Military Academies to Give Two Diplomas

1On November 15 at the meeting on Military Education the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin explained what caused the failure of the Great Patriotic War , and endorsed the idea of ​​a double issue of diplomas to graduates of military academies .

3“The state can not effectively develop and feel independent without a modern army,” said the President. Military technology improved and are more complicated now, but “without people who are willing to work on this equipment, to fight, to use it, it all just iron”, he said.

The system of higher military education is the foundation of the armed forces. Referring to the assessment of military experts, Vladimir Putin said that the failure of 1941-1942 was connected with military education.

2“We must not forget the lessons of these heavy days”, the President said. The next year optimization of the network of military schools should be completed, they should bring it in line with the parameters of personnel order.

“I consider it critically important to preserve a number of military academies as independent educational institutions “, Putin said. This is Mikhailovsky Artillery Academy, Military Academy of Air Precautions, Academy of Aerospace Defence, Academy of radiation, chemical and biological protection. Putin added that officers should be taught new skills on the basis of existing schools.

5In March next year the head of state is waiting for proposals from the Defence Ministry and other concerned agencies to improve military education until 2020. “The graduates of military schools must be ready to solve the challenges”, he explained. This requires effective education programs, they need to be adjusted after analyzing the service of graduates, innovations should be introduced, taking into account possible changes in the process of fighting.

Military education has always been a fundamental, not inferior to civil and in some areas even surpassed it, Putin stressed. He called to encourage healthy competition with civilian universities, to develop scientific capacity, enhance international cooperation. During 70 years more than 280,000 foreigners from 108 countries were trained, now they occupy high positions – there are presidents and prime ministers. “This is the evidence of the quality of our higher military education”, concluded the President.

4The head of State supported the proposal of the MSU Rector Viktor Sadovnichiy to give graduates of military academies two diplomas – military and civilian. “I did not think of the double degree”, he nodded approvingly. “Methods of warfare are becoming complicated … It will take an intellectual nature more and more. If there is any war, I hope there won’t any, but if it is , it will be like a computer game with the minimum loss of life. This will be a war of technologies”, predicted the President.

Measures to Increase Number of Contract Soldiers in the Russian Army Taken

1The Russian Ministry of Defense again released the information that till the end of the year fundamental changes can be made in the law “Concerning Military Duty and Military Service”. These changes will affect the choices of term of service. The choices are: if a young person aged 18 to 27 years old is conscripted, then his call-up liability will make for 12 months, and if he decides to choose a contract service, the term of the contract will be reduced from three to two years.

2Until recently, the right to sign a two-year contract with the first day of service had only graduates of high schools. Now the Official Secretary of State Defense Ministry Nikolai Pankov said that there were plans to provide such opportunities to the graduates of secondary vocational schools.

The main military department announced that nobody could “bug out”. That is, if a young men decides to immediately sign a contract for two years , to serve only two months, and then terminate the contract for any reason, he will serve the remaining time by the formula ” a day of call-up liability equals to two days of a contract service”.

1Why does the Department of Defense support the idea of ​​amending the law? Official report: to promote the service contract and, as a consequence, to increase the number of contractors in the Russian army. Today, according to information of the Ministry of Defense, contractors in the Russian army account for 206,000 people. And in four years, according to the program, their number should reach 425,000 people. The new amendments to the law “Concerning Military Duty and Military Service”, according to the Defense Ministry, will contribute to the growth.

In fact, a new proposal from the main military department looks quite viable. If in large Russian cities there are no problems with jobs for young people, in towns not every young man can immediately after graduating high school or college find a good job.

1That is why many graduates will be interested in the proposal to conclude a two-year contract. The allowance and, naturally, some hypothetical advantage over the recruits (living outside the barracks, for example) will do their job, and the number of contractors in our army will begin to grow.

Will the increase in the number of contractors be systematic and progressive? – it is a question the answer to which depends on the policy of contract service of the Russian Defense Ministry. If it is going to actually provide the military the benefits which are promised now (and it is not only a worthy salary and the opportunity to stay outside military units, but also the opportunity to use military mortgage program after two years of the contract service) the increase will continue. If all of this is just a fairy tale the new amendments will not bring to good results.

Defence Ministry Revives Service at Reservations

4Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu decided to restore reservation service in the army practically eliminated by Anatoly Serdyukov during the reduction of the Armed Forces.

1Now, starting from 2014, for the operation of landfills Defence Ministry will prepare special officers, operators of landfill equipment, and introduce robotic systems actively. According to the Boundary Layer Control, during the reform of landfills the number of staff positions was substantially reduced and the system of training was essentially eliminated.

“As a result today at combined arms organizations the polygon service is supervised by an officer in the capacity of a senior lieutenant who does not have the proper experience of organizing the necessary measures. At the same time staff positions of landfills training facilities operators remain vacant in most cases, forcing commanders to involve trainees in the process of training facilities development. Any weakening of attention is fraught with tragic consequences”, reported the Boundary Layer Control.

