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Reserve Officer Training in Russia

Col. Leonid Khabarov leads the march of a Russian reserve officer training unit honor guard

Reserve Officer Training in Soviet Union was established in the 1920s.[citation needed] Many military chairs and departments survived in Soviet universities and academies despite the setback which struck military education in the early 1990s after Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his program of unilateral military force withdrawals and reductions. There are 48 military chairs, and 16 military departments within the Russian Ministry of Education, plus one military department, which has been expanded to a separate institute led by Leonid Khabarov.[1]

According to Lt. Col. F. Edward Jones, an American military analyst with the U.S. Army War College who studied Reserve Forces in the Soviet Military, not all men served on active duty with the Red Army.[2] All students, who were enrolled in a reserve officer training program while in school were exempt from conscript service. An undetermined number of them, particularly those in engineering fields, were later called to active duty as reserve officers for periods ranging from two to three years.[2]

There was a particular goal in cross-training civil specialists. In the classless society of the Soviet Union every individual was guaranteed a job. In so doing, those individuals that have a job, have a dual function. Truck drivers for example, worked for whatever organization their job is associated with; they could be drivers who shuttle machine parts from their factory in Kiev to outlying areas, but they were also registered with the local civilian transport enterprise (Avtokolonna) who receive requirements from the local Military commissariat (Voenkomat) for a designated number of trucks for mobilization or a particular military exercise. As these drivers are well trained and are driving a truck that they have driven many times before (civilian trucks are identical to the military version – one could do a one-for-one exchange and not suffer any decrement of the mission) the system works out very well. The commanders who are receiving these drivers with their trucks, know exactly how many vehicles they will receive, where they're coming from, their license numbers, and the driver's name. The same is applicable for the rest of the civil specialties, such as medics, mechanics, radio operators, telegraph operators or even jewelers, as well as many others.[2]

Christina F. Shelton, the USAF Intelligence employee, noted that contrary to the conventional military educational facilities, whose manpower could be estimated quite precisely, the extent of the Soviet reserve officer corps (those who receive commissions at civilian universities) was unknown.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Russian Government Decree of March 6, 2008, No 275-R "About military centers, departments and chairs of the federal educational facilities."
  2. ^ a b c Jones, F. Edward. (April 2, 1990). Reserve Forces in the Soviet Military (PDF) (An Individual Study Project: Unclassified). USAWC Military Studies Program Paper. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College. p. 32.
  3. ^ Shelton, Christina F. (September 25–27, 1980). The Soviet Military Education : System for Commissioning and Training Officers (PDF). Reston, Virginia: International Conference Center. p. 19. Retrieved September 16, 2012.