Stefan Czarniecki ['st?fan t??ar'??t?sk?i] (listen) of the Lodzia coat of arms (1599 – 16 February 1665) was a Polish nobleman, general and military commander.
In his career, he rose from a petty nobleman to a magnate holding one of the highest offices in the Commonwealth, something that was unprecedented in the Commonwealth history.
On 22 July 1664 he received the office of the voivode of Kiev and on 2 January 1665, a few weeks before his death, he was given the office of Field Hetman (one of top military commanders) of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom.
He is remembered as an accomplished military commander, and regarded as a Polish national hero.
His status in Polish history is acknowledged by a mention of his name in the Polish national anthem.
Czarniecki made significant contributions fighting the Khmelnytsky Uprising, during the Russo-Polish War, and the Polish–Swedish war (The Deluge).
His use of guerrilla warfare against Swedes is credited as one of the main reasons for the eventual Polish victory in this war.