Military Review

Advice of the Minister of War field marshal D.A. Milutin to an officer appointed to a higher command or staff position

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Advice of the Minister of War field marshal D.A. Milutin to an officer appointed to a higher command or staff position



Set out in the form of a father's farewell.

My friend! The position that the Fatherland and his Sovereign entrusted to you is one of the best in the army.

Your deputy, an experienced warrior, no less than you had reason to get this position, but they preferred you. Remember this and always treat him with dignified respect for his long and useful service.

Many officers are older than you, and each of them, judging by their personal merits, is not inferior to you, but you become their boss.
Never forget it.

I will not say that you should try to earn the respect of officers, the rule is too much beaten, but I will tell you that you should try to earn not just respect, but the love of your subordinates.

Every boss who feels for this feeling easily achieves the most difficult, and, on the contrary, he who does not deserve love achieves the easiest things with difficulty.

Bring love to your subordinates and the difficult duty of a military leader will be a pleasant experience for you.

You would be cruelly mistaken if you imagined that to acquire the love of subordinates you need to weaken discipline, or too please the wishes of each of the officers — this means neither true nor nice!

It would also be a mistake to think that one virtue, no matter how brilliant it may be, can arouse this feeling to you. Just as in a woman, we are not attracted only by her eyes, but by the whole, harmony in her features and figure — just as you can only by combining in yourself the virtues and knowledge that I will speak about in this parting message — you will deserve love their subordinates.

Having the greatest respect for your deputy, do not rush to give orders without his advice. If, following the example of some chiefs, you would not have respect for your deputy, you would soon become the victim of your unreason. Among the officers, divided between you and him, parties would be formed, and then you could not do anything good.

Have full attention to experienced officers, consult with them more often, show them friendship and trust.

Be a foothold, a friend, the father of young officers, talk to them more often and always respectfully, sometimes consult with them.

It is always good for a boss to enjoy such popularity, she often served me in favor. Try to get to know all your officers.

Without knowing them, at every step you will make mistakes and cannot be distinguished:
- modesty from lack of ability;
- self-confidence from empty arrogance;
- striving for order from ill will;
- love of justice and goodness from denunciation, envy or excessive ambition;
- moderation from indifference;
- severity of tension;
- you will take advice, given out of flattery or interest, at face value.

It will seem to you that you reward virtues, but in the meantime, your reward will go to mischief.

It will seem to you that you are patronizing true talents, and in fact you will exalt talented, imaginary talents.

Having devoted a long time to study the qualities of your officers and having learned them, choose between two elder friends who will find true dignity, knowledge, love of truth and order; Tie them to your friendship, assign them an important duty to remind you of your shortcomings with frankness, and to tell you your mistakes. Listen to the advice of these officers with attention, however, run off to have blind credulity towards them and show too clearly to other officers the preference you give to the first two, because this could become a source of disagreement.
Further, I would like to warn you against using harsh, shameful nicknames in relation to subordinates, do not say low and contemptuous words to them, the boss who uses these words humiliates himself in conversation with subordinates, and if he turns to officers with similar expressions, he compromises himself in the most obvious way.

Never forget that your officers are noble people!

Your colleagues are equal to you comrades and, therefore, when giving orders, remember that your tone and expressions must be adapted to persons whose engine is an honor; believe, my friend, that this is the only best way in which your orders will be respected, will be accepted; their execution will accelerate and the officers will entrust that power of attorney to you, which serves as the basis of discipline and success.

Never use punishments unlawful laws and intolerant national spirit. When you collect, on your face you must see the suffering that you feel, being forced to use strict measures.

Do not miss cases to provide minor services to your officers; if you timidly expect cases when you will be able to do something important for them, you risk never doing anything for them.

Just as minor precautions preserve virtue, likewise petty services bind hearts.

Petition diligently and persistently for the awards deserved by your officers. The generals may be denied what you ask, but they will be pleased to see your concern for subordinates and subordinates will love you more.

Never excite in the officers of your hopes, in the realization of which you are not sure. When the persons to whom it was promised will see that the promises are not fulfilled, they will accuse you of not respecting their benefits and inability to keep your word.

With the introduction of a new position, time in particular will be expensive for you.

