Commander , French Rapid Reaction Corps
Lieutenant General Laurent Kolodziej was born in Paris on 1 November, 1962. He joined Saint-Cyr Military Academy in September 1983 (promotion “Lieutenant-Colonel GAUCHER”), went to the cavalry school in Saumur in 1986 and was then commissioned into the French cavalry in August 1987.
His first posting was to the French Foreign Legion where he served until 1991. Between 1987-1989 he was based in Orange where he was a Troop Commander in the 1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment. Thereafter, he was posted to Djibouti where he served initially as Platoon Commander and then as a Company Second-in-Command in the 13th Motorised Infantry Regiment, equipped with light-armoured vehicles mounted with a 90mm canon. As a commando instructor in hand-to-hand combat, he was also the director of the commando training center of Arta Plage during these last two years.
In 1991 he took command of an AMX30 B2 Tank Squadron within the 6th Cavalry Regiment in Olivet followed by another three years in the same Regiment as a planning officer before joining the Defence Legal office in Paris in 1995 to prepare for the Joint Staff and Command training. Thereafter, General Kolodziej completed Joint Staff and Command training followed by Tri Service Staff College training.
Arriving at the 4th Cavalry Regiment, the light-armoured regiment of the French mountain brigade in 2000, he then served two years as operations and training officer. He attended The British Defence Academy, Shrivenham United Kingdom (UK), as the French Liaison Officer to the UK until 2005 and then returned to France to take Command of the 4th Cavalry Regiment until 2007.
Continuing in the theme of International Engagement he returned to England in 2008 to complete the Royal College of Defence Studies course before taking post as the French Military Attaché to the UK in London in 2009. He has a Master’s degree in Defence and International Relationships from Kings College, London.
General Kolodziej has completed operational tours in Croatia (1993), Bosnia (1997) and Kosovo (2001 and 2005). On promotion to Brigadier General, he commanded the 6th Light Armoured Brigade – one of only two Amphibious French Brigades – 2012-2014, leading his Brigade on operation SERVAL in Mali May-September 2013.
He led the department for International Engagements on behalf of the French MoD 2014-2016 and arrived as Chief of Staff Rapid Reaction Corps France in Lille in 2017. He was appointed Commander of RRC France on 1 August 2018 and was promoted to Lieutenant General on the same day.
He has three adult daughters and enjoys: running, skiing, mountaineering and horse-carriage driving. He is also a fan of military history and listens to a wide variation of music.
There is a growing awareness in Western defence forces that operation planning must evolve, making it necessary to understand the environment in its totality. This will require close cooperation across all possible domains both within and between countries. How do military commanders envisage their place and role within this realm? What will their requirements be for the information preparation of the environment they will be operating in? Developing practical ways to integrate inﬂuence activities into combined arms planning and assessment will improve the effectiveness of combined and joint operations. How must commanders change their strategic communication approach to have an effect in their operating environment?