(Ail-Union Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Army, Air Force, and Navy, awarded the Order of the Red Banner), a patriotic defense organization of the working people, set up to aid in the strengthening of the country’s defense capability and the training of the working people for the defense of the socialist fatherland. DOSAAF was preceded by the Society for Assistance to Defense, Aviation, and Chemical Construction (Osoaviakhim), which was replaced in 1948 by three separate societies: DOSARM (Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Army), DOSAV (Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Air Force), and DOSFLOT (Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Navy). In 1951 these three societies merged to form DOSAAF USSR.
DOSAAF has its own charter, flag, and emblem. It encourages the members of the society to take initiative and to act independently under the leadership of party organizations, and it maintains contact with soviet, trade union, Komsomol, athletic, and other public organizations. A central committee, headed by a chairman, and republic, krai (ob-last), city, and raion committees are set up for direct leadership of DOSAAF. The basic units of DOSAAF are local organizations created in plants and factories, on kolkhozes and sovkhozes, in institutions and educational establishments, and at housing administrations. DOSAAF has the following basic tasks: education of the public in the spirit of constant readiness to defend the interests of the socialist motherland and in the spirit of love for the Soviet armed forces; propagation among the population of military knowledge and of the heroic traditions of the Soviet people and the armed forces; preparation of young people for military service in conformity to the Law of the USSR on Universal Military Service; assistance in civil defense measures; participation in training specialists whose knowledge has military application, such as tractor drivers, radio operators, engineers and motormen, drivers, electricians, and motorcyclists; and the direction of the development in the country of airplane, helicopter, parachute, motor vehicle, motorcycle, radio, submarine, motorboat, rifle, aircraft modeling, and other military-technical sports. DOSAAF publishes newspapers, magazines, bulletins, books, and posters; produces military training films and slides; and disseminates military-political, military-technical, and sports literature. Any citizen of the USSR who has reached the age of 14 can be a member of DOSAAF.