As a result of large-scale personnel purges over the past few years, many officers were forced to leave our army. Recall that in the course of reforming the Armed Forces of Russia, it was decided to reduce the total number of officer corps from 335 thousand to 150 thousand, that is, more than twice. Later, these figures were corrected several times, and now after the statement made by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of his intention to return officers to the army who were dismissed under his predecessor, it is very difficult to get an exact answer to the question of how many officers are actually serving in the Russian Armed Forces.
The motivation, according to which the current head of the Ministry of Defense decided to strengthen the officer corps - the basis of the army, is understandable. “Let's return those officers who were the color of science, the color of military education,” said Sergei Shoigu at a meeting with authorized representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This suggests that, in his opinion, most of all our army needs scientists and teachers. The Minister of Defense, of course, knows better who is lacking in the army in the first place. But let's try to look at this problem through the eyes of a non-faculty reserve officer.
And we will cut anyone
For the sake of justice, large-scale reforms touched not only military science and specialized universities. Were reduced or merged into one whole district, the types and types of troops, associations and formations, not to mention the individual military units. "Rezili", as often happens with us, in a hurry, for a living, sometimes completely thoughtless, with the result that many full-time officer positions are significantly reduced. Sometimes it seemed that the purpose of such a reform was not to reduce, but to destroy the backbone of the army - the officer corps and its spirit. The absurdity of the situation resembled the old army proverb: “We will understand it as it should be: we will punish anybody and reward someone”, with the only exception that we have reduced, maybe, anyone, but we left it in the service. In many cases, under the specious pretext of organizational and staff measures, the bosses simply settled scores with objectionable subordinates, extracting their own benefit from this.
In this way, many thoughtful and most principled people who had their own opinion, which did not always coincide with the opinion of the authorities, were expelled from the army. Among them were, for example, the well-known and popular in the army, generals Sergey Makarov (not to be confused with namesake Nikolai) and Anatoly Khrulev, who held senior positions in the North Caucasian Military District who died in the Bose during the period of "forcing Georgia to peace" or Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Vladimir Vysotsky. It is not a great secret that some officers paid for leaving in the army, for the possibility of extending the contract according to the tariffs set by the cleverest personnel officers.
What are you going with, sir? Or I serve ... Ivan Ivanitch!
The most persistent officers, whose posts were not subject to reduction, and those who did not wish to write a report on dismissal, were awaited by “tempting offers” for transferring to remote places or to posts with demotion. Here is a typical история one of these officers - Colonel Vitaly G.
More recently, he headed one of the departments in the management of the power department. After Vitaly had expressed his opinion at the service meeting, which was different from the leading one, the head of the department, General P., in the presence of his fellow servicemen, insulted the officer. The latter, having considerable military experience behind him, serving in special forces and state awards, barely restraining himself, demanded a public apology from the chief, and having received a refusal, suggested the startled general “go out to talk”.
After that, Colonel G. was ordered to the IHC for a medical examination with an in-depth examination by a psychiatrist. And while the combat officer (recognized as fit for health) was in the hospital, his position was reduced. The persuasions to retire did not work, and then Vitaly was offered to take the vacant post of deputy commander of the brigade outside the Urals, where he is currently serving, having lost not only the capital, a “warm place in the headquarters”, a substantial cash increase, but also real chances to move. on service.
Another similar case was told by a familiar lawyer. Colonel Victor P. was appointed to the post of commander of one of the units in the Moscow region. It seemed that one should rejoice and thank the fate, and he, when accepting cases and posts, discovered gross violations inherited from the former commander, who contained in the regiment an entire staff of "dead souls". Having shown his principles, the colonel included the flaws in the act and informed the garrison prosecutor's office, which he violated the unwritten taboo - took the rubbish out of the hut. While the prosecutors unleashed the case, the principal prosecutor received a statement appealing against the actions of Colonel P., who had exceeded his authority: acting as the commander of the unit, Victor P. insulted one of his deputies. Currently, the failed commander is at the disposal of the senior commander, continuing to sue his home department.