Get used to getting up early!

You will have enough care, as well as subjects for study and performance.

Having received a new position in a relatively young age, you will apparently become a general; then you will not have time to do the theory of military action and, therefore, now you must study it. But even if you never would have had to occupy a more important place, believe, my friend, that the duty of the staff officer and commander's duties require information of the most diverse and extensive.

Will you be able to judge the knowledge of your subordinates if you don’t know better than all of them everything that you gradually have to go through in order to be worthy of their respect? Will you truly appreciate the dignity of the officers, if you yourself do not know the full extent of their duties?

Yes, my friend, only the ability to perform all the posts that are lower than yours, can you become worthy of taking the position entrusted to you, and make everyone fulfill their duties.

Needless to say about the study of military regulations. I advise you never to retreat from them. The law in the eyes of any good citizen, good warrior - the most sacred cause. They say the letter kills, the soul lives, but as I have always seen - under the pretext of this revitalization, many allow themselves the greatest retreats.

Respect also the ancient customs and traditions. If you find in which of them is evil, then you must destroy it, but proceed to its destruction with prudence and prudence, prepare with your actions and speeches the changes that you intend to introduce; Let me feel the benefits of them. Do not take the destruction of multiple abuses at the same time. First, pay attention to the most significant. If at one time proceed to the correction of all parts of the building, then it fluctuates, and sometimes collapses. Destroy when that which is to replace the destroyed has already been prepared. Remember that there is always more harm than good, if they offer thoughtless changes, even the most beneficial, and use hasty efforts to introduce them. Consult with experienced officers about innovations that are planned, their consent will entail the consent of others.

I have already told you about the necessity and benefit of studying military art. I will confine myself to repeating what the military история there is a source from which you must constantly draw. Read the story not to study military facts, but to study the meaning of war, morality and politics. History has always been the subject of my studies and I owe her everything I know.

You must be brave, but beware of the extremes in this case. Bravery, the first of the qualities of a soldier, in a military leader must obey prudence. However, I wish it was better to mourn your death than your glory or honor. Remember that the people who advise you most to take care of yourself will be the first to blame you severely if you follow their advice.

Love the fatherland and the sovereign. It is the duty of every citizen, and for you it is the first duty, because the fatherland and the sovereign have given you high confidence and honor - to have officers under the authority.

Love glory, the desire to achieve it should always burn in your heart. This love of fame supported me on the difficult path I had traveled.
I will not tell you about honesty, as the first duty of an officer, I advise you to follow the honesty of your subordinates.

If over time, the Fatherland and the sovereign entrust the regiment to you — the key and main position in the Russian Army, it is not by chance that our Sovereigns, beginning with Peter the Great, attributed themselves to the regiments, I want to give some more specific advice in advance.

Tips for the regiment commander

Try to make your regiment better, this vanity is permissible for the commander, but don’t get carried away by the outside, the parade and marafet.
Ensure that companies are always staffed with people capable of military affairs, even to the detriment of other teams.

Do not allow, out of false compassion for officers, to receive a salary for people who are not on their lists; he who allows himself such covetousness deceives the state and violates the duties of honor.

Also, he is not entirely honest, who does not observe perfect justice in the distribution of material benefits and, in particular, does not prevent his subordinates from gaining illegal profits at the expense of the soldiers.

This is one of the main points that the regiment commander should pay attention to.

Be present at all the teachings of your regiment, always be the first at the gathering place, be concerned only with your duties, be active, alert, accurate, and your officers will be careful, attentive and zealous, otherwise you will be grim and cold apathy. Negligence of the commander entails the inattention of officers to their duties.

Never be carried away by impatience or anger; repetition always follows the first gusts of passion: "if you want to do something stupid," said one sage, "follow the suggestion of anger." The quick-tempered chief often allows himself actions condemning for his honor, associated with a danger to his life and, more often, to the life of his subordinates.

Obey the laws and those who, by election of the Sovereign, are the organs of these laws. Disobedience to the authorities is the greatest of all military crimes, it spreads with extraordinary speed and increases in strength as it spreads. Can a commander who does not obey his elders demand obedience from his subordinates?