2The main reasons for the lack of civilian personnel was low wages and  high degree of responsibility for the security. To remedy the situation, beginning with the December 1, 2013 training of landfills operators will be resumed in the training centers of the military districts. It is planned to teach 240 such specialists annually. In addition, the Ministry of Defence organized a three-month training courses for polygon officers at universities – 20 people every year. The first four groups have already been recruited at the Combined Arms Academy in Moscow.

As the head of the department of educational and methodical of the academy, Colonel Igor Yakimov said, the first issue of the officers of polygon service will take place on December 26, 2013. “This year we have recruited four groups of officers who will serve in the 333-d interspecies center in the village of Mulino of Nizhny Novgorod region”, Yakimov said.

5A military expert, chief editor of the ” Arsenal Otechestva” Victor Murakhovski considers that three-month course is quite enough to master the basic skills of management and the principles of operation of the new equipment, and then military men will be able to master peculiarities of the work with specific equipment on the ground.

3According to the Boundary Layer Control of the Ministry of Defence, since 2013 a new infrastructure of training is introduced in the army, which is based on four centers and four interspecific district landfills. The Defence Ministry plans to use in combat training 100 polygons, 62 of which are currently being upgraded.

Many training programs are translated from actual combat vehicles to simulators, instead of live ammunition laser shooting simulators are being introduced, and at places where a real shooting is still needed, they begin to use inert ammunition with simulated lesions and explosions. In the structure of landfills administration security officers positions are introduced.

Soldiers Given a Choice

1Russia’s Defence Ministry has proposed offering conscripts the choice of two years professional military service instead of the existing one year of mandatory service, a media report said, in a bid to increase the number of full-time soldiers.

2The ministry has drafted the bill offering conscripts a choice between a year as conscripts or two as professional soldiers, Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov said.

The new proposal, reportedly already submitted to the Cabinet, aims to help the army boost the ranks of contract soldiers in the next three years.

3Under existing legislation, Russian men aged between 18 and 27 are obliged to serve a year in the army, that is often criticized by the human rights groups for its allegedly harsh conditions and hazing.  A high proportion of those potentially eligible to be called up avoid service with legal or medical exemptions or draft-dodging.

Having completed their service, conscripts can choose to continue their military service as professional contract soldiers.

4But what if a person has signed a contract with the commander of the unit, but then I realized that a long military life was not for him? Military men are developing rules of early termination of the contract by mutual consent. While in the Main Personnel Directorate of the Defence Ministry, which oversees everything connected with the service of military professionals, lean toward the following option. The contract with the “objector” will be interrupted, if he was conducting it quite a bit of time, and he will have to serve as a conscript for some period.

The Russian Armed Forces are in the midst of a major reorganization and re-equipment program that includes a transition to an all-professional force structure. The government plans to boost the number of professional soldiers from the current 205,000 to 425,000 people by 2017.

1However, the move to an all-professional force has been hamstrung by the reluctance of many young men to serve for low pay and poor conditions, and the diminishing number of young men available due to Russia’s demographic crisis.

Let us recall that this is not the only call-up innovation, the introduction of which initiates the army leadership. The first step, perhaps, can be called a proposal by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to organize the service of students, so that they can get military training in stages. The generals and rectors have already identified a list of high schools.

In addition, the so-called cyber troops appeared in the army. There are student volunteers there, whose high school studies were in demand for the solution of scientific problems for defence purposes.

Sergei Shoigu Approved Concept of Russian Defence Ministry Property Management

3Subordinated to the Ministry of Defence “Oboronservis” holding is waiting for a major reorganization. Proposals for the new structure and functions of the company will be submitted to Sergei Shoigu in mid-December.

СК РФ проводит обыски в холдинге "Оборонсервис" по делу о мошенничествеThey are already being prepared in the Department of Property Relations of Ministry of Defence. Its specialists faced a complicated task. On the one hand, the work of the holding should be built so that it can fully support the operating needs of the army. And on the other it should exclude, as far as possible, the theft of public money.

A structure will appear in the Ministry of Defence that will organize the supply of the army during the war and exercises.

1– What we do? “Slavyanka” , ” REU ” – this is the current repairs and maintenance of housing and public utilities. ” Oboronenergo ” – power engineering . ” Voyentorg” , which deals with nutrition, sewing , bath and laundry service. As well as military construction – “OboronStroy” and  Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations should be mentioned. In fact this is all the features that will be left of “Oboronservis”, Director of Property Relations Department of the Ministry of Defence Dmitry Kurakin said.

