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(from Old Slavonic prapor, “banner”), warrant officer, a military rank in the Soviet armed forces, introduced on Jan. 1, 1972. The rank (praporčik) also exists in the Czechoslovak People’s Army.
Praporshchik was a junior officer’s rank in the prerevolutionary Russian Army and was equivalent to ensign in other armies. Ensigns were originally standard-bearers. In Russia the rank was introduced in the early 18th century and was abolished in the peacetime army in 1884 and kept only for wartime. In 1886 the rank of praporshchik of the reserve was instituted.