Training event brings opportunity to connect Reserve Soldier with familiy history

By Maj. Marvin Baker and Capt. Matthew Sutton | 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command | March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016 — “Anakonda 16 is a chance for us to forge true relationships, work side by side, break down barriers of culture and language, to learn each others technical way of going about business, and forge new relationships, Palicka said. The mission is especially meaningful to Palicka because he recently traced his family’s heritage to Poland using genealogy websites, he added.

Anakonda 16 is a Polish national exercise that seeks to train, exercise and integrate Polish national command and force structures into an Allied, joint, multinational environment. The mission for Soldiers in the 364th ESC will be to help make sure thousands of service members deployed for the exercise get the food, equipment and ammunition they need to be successful.

Right in the midst of the responsibility for the movement of all those supplies is Palicka. He currently serves as the mobility land officer-in-charge for the support operations section of the 364th ESC. “My job is coordinating the movement of supplies on the ground from truck to train,” he said.  

Palicka and his fellow Soldiers in the 364th ESC will operate in arduous conditions in Poland that will test their ability to open and maintain a theater of operations. During the exercise, the ESC will be in charge of two sustainment brigades and one medical brigade that include Active, Reserve, and National Guard component Soldiers. Although the conditions may be difficult, Palicka is looking forward to the many professional and personal benefits he will receive.

“The chance to go to Poland with the Army comes at an opportune time for me,” Palicka said. “My wife and I are planning a vacation in the Baltic region next year. It will be fun to just hit the ground there, set the stage and whet my appetite to go back and do more.”

Palicka said he started learning about his Polish heritage about four years ago by searching the internet.

“My great-grandmother, Victoria Obal, arrived in the United Stated in 1903 and my other set of great-grandparents, Andrew and Mary Kosirog, arrived in 1910,” he said.

During his online research, Palicka was able to learn about the little towns in northern Poland where his family had its roots and discovered that they originated near the city of Wladyslawowo.

For Palicka, Anakonda 16 is not only an opportunity to grow as an Army leader, but an opportunity to connect with his heritage.

“I hope to build that connection with my ancestors, which brings me a little bit closer to them and bring my heritage a little more alive,” Palicka said.