1Other news directly concerns the department, which is headed by the official. According to Kurakin, Defence Minister approved the new concept of the Armed Forces property management. In fact, it is the first strategic “non-military” document in the history of the Russian army. It describes in detail what the department should do. The key areas of work, in particular, are improving the accounting of immovable military property, the definition of its objective function and its effective management. The document also includes the new rules of the army property realization. Its pre-sale preparation – accounting, registration , assessment and other operations now will not be conducted by the Ministry of Defence, it should be done by the seller, which will be authorized to sell the unnecessary property.

– Given the redundancy area of real estate available to the Ministry of Defence, including military bases, educational, cultural, municipal facilities catering to the needs of the population, one of the main criteria is the efficiency of the transfer of such property to the new owners, said Kurakin.

1And another important point. The Ministry of Defence wants to create a structure that will take the lead in organizing the army supply necessary during war, training exercises and operational readiness tests. The experience of recent years shows that merchants serving military units in the framework of outsourcing, are not eager to go into the fields to feed the soldiers in the trenches. So the Ministry of Defence decided that the military men or the workers and employees of the Russian army would have to do it.

Earlier, catering, bath and laundry services and other unusual features for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were fully transferred to the system of outsourcing, or transferred to civilian structures.

Shoigu Explained Why Army Needs Recruits

3Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu gave an answer to one of the most sensitive for many Russians question whether the Russian army will be fully professional in the foreseeable future or not. According to the head of the military department it is hardly possible. “To have a purely professional army, we have a very large area”, said Shoigu.

2At the same time, the Defence Minister reassured some recruits and their parents. Recruitment of guys for a year of compulsory military service (this period is not to be increased) is primarily connected with the need to train their army and naval specialties, as well as skills of military equipment and weapons management.

“We should be able to mobilize, and to mobilize, we need to have a mobilization resource. To do this, there is a course for the creation of four reserve armies”, said Shoigu and added that by 2020 the armed forces will not “use conscripts in military operation.”

1The professional soldiers will take part in such operations if any. The Ministry knows exactly how many professional soldiers the Russian army must have. The Defence Ministry set the schedule of contract solders drafting. In October it was even exceeded – instead of the planned 50,000 people more than 60,000 soldiers were accepted to the Army. But the numbers is not so relevant for the generals. The main thing for them is to replenish the armed forces with competent and motivated for long and faithful service people. And for that they need to create normal living conditions in the army.

At the same time, the Minister of Defence admitted that troops cannot be manned only by professionals, they also need recruits. And only competent and conscientious ones. Soldiers are taught at shooting ranges and landfills. And the military field exercises are in the foreground. The Defence Ministry head said that now five times more bullets, shells, missiles would be allocated for this purpose. According to the minister , this decision caused the results of spot checks.

4This year there was six such unannounced inspections. The Defence Ministry is trying to make them effective not only for common soldiers and junior officers, but also for those who lead teams , divisions and districts , as well as providing the army with all necessary.

“When we conduct unannounced inspections, it seems to all that we conduct it today and will forget tomorrow. But it is not so. Next there comes a deep analysis”, Shoigu said . “It results in a big work to synchronize everything.”

Endless Reforms – this is the Fate of Military Education

2One of the key elements of the ongoing Russian military reform is its human resource component. Planned for the next decade 20 trillion rubles for Russian Armed Forces supplying with modern weapons and military equipment may be dead capital , if staff for their application is not prepared.

2Decades of endless changes in the Russian military school posed the problem of stability and sustainability. Each country has its own opportunities, trends, constraints. Most of the problems of the Russian military school are inextricably linked to its history and are closely connected with the state of social and spiritual, political, economic, international and purely military aspects of the society’s life. The strengths and weaknesses of these areas affect the training of military personnel.

A number of stages  can be singled out in the history of Russian military personnel training.

The first stage begins from the formation of a regular army in the early eighteenth century.

1Initially, military education was acquired as all sorts of craft from father to son. With the advent of firearms the transition to a regular army and government training began. Russian military schools, founded by Peter the Great, include the training of military personnel in the guards regiments and special schools and was based on a purely rational basis.

The second stage is characterized by the formation and development of the system of military education since the second half of the eighteenth till the early twentieth century. All reformers were liberating military school by their micromanagement and regulation, counterreformers regulated innovations, preserving them. Catherine II added humanitarian component to the rationalism to the military school. Paul I upgraded the training of artillery. There was a continuous process of development.

1The third stage of the history of the military education is Soviet period, from 1917 to 1991. It is divided into four periods: 1917-1941, 1941-1945, 1946-1964, 1965-1991. It is characterized by the solving of the military- educational problems in isolation from foreign military schools. Soviet military school underwent a difficult and controversial way – from the denial of domestic experience to its restoration using rigid ideological constraints.

The strengths of the Soviet military schools of the postwar period belonged to military training . Front-line officers gave the cadets what they needed during war and in conditions close to it.