We have before us only two fates, I suppose, not the worst Russian officers, who cannot be called mediocre personalities. Nevertheless, the service career of both of them was, in fact, marked by a cross. Alas, their stories can not be called atypical. Too much in this way is reduced to bills with disagreeable, recalcitrant officers who put their honor above the parochial and mercantile interests and ... who did not find support from senior commanders. Their examples served as a clear lesson to hundreds of their colleagues: behave yourself quietly, as part of a game set not by you, but if you twitch you will lose everything.
Is it any wonder after this that as a result of such personnel decisions in the chairs of various kinds of commanders and chiefs, it was not by chance that people learned the golden rule of the army careerist - the commander is always right and there is no more important task than to fulfill the order in time, accurately and in time (request ) a superior.
Subordination in the army is paramount, but when legal respect and honoring are replaced by personal loyalty, and decisions are not driven by sensible initiative and a sense of responsibility, and fear of not pleasing the authorities and fear of losing their armchair through this, such “subordination” causes obvious damage to service . So it turns out that, saying proudly: “I serve Russia!”, In fact, such officers are more likely to serve (or, more precisely, serve) to their boss.
The military should not be afraid of responsibility
Probably, there is a higher sense in this “high cadre policy”, which is most likely to protect oneself from unpredictable and too charismatic subordinates from whom one can expect anything. It is much calmer for the authorities when it is confident in its officers, knowing that they will not blurt out too much in front of the camera of the television reporter and do not make rash, unauthorized actions, be it a shot at Pristina, Tskhinval, or the height of Ulus-Kert combat grenade fallen at the feet of subordinates.
However, few of the conductors of this policy are aware that depriving an officer of such qualities as independence, initiative, is like death for him. “Among the fighting qualities of every military man, especially commanders, there should be an initiative ... not a single commander, no matter how low a level ... he can hold, cannot be deprived of the right to use it,” emphasized the famous Russian military scientist and writer, the author of many works, General Lieutenant Alexey Bayov. But it is precisely sensible initiative that, more than ever, is lacking today the army suffocating from lack of professionalism and mired in pretense. Just as lethal for an officer is his unwillingness to assume responsibility, loss of taste for her, as another Russian military scientist believed, a member of the Russian-Japanese, First World, Civil Wars major general Vladimir Domanevsky. In his work “The Essence of Command,” he wrote: “One of the highest qualities of a superior is the willingness to take responsibility.” Contrary to the assertion of another well-known domestic military journalist and scholar Colonel of the General Staff Yevgeny Messner: “The officer should not be afraid of responsibility, but should love it,” many of the current bosses are exactly the opposite afraid of her as a fire and in every way avoid taking the initiative, signing in fact about their professional incapacity .
Here is a typical example from television news about a year ago. When ammunition began to be torn in one of the garrisons, a panic arose, but the evacuation of the town’s inhabitants was, in effect, led by the company commander’s families. The head of the garrison, the commander of that part, left the dangerous place among the first.
Honor above all!
If we recall the biographies of outstanding Russian and Soviet officers, we will see that their official path was not at all covered with roses. Brilliant Suvorov was subjected to slander, slander, disgrace, and even resignation many times. In fact, his pupil, the future participant of the Patriotic War and chief of staff Mikhail Kutuzov, and later the pro-consul of the Caucasus, Alexei Yermolov, was under arrest for several years. And at the peak of his military and diplomatic successes, Alexei Petrovich fell victim to palace intrigues and was generally dismissed. The best Stalinist marshals, admirals and generals, participants of the Great Patriotic War: Rokossovsky, Kuznetsov, Meretskov, Gorbatov, Lizyukov and others were repressed and arrested in their time.
Few of the outstanding military leaders were denounced by denunciations and related troubles in the service, caused by the main human passions: envy, resentment, lust for power or a feeling of revenge. However, these ineradicable defects in human nature were regulated by a number of restraining balances. One of them - the officers 'meeting and the court of officers' honor, is fraught with serious consequences in the form of a duel duel, and from the Soviet period they include the party meeting, which, on the one hand, played the role of an exhaust valve, and on the other - could seriously damage a career presumptuous commander.
Note that the autocrats, chiefs in the army and the highest echelons of power was always enough, but, I repeat, there was also enough counterbalance to tyranny.
