Jan 4, 2022
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Lieutenants Shoigu and Sergeants Zelensky – what’s the big difference

Lieutenants Shoigu and Sergeants Zelensky - what's the big difference

Photo: RF Ministry of Defense / TASS

One of the results of the past 2021 for the Russian army, in addition to new weapons that passed large-scale exercises, was its replenishment with professional personnel. More than 10 thousand graduates of military universities have joined the army – lieutenants who dream of becoming generals. This is the future personnel backbone of the RF Armed Forces, which is trained in 35 military schools, institutes and academies – the list of professions of which includes 276 specialties.

A noteworthy fact is that all Russian lieutenants were trained exclusively in domestic military institutions, according to the programs of their army. And they mastered the knowledge of foreign languages, as well as the performance characteristics of foreign military equipment, according to their textbooks, manuals and manuals.

Young officers received a very good education within the walls of their military alma mater – in the best traditions of the Russian school of combat skills. And the point here is not even in “primordial patriotism”, but in the fact that the training of future officers – from the basics of studying regulations, shooting, guards, mastering tactical art and other subjects of instruction, takes into account their future service. With knowledge of military affairs and even with proficiency in the use of profanity. Well, how without a mother in the barracks and in battle?

This is not in praise of the young Russian military growth, but in the upbringing that they received – on their traditions. In contrast to the young replenishment of the officer ranks of the Ukrainian army, where not their own experience is now being cultivated to a greater extent, but the notorious NATO standards, which are compulsively squeezed into the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Here you can also recall the translation of the military ranks of Ukrainian soldiers and officers into NATO military rank codes. According to the STANAG 2116 standard. Quite tricky codification, but it looks very impressive. Yesterday you were an ordinary private, and today you are already in the status of Private E.1, then you will rise to Corporal (well, corporal), and there, you see, you will reach Master Sergeant, (senior sergeant), or even Sergeant-Major (this is generally the navel of the earth). The warrant officer from the warehouse will now only demand that he be addressed as a warrant officers. Well, that sounds like it!

Now in Kiev, a new tendency is to send their military schoolchildren and students (seminarians in uniform) to study abroad. Defense Minister of Ukraine Alexey Reznikov exactly before the New Year, he signed an order approving a training plan for military personnel, which involves advanced training in 2022 in educational institutions of 13 foreign countries.

The document stipulates that 167 military personnel and employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be sent for training. It is clarified that the training of the Ukrainian military, it must be assumed that this is the future army elite, will be able to pass in the UK, USA, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Austria. Well, sort of like countries with a tradition of military education.

At the same time, such countries as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia are on the list where future “marshals of Ukraine” will be forged. Where is the military leadership’s thought, where are the strategies of offensive operations, where are the significant victories?

Modern history does not remember them at all. As well as in Poland or Romania, where it is also planned to train Ukrainian servicemen, where they will adopt the “Euro-Atlantic principles” and improve their qualifications in order to introduce it into the Armed Forces themselves. In what language will an officer trained in the West issue commands to his subordinates? What words will motivate them to perform combat missions? The phrase: “Brussels is behind us” is unlikely to make a guy from Lvov or Kharkov region fight to the last bullet.

In Ukraine itself, its own system of military education has been preserved, albeit in an abbreviated form, on the basis of the still Soviet military schools. Now it is the Army Academy in Lvov, the National Defense University in Kiev, the Military Academy in Odessa, the Air Force Academy in Kharkov, the Odessa Maritime Academy National University, there are specialized educational institutions that train future border guards, national guardsmen, military doctors and other specialists. However, the officers in the Armed Forces of Ukraine are sorely lacking.

Beginning in May 2017, Ukrainian reserve officers began to be conscripted en masse for military service. We are talking about graduates of military departments of civilian universities who have passed only short-term military training, respectively, representing military service as such.

Defined for “jackets”, as such officers are called in the army, and the age limit is up to 43 years. One can only guess how such “lieutenants” command, and they do not differ in their desire to serve – many entered civilian educational institutions solely with the aim of “turning away” from military service.

Until recently, there was also a “hunger” for lieutenants in the Russian army. As a result of reforms carried out in 2008-2012 by the ex-Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukovconnected, among other things, with the reduction of military schools, it suddenly became clear that in the Armed Forces there was a shortage of lower-level officers, primarily in the position of platoon commander.

Lieutenants were sorely lacking, and their positions were often occupied by contract sergeants who did not have an appropriate military education or professional experience. The Ministry of Defense was forced to abandon the 5-year training program for command profile cadets and return to the “four-year” program for training officers in higher military schools.

As a result, in 2017, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation received less than a thousand lieutenants, in 2018 – two thousand, in 2019, due to accelerated releases – 14 thousand. Then the head of the military department Sergei Shoigu reported: “The system of officer training in our country has been fully restored.”

As an achievement, he mentioned that for the second year now, a full-fledged graduation from military universities has been carried out. That is, the shortage of professional military personnel lagged then still at least two or three years – until the completed full cycle of cadets’ education. Now, it seems, the “machine” for the production of officers has reached a normal cycle of work – 10 thousand lieutenants are fully consistent with the needs of the army.

Back in November 2012, the new Minister of Defense Shoigu canceled the decision to switch the training of cadets to the so-called “Bologna system” – training of military personnel in educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense on a three-level scheme – bachelor’s, specialty and master’s degrees.

A similar system was introduced in military universities in 2011 by the decision of ex-minister Serdyukov, and caused indignation in the army environment – according to teachers, training according to the “Bologna system” negatively affects the quality of officer training. He revived Shoigu and a number of military schools, to others he returned their independent status.

The most popular of the 35 military universities that train future lieutenants are the Military Medical Academy, the Military Academy of Logistics and the Military Institute of Physical Culture (all located in St. Petersburg). Among the universities of the Ground Forces, the Novosibirsk and Far Eastern (Blagoveshchensk) higher command schools and the Kazan higher tank command school are especially popular. The competition for the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School has grown to 5 people per seat.

The competition for the universities of the Navy has increased by 10 percent. Traditionally, there are many people who want to enter the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School named after V.F. Margelova… It is noted that in the country as a whole, the competition for those wishing to enter military universities is about three and a half people per place, and among girls it is much higher – 16 people.

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