1The fourth stage of the history of military education begins from early 90 ‘s and continues now. It can be divided into two periods: the 90s of the last century and the beginning of the twenty-first one. It is notable with attempts to understand the historical experience of military training and the strong influence of the Soviet military schools, ignoring of science and imitations of reform.

A Year of Excellent Work

1Analysts and military experts believe that last year was especially symbolic for Russia’s armed forces development because of the decisions made on military equipment, the return of military property sold illegally, improvement of troop training quality and development of military science and education.

It has been one year since the appointment of Sergey Shoigu as Russia’s Minister of Defense, and by all accounts, he has been making swift improvements in the Russian armed forces’ procedures and policies.

1President Vladimir Putin removed Anatoliy Serdyukov as Minister of Defense and replaced him with Shoigu in November 2012. The most popular and recognizable Minister in Russia (based on survey results), Shoigu was assigned to the post after serving for a short while as acting governor of Moscow Region.

Before that he had been the head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations for many years.

1Shoigu was assigned to his new position against a background of the reverberating scandal surrounding the company Oboronservice.

The key players in this scandal were persons close to the former defense minister, and one of the first decisions Shoigu faced after taking up the post was to recover property sites, previously sold in breach of the law, back to the Ministry of Defense.

“The initiatives of the heads of the Ministry of Defense regarding de-commercialization of the army are, first and foremost, targeted against corruption,” said Pavel Verkhnyatskiy, the lead analyst of the Political Information Center.

1Shoigu is also credited with the introduction of a system of total vital cycle contracts for the purchase of weapons and military equipment. This system implies that the enterprise that has sold a certain item to the armed forces will render continuous support to such a project, from the beginning of construction until disposal.

In accordance with the department’s plans, practically all enterprises of the military must provide a total vital cycle of manufactured weapons and military equipment over the next two to three years.

With the arrival of Shoigu to the post of Minister of Defense, the department has reinstated the practice of regular inspections of the Russian Army.

These inspections help to evaluate objectively the level of military readiness of the armed forces and to set out the best ways to address current problems.

The first unannounced inspection in the last 20 years was conducted at the central military district midway through February this year, which was followed by a number of other, similar events of various levels took place in other military districts.

1Experts said that the unannounced inspections of the Russian Army help not only to understand the actual military readiness of the Armed Forces and to test the close cooperation between all their elements, but in addition, they teach the military service personnel of all levels the ability to react instantly to any potential threat.

“The cornerstone of the armed forces is their readiness to enter battle at any moment. More has been done over the last year in this respect than in the preceding decades,” said Victor Zavarzin, first deputy head of the State Duma Defense Committee.

Shoigu to Relieve Leisure of Soldiers by 3D-Movie Cinemas, Sunbeds and Saunas

1The policy of creating comfortable conditions for military personnel, elected by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, will be continued. In most military camps, which are currently under construction, a new type of cultural and leisure centers with 3D- movie cinemas, sunbeds and saunas are envisaged.

 1This week Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Army continues to move towards the humanization of military service. “Soldiers have two days off, they have the opportunity to go out in civilian clothes after resignation or to use Skype or a mobile phone,” he said at a meeting of the Public Council of the Ministry of Defence, which includes the well-known actors, musicians and politicians. Shoigu also promised that by the end of 2013 showers and buffets will be organized in all military units.

The Defence Ministry will take care not only of conscripts living in units, but also of the officers living in closed and conventional military camps. According to the approved plan of arrangement signed by Shoigu there will be cinemas that can show movies with 3D- effect in all military camps.

In more than 340 military bases construction works are being fulfilled. “It’s not just about 3D- cinemas, they will be placed in the fully equipped cultural and recreational centers where soldiers can have a rest,” – said a source in the Defence Ministry.

1The two projects of the construction of such centers were considered. In suburban Mozhajsk, where there are three military units, will be a huge cultural and business centre of three modules – a cultural and informational, entertainment and relaxation and recreation one. In addition to 3D- cinemas there is a library with a book stock of 15 million books, a photo studio, a beauty salon, a solarium and sauna for ten people in the center.

 1Mozhaisk is located in 100 km from Moscow, and nowhere to go there especially. Military live closed, so their leisure, promised in the Defence Ministry, will try to establish as soon as possible.

 The same cultural and business centre will soon appear in the Arkhangelsk region.

1“This is a very positive trend”, the colonel Anatoly Dergilev said. “Military personnel should be able to have a good rest after the service. And the presence of nearby cinema or gym will also help to overcome alcoholism in military camps.”

 “Officers and perhaps contractors, of course, must be provided the maximum comfortable conditions of service, – the deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin says. – Recruits must also live in normal conditions, for example, it is impossible without showers.” As for other benefits, here, according to experts, there is a danger to cross the line and get to the state of the western armies. “Some of them because of an overabundance of comfort ceased to be full-fledged armies,” Khramchikhin said.