Be a judge, a peace officer, and the father of your regiment; as a peace officer and judge, observe the execution of laws; as a father - for the preservation of the purity of morals, pay attention to this last object, always almost forgotten and neglected by superiors. Where good manners are installed, laws are respected there, and, even better, they love laws and, therefore, try to improve morals, but don’t think that this can be done by order. They communicate, they are suggested, they should be introduced by example. The power of example here, as elsewhere, is a manifestation of willpower over oneself. It would be useless to look out for and notice the shortcomings of others, in which you can reproach yourself.

If your own morals will be immaculate, the regiment will also be distinguished by morality. Your authority will be strengthened, you will win a lot of time, reject many bad habits from you, you will never be a toy of circumstances, and the general respect will reward you for the hardships to which you will doom yourself.

Avoid the game, especially gambling, banishing this habit from the officers of your regiment completely, most of the military people through it die.
Beware of the predilection for wine, it humiliates a person, have always a good, but no frills, table, invite him to the officers of your regiment - preferably before the generals, colonels and other senior commanders. Take your guests with the respect they deserve.

The number of their personal crews is limited by necessity. You must set an example of simplicity and modesty, because you are a regiment commander. This moderation will not cost you a lot of work. Get away from yourself all the luxury that turns some of our officers into pampered women.
Splendor, which is so decent for a person representing the retinue of the Sovereign, is made a disadvantage for the military in general and detrimental for the regimental commander, as subordinates consider it his duty to imitate.

I could never look, without strong indignation, at the young commanders of the regiments, when they introduced in the camp and in the garrison luxury and courtier courtiers, when they tried to differ in the number and magnificence of the crews, the multitude of servants, the beauty of the horses, the sophistication of the table, in one word - vied between is the only one in the art of propagating pleasure. Is this ambition, which should animate warlords?

But enough about this, annoyance is ready to take possession of me. However, in this case, my advice is probably less what you need than in many others.

You should never look at a stinging creature without a strong desire to end its suffering, or to alleviate it. Keep, my friend, this precious sensitivity. She can be for you sometimes a cause of torment, but more often she will be the source of the joys of the most living and pure.

I advise you to be humane and generous just as much for your glory as for happiness. Philanthropy and generosity attract to us the hearts of the people with whom we live and over whom we are in charge. Whatever expense you make to alleviate the oppressive humanity, people will appreciate it, hearing about your charity will be more enduring than the rumor about your ability to hold parties. Let it be better surprised by a large number of those who were happy by you than by a large number of nobles who you tried to amuse. The memory of the feast leaves no pleasant traces either in the soul or in the heart, but how sweet is the memory of the unfortunate for us, comforted by us. For some important occasion, you can give a general reward to the soldiers of your regiment - I am not against it, but it would be wiser if you saved this money for the wounded and sick, for those who excelled in some brave affair, or for those , fulfilling their duties, suffered an important loss for them.

At least once or twice a week, visit the patients of your regiment, talk to each of them affectionately, listen to their complaints, and try to calm them down, this indulgence will be no less than medication to help them recover soon.

Visit more often the prisoners of your regiment, the guilty person should be punished, but should not be confined to places with inhuman conditions.

I will not tell you that you must take care of the blood and sweat of your soldiers in a war, he is not worthy of the name of a person who, in order to gain fame, puts them in excessive danger and suffering. In general, my friend, know that the glory that is acquired at such a price is not brilliant and not lasting.
Soldier's love is a special love, it was not by chance that our great commanders Suvorov, Kutuzov, and not only they, so cherished her.

Let me remind you one, little-known example: General Miloradovich, mortally wounded by Lieutenant Kakhovsky on Senatskaya Square December 14 1825, was an unconditional "servant of the king", but he was also a true "father of the soldiers." The hero of the Italian and Swiss campaigns of Suvorov, the battles of Austerlitz and the Turkish campaign, he became one of the most outstanding commanders in the Patriotic War with Napoleon, showing amazing personal courage and unprecedented care for the soldier.

