Polish patriot who helped American Revolution honored by renaming American post in Poznan
The new Polish army garrison will soon have a new name: Camp Kosciuszko.
Kosciuszko (kosh-choosh-ko) does not come out of the American language and could be directed to simplification at “Camp K” by soldiers. But the moniker brings a freedom-fighting flair to a base now known as Forward Operating Station Poznan.
“We believe Camp Kosciuszko is an appropriate name for this facility because it demonstrates our deep historical ties and our commitment to collective defense,” Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, V Corps commander, said Thursday. “This camp also demonstrates the commitment to Polish and European security.”
Senior Polish officials and the V Corps will hold a ceremony on Saturday to officially name the headquarters, which houses the first permanent US troop presence along NATO’s eastern flank.
President Joe Biden announced in June at the NATO summit in Madrid that the United States would establish a new garrison in Poznan, where the V Corps coordinates army troop movements in Europe.
Naming the site after Brig. General Thaddeus Kosciuszko taps into an American and Polish connection dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Kosciuszko, a national hero in Poland known for leading troops in battle against the Russians, also came to the aid of the United States in 1776 when he joined the war effort against the British.
He was made a colonel of engineers and was responsible for strategic fortifications at Saratoga in New York, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.
He was also assigned to further reinforce West Point as a defensive position along the Hudson River. There, he created a campus garden that is still maintained at the United States Military Academy.
“Victory Corps is grateful to our Polish allies for recognizing a Polish and American hero for this honor,” Kolasheski said. “Brick. General Kosciuszko was a master at constructing military defenses such as those found at West Point.
After the war, he returned to Poland and fought against Russia and Prussia. In 1794, he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Russians. After his release, he returned to the United States
He struck up a friendship with Thomas Jefferson, and that continued when Kosciuszko returned to Europe through a correspondence that spanned more than 20 years, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
In a letter, Jefferson called Kosciuszko “the purest son of freedom I have ever known”.