Traditions – JW GROM
The Cichociemni were never, in a typical sense, a military unit with their own standard or pattern of uniforms. During the World War 2, they were transferred individually or in small groups to occupied Poland, where they acted secretly leading a guerrilla war against the occupiers. Their training and the nature of service meant that the Cichociemni mostly did not have the opportunity to know their comrades in arms, both during and after the war. During the postwar years of the Polish Peoples’ Republic, memory of the Home Army Paratroopers was repressed. Despite the unfavorable circumstances, the traditions and practice of the Cichociemni were revived by soldiers of the elite Military Unit GROM (JW GROM).
In January 1995, Cichociemny Bronisław Czepczak-Górecki was invited to the joint winter exercises of the GROM soldiers and the British 22nd Special Air Service. In his presence, the then commander of GROM, colonel Sławomir Petelicki, took the initiative to give the unit the name of Paratroopers of the Home Army. The unit’s command had sent a letter to the Cichociemni Historical Team in Poznań operating there for many years. The answer was positive. Further efforts led to the fact that, in accordance with the decision of Minister of National Defense No. 119 / MON of August 4, 1995, taken in agreement with the Minister of the Interior, the special military unit GROM received the honorable name of the Cichociemni Paratroopers of the Home Army, becoming in this way a proud continuator of the tradition of paratroopers from World War II. On October 1, 1996, the ceremony of handing over the standar to the GROM unit took place in the Presidential Palace in Warsaw. Commander Colonel Marian Sowiński, received the standar from the President of the Republic, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. The ceremony was attended by the specialy arrived, some of the last living, Cichociemni. Godparents were Cichociemny Bronisław Czepczak-Górecki and Agnieszka Petelicka, wife of the first commander of the unit.
Currently, in the GROM Military Unit, there is a Hall of Tradition dedicated to the history of the unit and to the memory of the Cichociemni, where the personal memorabilia handed over by Home Army paratroopers are presented. For security reasons, outsiders do not have access to the Hall, but its interior can be admired during a virtual tour by clicking HERE. When coming to Warsaw from the depths of the country or from abroad, Cichociemni can always count on a reception and hospitality in the GROM Military Unit. In addition, every third Sunday of May, the Cichociemni Paratroopers of the Home Army and their relatives arrive from all over the world to place a wreath at the monument in the Powązki Cemetery commemorating the heroic deeds of the Cichociemni. After arriving at the Unit, participants of the meeting lay flowers at the Monument to the Brotherhood of Arms of GROM and Cichociemni soldiers, and then meet in the Hall of Tradition. In addition, the Military Unit GROM soldiers participate and organize a series of celebrations and events dedicated to the memory of Paratroopers of the Home Army.
(Pictures from the JW GROM archive)