Franciszek Gągor

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Franciszek Gagor
2008.08.15. Gen Franciszek Gagor Fot Mariusz Kubik 01.jpg
Gen. Franciszek Gągor - Warsaw, Poland - August 15, 2008
Born(1951-09-08)8 September 1951
Nowy Sącz, Poland
Died10 April 2010(2010-04-10) (aged 58)
Smolensk, Russia
Allegiance Poland
Service/branchPolish Armed Forces
Years of service1973–2010
Commands heldChief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces
AwardsOfficer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
Golden Cross of Merit
Golden Military Service Medal
UN Medal in the Service of Peace
Legion of Merit - Commander (United States)
French Legion of Honor
Grave of Franciszek Gągor at Military Powązki Cemetery, 2011
Grave of Franciszek Gągor after burial

Franciszek Gągor (8 September 1951 – 10 April 2010) was a Polish general, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces between 2006 and 2010.

He died in the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash near Smolensk with the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński.[1]

Life and Education[edit]

Gągor was born in 1951 in Koniuszowa near Nowy Sącz[2].

He attended the Artillery Officers' College at Wrocław in 1973. He also held qualifications at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (1983 - Master of Arts degree in English philology); the National Defence University in Warsaw (1998 - doctorate in military science); the NATO Defense College (2001), and the National Defense University (2002) in Washington DC.

Military Service[edit]

Gagor with Mike Mullen.

He served in the 2nd Tank Regiment in the 1973 as an officer in a Self-Propelled Artillery unit. Afterwards, he became an operations and executive officer responsible for planning and operational activities in United Nations missions.

In 1978 he was posted to the Mechanized Infantry Officer College in Wrocław, where he lectured on preparations and training of Polish contingents designated for peacekeeping operations until 1988 and, during that time, took an active part in UNDOF operations (1980–1981 and 1985–1986) as an operations officer.

Between 1988 and 1990 General Gągor served at UNDOF HQ as Deputy Chief of Logistics.

In 1991 he was an executive officer/second-in-command at the Polish Military Contingent for Desert Storm Operation. He later became the Deputy Sector Commander of UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation mission UNIKOM between 1991 and 1992.

In 1993, as a Colonel, he became the Chief of Polish Armed Forces Peacekeeping Division of the Polish Armed Forces.

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 for Poland.

He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1997. In August 2003, he returned to UNDOF after being appointed by then UN Secretary General Kofi Anan as its Head of Mission and Force Commander.[3]

On 27 February 2006, Gagor was made Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces upon appointment by the President of Poland. He was promoted to General on May the 3rd 2006.

Along with Krzysztof Paszkowski, he wrote the book: "Defense Doctrine of the Polish Republic for Peacekeeping Operations." Gen. Gągor is an author of numerous articles and publications on military affairs and co-operation, defence transformation and armed forces modernization.

Personal life[edit]

He was fluent in English, and communicated in French and Russian. He had an interest in history, English literature, skiing, tennis, volleyball and jogging. He was married to Lucyna and has two children, Katarzyna and Michał.

Medals and Decorations[edit]

Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2010, posthumously)
Officer's Cross (2005)
Knight's Cross (1998)
Gold Cross of Merit
Gold Medal in the Service of the Armed Forces of the Homeland
Gold Medal of Merit for National Defence
Medal Pro Memoria
Commander of the Legion of Honour (France, 17 December 2008, France)
Commander of the Legion of Merit (USA, 22 May 2008)
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Portugal) (1 September 2008)
Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
Honorary Badge of Premysl Otakar II, King of Iron and Gold (Čestný badges Přemysl Otakar II., Král železného a zlatého, 1 March 2007, Czech Republic)
Meritorious Service Cross - Military Division (13 April 2011, Canada, posthumously)
Medal of the UN mission in UNEF II
UN Medal UNDOF mission
Medal UN mission evasion
Parachutist badge


  1. ^ Polish President Dies in Jet Crash in Russia, New York Times, 10 April 2010
  2. ^ Marcin Górka, Generał Franciszek Gągor.
  3. ^ "Major-General Franciszek Gagor, appointed Force Commander of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force". United Nations. Retrieved 17 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Mieczysław Cieniuch
Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Mieczysław Stachowiak