His moral character was revealed in such an episode - being the military governor of St. Petersburg, he, on behalf of the sovereign, exceeded his authority, allowed the young Pushkin to return from exile in Mikhailovskoye to the capital, granted the forgiveness to the poet in such a way and put the Emperor Alexander I in front of necessity show nobility. And the way he valued his soldiers' love once again manifested himself in his last dying phrases, when a bullet extracted from his chest by a doctor jangled about surgical glassware, he left the half-forgotten and asked the enemy: "Some bullet?" "From a pistol," - he replied. “Thank God,” said the dying man, “it was not a soldier who shot.”

Russian officers for a long time are famous for their politeness, dignity and high culture. I am sure that you will not be made in this case, an offensive exception. I hope that in this you will surpass the preceding samples.

Unfortunately nowadays most of the officers are polite only with women, with superiors and equal, you, I believe, will be polite and with subordinates. Never speak with the officers of your regiment and even about them in an imperative or contemptuous tone, as some bosses do. Remember, I repeat, many of your subordinates much more deserve you the command of the regiment and what they lacked to be taller than you, only happiness or fate, and therefore be available, courteous, polite, helpful even with subordinates than with equals. Politeness with equal and senior - there is only a consequence of hypocrisy, skillful politics; with subordinates it is a sign of a kind heart. Praise, I deserved, from the fact that I never let me feel my power. Follow this example.

Having made a mistake, confess it immediately, and most importantly - try to correct it, although this course of action is very natural and does not deserve praise, but you will be praised for it, you will draw hearts to yourself, and your mistakes will be excused, I myself experienced it.

Love and distinguish the officers who show military abilities and those who, fulfilling their duties, indulge in creativity, develop their intellect, are fond of literature, music, art. Talents need help, mediocrity climb through themselves. In particular, be engaged in the young officers of your regiment, observing yourself for their behavior, their occupations, their morality; be as I said, mentor them, support and, if necessary, their father.

Your regiment will be good only when your officers are rich in information, and when they differ in constant and strong zeal for service. Believe that you will achieve brilliant results only by paying attention to young officers and teaching them to the right life. Try to make senior officers feel the love of a father for sons for young people, or at least a mentor for pupils; Watch that the latter give the elders the attention and respect that the good and well-educated sons have of them to their father.

Try to maintain agreement in your regiment, eradicate enmity, envy and gossip, or at least prevent their disastrous consequences. This, my friend, is one of the faithful and essential duties of the regiment commander.

Everything that is done in the regiment should be known to you, but for this you should never resort to espionage. The one who informs his comrades is a dishonest man who does not deserve any trust.

Resort to the eyes of others, the hands of others, in a decent sense, only in those cases when you cannot see everything and do everything yourself. Take all the details. Only then can it be done well on us, when all the details are known.

The regimental commander does not have to look down on things, do not try, however, to assign to yourself the duties that are assigned by the law and statutes to your subordinates; be content to watch over everyone or force everyone to fulfill his duties.

And finally, my last admonition: never forget, my friend, that you are appointed commander of the regiment for the benefit of the service and the regiment that is entrusted to you. The glory of the Fatherland should be your main goal. Your permanent occupation should be a device for the happiness of your subordinates, because many of them have so little of life left - from one war to another.

If you succeed in your regiment to be guided by your noble motives and increase the glory of the Fatherland, then each of its members will consider it a duty and pleasure to contribute to your aspirations, then all obstacles will disappear, and you will earn the glory pure, attract the hearts of others and the Sovereign’s mercies.

Remember, my friend, the words of the great sage Khayyam: “The tops of power are like inaccessible rocks. Sometimes eagles fly on them, but snakes crawl more often. ” Try to become an eagle!

In conclusion, I would like all staff officers and regimental commanders to pay attention to these of my advice. Let each of them ponder and apply them to their position, examine in them their duties to the Fatherland, Sovereign, subordinates and to themselves.

If it is true that one cannot judge people without first examining them; that it is impossible to teach them what you yourself do not know, that you cannot judge their knowledge and give justice to their talents, if you do not exceed their knowledge and abilities; that it is impossible to decide how they use their duties if he himself is not familiar with the laws prescribing them - it is also true that one cannot have any influence on subordinates if one does not have the art of persuading them and deserve their disposition. An example of a boss is the strongest and surest encouragement to all good.

Warlords must be scientists, hardworking and fair, more diligent than any of their subordinates and must possess all the knowledge and qualities necessary for a perfect warrior.

