was my respect. I belonged to a shooting organization in Lower Silesia. In addition to getting acquainted with the weapon, now inAt that time, we were instilled with the principles of patriotism, responsibility before the homeland and our loved ones. At that time, my personality, a sense of responsibility for others and for my country was formed.

During these years, the army also included 3 foreign missions.

Yes, there were three missions, but I have to start this story with my service in the military unit in Swiettoszow. It was 13 years of intense military service. In the NATO Response Force, I served as a reconnaissance platoon commander, a mechanized company commander, an officer in the Operations Division of the Brigade Headquarters, and a Chief of Staff of the Mechanized Battalion. At that time, I served in the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chad. The missions lasted six months, and each was preceded by several months of preparation.

In this context, I can’t help but ask about the role of women in the army and women in missions.

The army is a homogeneous organization, there is no room for division between men and women. But as commanders, we must be able to take advantage of the individual gender preferences of soldiers. In many cases, during military service, as well as at checkpoints, such as in Iraq or Afghanistan, respecting the culture of our country and other countries, a woman can be sought only by a female soldier. As a result, in dealing with victims of the wars in Africa, many unacceptable behaviors, such as intimidation, have been minimized, thanks to uniformed women. In short, we use trends, we do not divide.

What commander would you like to be?

Righteous and authoritative among his subordinates. One that soldiers will trust and follow. At the same time, I would like to train them so that we can be ready together to cope problems arising from various threats, including beyond our eastern border. Fortunately, I am not the only one to achieve these goals, I have wonderful low-level commanders who I believe in and will be able to form. Thanks to this, I know that we will succeed together.

Where are you, where is your family’s house?

I am a native of Wroclaw, I was born, raised and educated here and I am associated with Wroclaw and Lower Silesia. One of my goals will be to encourage as many residents of the region as possible to wear the uniform of the 16th Lower Silesian TD Brigade. The last months of the war in Ukraine have shown the importance of the role of soldiers in the protection of families, communities and the protection of the country’s borders.

What the new Battalion Commander wants.

Give the command “follow me” as often as possible, not “ahead”.“.

Lieutenant-Colonel Anna Tchaikovsky-Malachowska has been in the military for 22 years. He graduated from the Military Academy of the Land Forces in Wroclaw in 2004. In 2017, he was awarded the title of Doctor of Social Sciences. He is an expert in the transformation of Polish ground forces in the context of changes in the international security environment from 1989 to 2015. On April 19, 2022, he was appointed commander of the 161st Light Infantry Battalion in the 16th Lower Silesia Territorial Defense Brigade. He admits that from the beginning of his military career he has tried to combine many areas of life, but always has one goal – to achieve the highest possible quality in the implementation of the tasks set.

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