Military Educational Institutions

Military Educational Institutions


institutions to train command, political, engineer and technical, and special cadres for all armed services, combat arms, and special troops. In the USSR military educational institutions include military academies, higher and secondary military schools, and the military departments of civilian institutions of higher education; there are also various schools for training and retraining officers.

The first military schools in Russia, which appeared at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, were the Military Engineering School in Moscow (1698), the School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences (1701), and the Naval Cadet School in St. Petersburg (1752). Higher military schools, which were called military academies and which began to be established in Russia at the end of the 18th century, included (all in St. Petersburg) the Medical and Surgical Academy (1798), the Military (later, General Staff) Academy (1832), the Artillery and Engineering Academies (1855), the Military Law Academy (1867), the Naval Academy (1877), and the Quartermaster Academy (1911). The academies gave the army and navy many outstanding military leaders and military scientists, who established national schools in all the primary areas of the art of war. In the 19th century a network of military schools was formed, including Junker schools (which graduated noncommissioned officers), to train officers. Before World War I there were 20 military schools in Russia (in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Kiev, Odessa, Irkutsk, Orenburg, Tver’, and elsewhere); this included 11 infantry schools, three cavalry schools, two cossack schools, two artillery schools, one engineering school, and one military topography school. Officers were also trained by special classes in the Corps of Pages. Officers carried on advanced study in schools of the combat arms; in 1912 there were rifle, cavalry, fencing and gymnastics, aerostation, electrotechnology, and artillery schools. Also included among the military schools were the general classes of the Corps of Pages, the cadet schools, and the military Gymnasiums, which were found in almost all the provincial capitals of Russia. These military schools (which admitted members of the privileged classes only) prepared students to enter military schools of a higher level.

The appearance of military schools in the USSR is closely linked with the organization and development of the Soviet armed forces. Soon after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution a regular army began to be formed from the masses to defend the Soviet state. Headed by V. I. Lenin, the Communist Party worked out the basic principles of building the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA), training and educating military cadres, and organizing special military education. Already during the years of the Civil War and military intervention (1918-20) a network of higher and secondary military educational institutions (military academies and schools) and various training courses had been organized, which trained command cadres for the army and navy.

The first Soviet combined arms academy was the General Staff Academy (now the M. V. Frunze Military Academy), which was organized in Moscow in 1918 on the instructions of V. I. Lenin to train senior and superior commanders. In Petrograd the Military Engineering Academy began to function at the end of 1917, then in 1918 the Artillery, the Military Medical (since 1935 the S. M. Kirov Academy), and the Naval academies opened. In 1925 the RKKA Technical Military Academy was formed from the Military Engineering and Artillery academies. For the training of highly qualified political workers, the Petrograd Red Army Teachers Institute opened in 1919 and was later changed to the Military Political Institute; in 1925 it became the Military Political Academy (now the V. I. Lenin Military Political Academy in Moscow). In 1920 in Moscow the Institute of Engineers of the Red Air Force was founded. In 1925 it was transformed into the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Academy of the RKKA, and in 1940 the Air Academy of Air Force Command and Navigation Personnel (today the Iu. A. Gagarin Air Force Academy in Monino) was separated from it. The reorganization of the armed forces that occurred during the 1930’s on the basis of the country’s industrialization and the sharp increase in technical equipment demanded the training of a large number of highly qualified officers for, among others, the armored, chemical, engineer, and signal forces. For this purpose the following academies were formed during the 1930’s: the Red Army Motorization and Mechanization Academy (now the Marshal of the Soviet Union R. la. Malinovskii Military Academy of Armored Troops in Moscow); the Military Transport Academy (in Moscow until 1938, thereafter in Leningrad); the Marshal of the Soviet Union S. K. Timoshenko Military Chemical Academy (in Moscow); and the Military Electrotechnic Academy (now the Military Academy of Communications in Leningrad). At the same time the Artillery Academy (since 1934 the F. E. Dzerzhinskii Academy in Moscow) and the Military Engineering Academy (since 1935 the V. V. Kuibyshev Academy in Moscow) were formed on the basis of the corresponding departments of the RKKA Technical Military Academy. In 1935 the Military Administration Academy opened in Kharkov (called subsequently the Academy of Rear Services and Supply; it was combined with the Military Transport Academy in 1956 under a new name—the Military Academy of Rear Services and Transport). In 1936 the General Staff Academy was formed (now the K. E. Voroshilov Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces). In 1941 the A. F. Mozhaiskii Air Academy was opened in Leningrad.

The swift development of military science and technology after World War II and the appearance of nuclear missile weaponry, which led to a revolution in military affairs, demanded the training of highly qualified military cadres in a number of new specializations.

The military academies ordinarily admit officers who have graduated from the appropriate military schools and have completed the required length of practical experience working among the troops. Candidates are chosen by competition. The average age of persons entering the academies in command, political, and certain other specializations is up to 32 years, whereas for engineer specializations it is not more than 28 years.

