First Woman in Polish Honour Guard

Polish Army Honour Guard

Polish Army Honour Guard

“Keeping long hair under your rogatywka (four-cornered hat worn by Polish soldiers) is not a problem. The heavy rifle presents much more of a challenge as you need to be able to toss it up,” said Ewelina Miłkowska, the first woman to join the Polish Guard of Honour (Batalion Reprezentacyjny Wojska Polskiego). 28-year-old Private Miłkowska heard that the Guard of Honour was looking for new candidates from soldiers of the National Reserve Forces (NSR). “The guys jokingly suggested that I am tall enough to qualify, so I gave it a try,” said Miłkowska. It was a long and hard road: while female soldiers often apply to join the Guard of Honour, they usually drop out soon after, mostly because they do not meet the height requirements (178-185 cm), but also because of various health issues and lack of physical strength and endurance. “She did not have it easy. I was unsure whether she could physically keep up,” said Captain Artur Sak, the commanding officer of the 3rd Company of the Guard of Honour. Now, Private Miłkowska’s biggest dream is to take the guard post by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw. For that to happen, at least one more woman would have to join the battalion.

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