Assuming that the warlord does not have some of the knowledge and merit necessary for a warrior, we will soon arrange either a big mess in his unit, or abuse will root so much in them that he will be removed from the degree of perfection without which the existence of the Russian army is unthinkable.
Now, many of our headquarters and regiments are made up of worthy officers - everywhere people are selected. With such a composition of the officer corps, is it possible to leave a military leader without developing and improving his abilities? He should be prepared to occupy an important position.

For a senior officer, the shameful thing is to seek the rank of colonel or major general, like a pension, and engage in the most useless trivia - just like old age, amusing children's toys.

Every officer, when looking at his sword, must remember the words of the great Suvorov, who said: “The sword is weapon fame, a treasure of valor and few would dare to accept it if they knew what it obliges. ”

And if you dare to, as Suvorov advised: “Take for yourselves the example of the hero of the ancients, study it, follow it, level off, overtake it. Glory to you. I chose Caesar, ”said Suvorov.

And for me an example of military talent and high morality was a pupil of Suvorov - General Mikhail Miloradovich.

With the greatest respect for you, my friend, and sincere obedience to DA Milyut. January 30 Christmas Day 1879.

Brief information: Milyutin Dmitry Alekseevich (1816-1912) Earl, Field Marshal General, member of the Russian, British, Royal, French, Swedish Academy.
Minister of War of Russia (1861-1881). Author and head of military reforms of the second half of the XIX century. Under him, officer assemblies in the Russian army were legalized.
His younger brother, Nikolai Alekseevich, actually led the Peasant Reform from 1861 in Russia, and from 1864 in Poland.
Field Marshal Milutin DA left a multi-volume military history and military journalistic legacy and a very instructive memoirs.
10 comments
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  1. Redpartyzan
    Redpartyzan 24 May 2012 11: 07
    +6
    Each officer has a text in his hands. Maybe someone will touch and teach something.
  2. atos_kin
    atos_kin 24 May 2012 11: 14
    +7
    Great instruction for officers (and more). Read to everyone!
    1. Ross
      Ross 24 May 2012 18: 56
      +5
      Here she is a real Russian ELITE! Not the one that we are presented with for the "elite" now.
  3. Georg iv
    Georg iv 24 May 2012 11: 33
    +4
    Great tips!
    Apparently, it’s obvious that every great thing was shown not to everyone, but it should!
  4. hommer
    hommer 24 May 2012 12: 46
    +6
    How long has been written and how relevant today!
    Implement these principles everywhere! Not only in the army!
    If you follow these principles in society - Russia will undoubtedly become the moral leader of the whole world.
  5. Yarbay
    Yarbay 24 May 2012 14: 11
    +4
    *** Remember, my friend, the words of the great sage Khayyam: “The heights of power are like impregnable rocks. Eagles sometimes fly on them, but more often snakes crawl. ” Try to become an eagle! *** - golden words !!!
  6. andrey903
    andrey903 24 May 2012 15: 04
    +1
    These words must be known better than the oath
  7. andrey903
    andrey903 24 May 2012 17: 14
    -1
    I read the article, and before me stand the chased, spiritualized faces of Serdyukov, the heroes of Russia Makarov, Ustinov, Kadyrov, Voloshin, Patrushev
  8. I627z
    I627z 24 May 2012 17: 25
    +2
    Our ancestors were able to express their thoughts, enviably.
    The text is unambiguous to read to all, and especially to officers.
  9. Tirpitz
    Tirpitz 24 May 2012 17: 55
    +1
    For politicians, these words are probably even more relevant.
  10. Captain45
    Captain45 24 May 2012 21: 32
    +1
    I think this parting word should be given in a beautiful font printed on excellent paper, not only to the officers, but to everyone entering the civil service. And so that everyone knew the covenants by heart, and whoever knew and broke, such as got himself a modest "Maybach" instead of "Lada-Kalina", the one with his feet, legs with y to y, publicly, so that others were discouraged. Moreover, his colleagues should beat him - ministers, deputies and other thieves' riffraff.
  11. Pedro
    Pedro 24 May 2012 22: 17
    +1
    Brilliantly written. So, from an unexpected side glorious Russian military history opens.