Before all the army ... I beg your pardon
Much less is known about such actions in the imperial, pre-revolutionary period. Taking this opportunity, I would like to fill this gap, paying attention to the relations between the glavkoverkhas with unprecedented rights, in the role of which were crowned heads, and their subordinates - people of noble rank brought up in honor understanding. Here is an example when the use of the Fatherland overcame the fear of one of the court dignitaries to incur royal disgrace.
Empress Catherine II, famous for her unbalanced character, unaware of the Swedish king’s intention to declare war on Russia, ordered to send most fleet in the Mediterranean and did not want to hear anything about the machinations of the Swedes. There were few people who wanted to convince her of the cancellation of this criminal order. But the honor and glory of the Fatherland were still incredibly higher, and one of the courtiers, Field Marshal Count Musin-Pushkin, took the liberty to convince the royal woman of the mistake of her decision. It cost him dishonor and insults, but acted in the right way. Thanks to the canceled order in time, the fleet was abandoned in the Baltic and the war that began with Sweden (1788-1790) was successfully won by Russia.
Here is the story of the reign of Emperor Paul, who was famous for his temper. Summoning Prosecutor General Obolyaninov to his office, the angry monarch demanded that he immediately arrest the state treasurer, Baron Vasilyev, for allegedly embezzling four million rubles. Knowing the latter as an honest and decent person, the prosecutor general tried to stand up for his comrade, but Paul, angry, interrupted him, grabbed his breasts and even threw him against the wall. Outright, the attorney general began to silently recite a departure prayer, but Paul quickly took possession of himself and asked why he stood up for the treasurer.
- I know him and I am sure that he is incapable of a mean business.
“But here’s his report: look, there are four million missing here!”
The Procurator General, putting the honor of a person known to him above his career, and possibly freedom, asks the emperor for a couple of hours to hear and finds out that the report was correct, and four million were missed in it at the direction of Paul himself and included in a special article. Documents confirming these words are presented. What is Paul? Realizing his guilt, he brings the subject of an apology, and Baron Vasilyev favors a high award and 500 souls of serfs. For honesty and loyalty. By the way, in the future, Count Vasiliev, thanks to these qualities, becomes under Alexander I the Minister of Finance of the Empire. And on account of the principled procurator-general, rescued souls and other statesmen of Pavlov's reign.
The absolute majority of Russian monarchs, not deprived of a sense of nobility and brought up in the traditions of chivalry and Christian morality, when they found themselves wrong, did not disdain to offer apologies to their subjects, including doing so, if circumstances required, in public. During the reign of Nikolai Pavlovich, the conspiracy of the Petrashevists' revolutionary circle was uncovered. Among others, he was arrested and imprisoned in the fortress and the staff captain of the Leibeger Regiment of Lviv. At the first interrogation, it turned out that he was arrested by mistake and released. Soon after, a parade was held, at which the sovereign was present. When the legebn keeper was passing in front of him, he stopped the regiment and announced in a thunderous voice, addressing the officer: “Headquarters captain Lviv! You were mistakenly suspected of a state crime. I beg your pardon before the whole army and the people. ”
Alas, in later times, the commander-in-chief somehow didn’t go down to such trifles. Today, for those who consider themselves offended there is a court and a charter; however, not every general or officer will consider it possible to achieve in this way satisfaction for the protection of his honor in people deprived of this quality due to a natural absence.
Take care of the officer
Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov did, it seems, everything to remove the most active and active from the army, eradicating even the thought of some kind of initiative, without which the officers would turn into clerks and Chaldeans. The current military leadership of the country has made the “amendment to the wind”, and today several key figures have already been returned to service - the same inconvenient earlier Makarov, Khrulev, Vysotsky. But, in my subjective opinion, to protect from unscheduled reductions and to return to the system it is necessary first of all not only the color of science and education, as well as popular commanders, but also military officers with the necessary professional qualities: independence, initiative, willingness to take responsibility, endurance and high moral qualities: nobility, dignity, honor, which teachers of high schools must educate and develop.
“Take care of the officer. For from century to now he stands faithfully and permanently on guard of Russian statehood ... ”- these words of Anton Denikin, spoken by him at the first All-Russian officers meeting in May 1917, on the eve of the October revolution, are particularly relevant in our time, which will show whether Army, officer corps to restore its potential. Much depends on the solution of this problem.