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the training of personnel for different services of the armed forces, including combat arms and specialized troops. The term “military education” covers the sum total of systematic knowledge of the basic (social, physical, mathematical, chemical, and other) and specialized military sciences and the skills that officers and other servicemen need in their practical activity.
The origin and development of military education are closely connected with the development of military science and the art of war. The formation of military education into an independent branch of special education and into a system for training military personnel began in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when specialized military educational institutions were set up for the first time in several European coun-tries. Later the outfitting of armies with war materiel and armament and the development of the theory and practice of military affairs brought about the need in varying degrees for military education and the training of military specialists in more narrow branches of military knowledge (such as artillery, signaling, and chemical service).
In the Soviet state the first steps in the field of military education were taken right after the Great October Socialist Revolution. In organizing the work of setting up the Red Army, the Communist Party was guided by the Leninist proposition that only commanders who have a complete knowledge of military affairs and who came from the people can correctly understand the policy of the Communist Party and the Soviet state and consistently uphold it.
In the USSR an integrated system of military educational institutions of various types and levels has been set up; in these institutions servicemen acquire systematic military, political, engineering, technical, and specialized knowledge and the necessary skills in all branches of military science; they master the Marxist-Leninist methodology, knowledge of the laws of armed struggle, and scientifically substantiated methods of the combat application of armament and equipment.
It is customary to distinguish three levels of military education: higher, secondary, and elementary. Higher military education is given to students of commanders’ military academies (faculties or departments) and some higher schools. Persons who receive a higher military education in a command specialization study such topics as social sciences, operational art, general tactics, the tactics of combat arms and specialized troops, the history of war, and the art of war. An important place is assigned to technical training (the study of the tactical and technical properties of armament and combat equipment, including their structure, combat application, and operation), the study of the weapons of mass destruction of the armies of the capitalist states and defense against them, drill and physical training, and a knowledge of foreign languages.
The basic content of higher military political education consists of fundamental studies of the social sciences, military pedagogy and military psychology, and the organization of party and political work among the troops. In addition, students study operational and tactical disciplines, foreign languages, and other subjects. Much attention is devoted to technical training as well as to the study of the weapons of mass destruction of the armies of the capitalist states and the organization of defense against them.
Persons receiving a higher military engineering education in various specialties and a higher specialized military education (such as medicine, finance, music, or physical culture) study the social sciences (the history of the CPSU, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, political economy, and scientific communism), general science, general engineering (for the technical specialties), and specialized disciplines, as a rule on the same level as a corresponding civilian higher educational institution, such as higher schools of aviation, radio engineering, transportation, construction, medicine, and finance; they also study military, operational and tactical, and specialized disciplines that specialists in a particular field need to carry out their military service duties.
In addition to comprehensive theoretical knowledge, graduates of higher military educational institutions acquire practical habits in a specialty through on-the-job training in military units and on ships and through industrial and technological on-the-job training at industrial enterprises, repair plants, bases, arsenals, clinics, and other establishments. Many specialties of higher military, military-political, military engineering, and specialized military education can be acquired through correspondence schools, where the range and content of various disciplines studied are the same as at regular schools. The time of study at the higher educational institutions as a rule is three to four years for officers and five years for other categories.
Secondary military technical and specialized military education in the armed forces of the USSR is conducted in the system of command-technical, technical, and specialized military schools. Depending on the qualification received, secondary military schools teach social and economic disciplines (the history of the CPSU, party and political work, and the fundamentals of military pedagogy and military psychology), tactical and general military disciplines (tactical, fire, drill, and physical training, the manual of the armed forces of the USSR, the history of the art of war, military administration, and the weapons of mass destruction and defense against them), or general educational and general technical disciplines (the fundamentals of higher mathematics, technical mechanics, mechanical drawing, foreign languages, and so on). The study plans of the military schools that dispense secondary military technical and specialized military education provide for three years of study. More than half of the total study time is devoted to the study of the major specializations and to practical training in the specialty. The number of specialized disciplines and the time devoted to their study for each military school depends on the type of training and on their assigned specialty.
The final phase in obtaining a military education in command, political, medical, financial, and several other special-ties is the passing of a state examination, and, for the engineering specialties, the defense of a diploma project before a state examination commission. Persons who have successfully passed a state examination or defended a diploma project receive a diploma of higher (secondary) military, military-political, military-engineering, or military-specialized education and also a corresponding qualifications certificate and chest insignia of an established form. Graduates of secondary military school receive a diploma in an all-Union form and a corresponding qualifications certificate (technologist-mechanic, technologist-builder, and so on).
Elementary military education—that is, the education of rank and file (sergeant) military personnel—provides political, military, or specialist knowledge as well as the practical skills leading to the fulfillment of service duties independently and as a member of a team, crew, squad, or other military unit. Mandatory studies include the study of the manuals of the armed forces of the USSR and of weapons and combat equipment and ways of applying them in battle. Elementary military education is composed of two parts: first, the elementary military training of students, which is conducted according to the Law of Universal Military Duty, adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Oct. 12, 1967, in grades 9 and 10 of general educational schools and vocational-technical and specialized secondary educational institutions; and second, the training of servicemen in the course of military service. Students of Suvorov military schools and Nakhimov military naval schools receive elementary military education in the process of instruction at the schools along with a complete general secondary education.
V. M. KONOPLIANIK