French Guiana welcomed him with wild animals, dense tropical forests, high humidity and high temperatures. In these conditions, in full gear, cadet Jankowski survived 14 days. His goal was to simply survive. He achieved it as the only Pole in history.

With us we had only the most necessary items. Each one of us had a machete. In the jungle there are animals which can help us survive, which we can eat. But there are also predators which hunt for us,” the fifth-year student of the Higher Officer School of Shore Units in Wroclaw reminisces.

The Pole’s adventures lasted for two weeks and right at the beginning it became obvious that this was not your average Erasmus but a vicious training, which only the best can survive.

Sergeant Jankowski recalls:

The exotics of the training began from the moment we landed. When the plane doors had opened we were hit by a wave of heat. The temperature was around 30 degrees, the humidity exceeded 90 percent.

All the theoretical and practical courses were carried out in these conditions. This intended to prepare all of the 140 participants of the training from different countries to survive in the jungle. The skills and knowledge they had gathered were to be used at the end of the training, when they were divided into smaller platoons and sent out in the field.

He recalls the military test like this:

The hardest thing was not to lose orientation. There are trees everywhere, you simply turn around and you don’t know where you are anymore. But the entire time we had the equipment necessary to survive, like knives and ropes. In the tropical forests the most dangerous thing is the water. It reaped the most victims. It’s the leading cause of accidents, meaning drowning.  And we were in the water almost all of the time, it was everywhere.”

This difficult test was completed only by half of the participants, including the Pole. Marek Jankowski is very happy to have been able to take part in such training. He himself admits that: “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” After the training the amount of experience is huge. I have to remember all of this and in such eventuality simply use it – the soldier sums up.


Source: Ministry of National Defence

Photo © CMM 3°REI / Cch Teudean


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