The creation of military commissariats was one of the most important steps of the young Soviet government on the way to the formation of the regular Red Army and the recruitment of young men into it. Very quickly, the Soviet leadership realized that it was impossible to wage war against whites and interventionists, relying solely on voluntary formations of workers and sailors and defending the side of the Bolsheviks. More and more human resources were required.
To replenish the Red Army with conscripts, a developed system of military registration was required, and for the preparation of reserves, military training. Since the universal armament of the proletariat was one of the fundamental pillars of the official ideology, and to protect the Soviet power more and more human resources were required, one of the key areas was assigned to the military commissariats - to train reserves and call young people to military service.
22 April 1918 was adopted by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee “On compulsory education in the art of war”, which was also inextricably linked with the creation of military commissariats that served as the leadership of the All-educa- tion. At the same time, the post of military commissar was introduced to guide the activities of military commissariats, which should not be confused with commissars of fronts, armies, divisions, brigades, regiments of the Red Army. The military commissars of the formations were entrusted with the political leadership and control of the military command, and the military commissars of military registration and enlistment offices were assigned to military and administrative work in the field.
The first years of Soviet power became the most difficult for the military commissariats - after all, it was necessary to ensure the mobilization of the male population into the Red Army in the context of the Civil War, global political changes, the destruction of local administrative infrastructure and the reluctance of many citizens of the young Soviet republic to serve as conscripts.
There were very high losses among the staff of military registration and enlistment offices - like other representatives of the Soviet local authorities, they died first of all during insurrections or uprisings, they were destroyed by white and anti-Soviet rebels. Nevertheless, in many respects precisely thanks to the operatively deployed system of military commissariats, the Red Army literally turned into a powerful armed forces staffed by conscription in just a few years. The system of universal military training, also thanks to the military enlistment offices, was covered by a large part of the Soviet population.
The key to the success of the military commissariats at that difficult time, of course, was the correct selection of personnel. Who were the military commanders of those years? Basically, as evidenced by historical documents recruiting military commissariats were recruited from among men registered and mobilized for military service in the Red Army. For example, when an order was issued in Ivanovo-Voznesensk to register all persons liable for military service, employees of the military commissariat were also recruited within three to four days. Many employees of military commissariats were transferred from other units and institutions of the Red Army.
Not all employees of the military registration and enlistment offices were Red Army soldiers, many came from Soviet or party institutions, first of all from workers 'and peasants' militia. Often, the military enlistment offices sent workers on party recommendations. This was especially true of the military commissioners themselves and their assistants. But sometimes it was necessary to recruit employees and literally from the street, placing ads in the provincial or city newspapers.
Candidates for service in the military registration and enlistment offices, who came "ad", were required to comply with the minimum qualification requirements, that is, experience in military service, for engineering or technical posts, appropriate education or work experience. However, the selection was not very strict and often in leadership or responsible positions were people who were not ready for such work and were not able to perform it. This, of course, affected the work of the military registration and enlistment offices not in the best way. Since in the difficult times of the Civil War, military service, especially in the rear, guaranteed at least some level of income, food ration, clothing, to work in the military registration and enlistment offices, like other government or party institutions, people went willingly.
The most important task of the military registration and enlistment offices on the ground in the first year of Soviet power, in addition to mobilization work, was the formation of military units of the Red Army on the ground. Already on 29 on April 1918 of the year, a corresponding order was issued by the People’s Commissariat for Military Affairs, which stated that it was the military registration and enlistment offices and only they should be engaged in the direct formation of military units. To create parts of the Red Army, the local enlistment offices required to obtain special permissions from the central leadership. The divisions of the Red Army were formed according to special orders sent from the People's Commissariat, whereas for local needs units and divisions were formed by military registration and enlistment offices, but strictly according to the states approved by the people's commissariat.
The task of recruiting commanders for the newly formed units of the Red Army was also assigned to the military registration and enlistment office. This was even more difficult, given that commanders had to recruit from scratch. The old system of military education that existed in the Russian Empire was practically destroyed, and the commanders needed more and more for the fighting units of the Red Army. Therefore, on April 22 of 1918, the decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee “On the procedure for filling posts in the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army” was published. It indicated that platoon commanders were recruited by local military commissariats from among persons who had been trained in special military schools or had distinguished themselves in battle and had shown the ability to command personnel.