The higher military schools (combined arms, political, tank, engineering, aviation, naval, and others) train officers with higher specialized education to fill command, political, engineering and technical, and other positions in various branches of the armed forces, combat arms, and special forces. Most of the higher military schools were organized in the 1950’s and 1960’s, usually from secondary specialized military schools. The oldest higher military schools, which were founded in the first years of Soviet power, include the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Moscow Combined Arms School, the Leningrad S. M. Kirov Combined Arms School, the Kaliningrad A. A. Zhdanov Military Engineering School, the Tula Proletariat Artillery School, and the M. V. Frunze Naval School and the F. E. Dzerzhinskii Naval Engineering School (both in Leningrad). Higher military schools admit regular-term and extended-term servicemen, civilians up to 23 years of age who have secondary general or specialized education, and graduates of Suvorov and Nakhimov schools. Some of the higher military schools (those with a five-year program) admit officers up to 28 years of age. The Military Institute of Foreign Languages (founded in 1963 in Moscow) graduates military ’translator-consultants for the armed forces. The institute admits civilian youth and regular-term and extended-term servicemen up to 23 years of age.

The military departments at civilian institutions of higher education train military cadres with higher specialized military education (medicine, finance, and so on). Military departments began to be established as early as the 1920’s and 1930’s at the leading institutions of higher learning in Moscow and Leningrad, such as the department of air communications at the Leningrad Institute of Transportation and Communications Engineers, the military veterinary department at the Moscow Zoological and Veterinary Institute (later the Veterinary Academy), and the military departments at the Moscow Hydrometeorological Institute and the State Central Institute of Physical Culture (in Moscow). By the beginning of the 1970’s military departments existed at the Gorky, Saratov, Kuibyshev, and Tomsk medical institutes, the Moscow Institute of Finance, the Leningrad P. F. Lesgaft Institute of Physical Culture, and the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. Depending on their special areas, the departments admit officers, privates, sergeants (petty officers), and civilian youth. In addition to their higher military specialized education, students in the military departments receive the full range of knowledge presented in the curriculum of the corresponding higher educational institutions. The period of study at higher military schools is ordinarily three to four years for officers and five years for other categories of students.

Air defense, aviation engineering, construction, finances, and other military schools (formed in the 1930’s primarily from corresponding lower-level schools) are secondary specialized educational institutions that train command, technical, and specialized cadres with secondary military and specialized military education. The schools admit, on a voluntary basis, servicemen (soldiers, seamen, sergeants, and petty officers) and civilian youth up to 23 years of age who have received a general secondary education. During the three-year period of study the students receive military, political, and specialized knowledge, as well as the practical skills necessary in their specialization. After the established period of command experience or other work in the armed forces, graduates of these schools have the right to enter higher military schools.

The graduates of military schools are issued all-Union diplomas for higher (or secondary) military or specialized military education and are given badges; those who do not have the rank of officer receive it.

Scientific and teaching cadres for the military schools are prepared through graduate work. Among the teachers and scientific associates at military schools are generals and officers with the highest qualifications—professors and doctors of sciences (military, historical, technical, medical, and other sciences), assistant professors, and candidates of sciences, many of whom have a great deal of combat and troop experience. (Certain general scientific and general engineering disciplines are taught by civilians, who ordinarily have scholarly degrees and titles.)

Also included among military schools are the Suvorov and Nakhimov schools, which prepare students to enter higher military schools.

In addition to the regular military schools there are also various types of special training schools for the purpose of training and retraining officers. The oldest of them is Vystrel’, the Marshal of the Soviet Union B. M. Shaposhnikov Higher Officer Training School.

Noncommissioned officers (sergeants and petty officers) for the different combat arms and special forces are trained in troop (fleet) training subunits and units. The students who go through the training program successfully are given the rank of sergeant and are appointed as squad commanders, driver-mechanics of combat vehicles, junior aviation specialists, and so on.

The training and education of military cadres at the military schools and the improvement of the system of military education is directed by the USSR Ministry of Defense with due regard for the instructions of the USSR Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education concerning questions of teaching methods and scientific research work, the training of scientific and pedagogical cadres, and so forth.

In the socialist countries—Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia—the training of command, political, engineering and technical, and specialized cadres with higher and secondary qualifications in all specializations needed for the armed forces is carried on at military academies and higher and secondary military schools. The period of study at the military academies is from three to five years; at the higher and secondary schools it is from two to four years. The academies are also the main centers for training scientific military and pedagogical military cadres. Theoretical military problems are worked out in these academies.

In the capitalist countries there are various types of higher and secondary military educational institutions—academies, institutes, colleges, and schools. They admit representatives of the ruling classes for the most part. In the USA officer cadres with higher military education are trained at command-staff and military colleges (army, air force, and navy), which admit primarily officers (period of study is generally about one year). The advanced higher military training of officers and generals is carried out at the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Officers for the US armed forces are graduated by military schools associated with the ground forces, the air force, and the navy. The schools draw students from civilian young people and servicemen who do not hold officer ranks; the period of study is up to four years. The branches of the armed forces and combat arms have schools (special schools and training centers) for specialized training of officers who have graduated from regular military schools. In Great Britain officers receive military training at the colleges of the ground forces, air force, and navy, and advanced study takes place at the Royal College of Defense Studies and the National Defense College. In France officers receive military training at higher schools (military, staff, engineer, signal, weapons schools, etc.) and do advanced study at the Institute of Advanced Study of National Defense. In the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) officers are trained at an armed forces academy. The period of study is up to three years. As in the USA, officers for the armed forces in Great Britain, France, and the FRG are trained at higher military schools (period of study up to four years).


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