Mariusz Błaszczak was speaking as he launched the Military Work and Service Fair in the northern city of Olsztyn, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The two-day event takes place simultaneously in each of Poland’s 16 provinces, according to officials.
The Polish defence minister told the audience: “Our aim is to make the Polish army strong, and to be strong, it must have many soldiers. As of today, we can say that we already have 167,000 active-duty soldiers, but we are aiming much higher. And so I encourage you to join the Polish army.”
‘A big opportunity for ambitious, hard-working people’
Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, noted that "the Polish Army comprises land forces, the air force, the navy, special forces and the territorial army."
He said: “In fact, I believe that all young and active people will find a place for themselves, whether in the armed forces or at training programmes organised by the army.”
Błaszczak also told the audience that since last year, those interested in joining the military "may choose between becoming career soldiers and the so-called active reserve service.”
The defence minister stressed that “the Polish army offers decent starting pay, PLN 4,960 (EUR 1,056) and good conditions.”
He said that serving in the Polish army was "an honour." He added: “For people with ambition, who are committed to working hard, the Polish army represents a big opportunity for personal development.”
‘Poland’s security is a priority’
Błaszczak said that for the government, national security "is a top priority, and that’s why we’re expanding the armed forces.”
He declared: “I encourage young people to join the Polish army, it’s really worth it. It really is a very good deal. Given the international situation in which Europe finds itself, with Putin seeking to revive the Russian empire, the evil empire, security is a fundamental value.”
During the two-day nationwide event, potential recruits were set to have an opportunity to learn about various aspects of military service, from career soldiers, army recruitment officers, and representatives of military schools, according to the defence ministry.
Other attractions included exhibitions of military equipment, from tanks to helicopters and gun howitzers, demonstrations of military skills, and opportunities to practice shooting and operate equipment simulators, according to officials.
Besides Olsztyn, the fair was being held in Oława, Mogilno, Chełm, Międzyrzecz, Skierniewice, Limanowa, Radom, Brzeg, Boguchwała, Wysokie Mazowieckie, Kartuzy, Mysłowice, Pińczów, Konin and Gryfino, the PAP news agency reported.
Friday is day 387 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, wojsko-polskie.pl