Lists of candidates for platoon commander positions were drawn up by commanders of individual units and military commissars. The military registration and enlistment offices were also charged with checking the newly appointed commanders for full compliance with the position occupied by the military commissioners together with the commanders of the units. Those wishing to serve in the Red Army in command positions could also submit applications to county-level and higher-level military registration and enlistment offices, after which special military certification commissions were created under the authority of military commissars to certify them. They considered applications from individuals who wanted to be recruited as commanders of platoons, companies, squadrons, batteries of the Red Army.
There was, as the historian ABKuzmin notes, and an interesting system of publicity in the selection of candidates - their names were published in local newspapers, after which any citizens within ten days after publication had the right to make their objections to the above candidates. The military registration and enlistment offices took an active part in the creation of military schools and courses, which were attended mainly by workers, less often by poor peasants. A separate group, which was also considered as a reserve for the replenishment of the commanding staff, were former tsarist officers, non-commissioned officers, military officials who already had military service experience and, accordingly, high-quality training in the old Russian army.
After the end of the Civil War, the Soviet state set about the further construction and strengthening of the Red Army. Being in a hostile environment, in conditions of a constant risk of the outbreak of war, the Soviet Union needed not only a well-trained and well-trained army, but also a reliable mobilization system that allowed it to instantly mobilize significant military contingents.
Already by 1930. in the Soviet Union an excellent system of general military training was formed. Starting from school, the Soviet people underwent basic military training, learning the basics of military specialties in Osoaviakhim as part of pre-conscription training. Much attention was paid to the physical training of Soviet citizens, especially high school students, students, young workers and collective farmers. In the organization of the system of universal military training, the military commissariats cooperated, firstly, with the party and Komsomol organs and organs of the Soviet government, and secondly - with Osoaviakhim. As a result, a unique system for preparing a mobilization reserve was created, which with some changes existed until the collapse of the Soviet Union.
A huge amount of work was done by the military commissariats during the Great Patriotic War. The tasks of mobilizing millions of Soviet citizens to the front and to the rear units demanded from the military commissariats in all the Union republics, regions and territories a tremendous exertion of forces. This was doubly difficult because the number of servicemen serving in military enlistment offices was reduced. Many were transferred to the army, others themselves asked to be transferred to the front, not wanting to work in the rear. And, nevertheless, despite all the difficulties, the military commissariats coped well with the tasks set for the mobilization of persons liable for military service.
The final formation of the system of military commissariats of the country in the form in which it, with some changes, exists to this day, occurred already in the postwar period. The military commissariats were entrusted with a huge layer of military administrative work in various areas. Undoubtedly, the most important and well-known area of activity of military registration and enlistment offices was and remains mobilization work - the organization of military registration of the population and the carrying out of measures for military service and training camps, training young people for military service, organizing the recruitment of citizens for military service. contract. Through the military commissariats, selection is also made for those who wish to study at the higher military educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and other ministries and departments where military service is provided.
Responsibility of military registration and enlistment offices and their employees is colossal - it is they who carry out the selection of citizens for military service, determining whether young people are worthy of being called up for military service, serving under a contract or entering a higher military educational institution. Medical and psychological selection, the study of the biography of the future soldier, the definition of his moral qualities - all these tasks are performed by employees of military commissariats. But there are military offices and another important area of activity - namely, military registration and enlistment offices are responsible for the memory of soldiers of past generations, they organize search activities in battle sites, keep records of war veterans, organize, if necessary, the funeral of former soldiers and the installation of monuments and tombstones.
However, even in our time, the activities of military registration and enlistment offices underwent many changes that were associated with the military reforms carried out in the country in the 1990 and 2000 years. Thus, the reform of the military commissariats led to serious consequences, in which most of the posts in the military commissariats became civilian. This circumstance affected the work of military registration and enlistment offices rather for the worse, since professional military officers and officers were replaced by civilian civil servants, who have a completely different motivation, poorly understand all the nuances and peculiarities of military service, work with conscript contingent.
The military commissariats, despite all perturbations, continue to remain the most important institution for ensuring the defense capability of the Russian state. As a local police inspector in his person represents the law enforcement system in the eyes of the population, so the military registration and enlistment office is a “bridge” connecting the world of the army and military service with civil reality. "Military Review" congratulates all employees of the military commissariats of Russia on their professional holiday, wishes success in the service. Without your work it is impossible to imagine the armed forces, and the defense of the country as a whole.