Abolition of Rank in the Army

Soviet of People’s Commissars, Abolition of Military Ranks and Titles. December 30, 1917


Original Source: Sobranie uzakonenii i rasporiazhenii raboche-krestian’skogo pravitel’stva, 1917, No. 9, pp. 137-38.

In fulfillment of the will of the revolutionary people which is concerned with the immediate and decisive eradication of every inequality in the army, the Sovnarkom hereby decrees:

1. To do away with all ranks and titles from the rank of corporal to that of general, inclusive. The army of the Russian Republic is henceforth to be composed of free and equal citizens bearing the honorable title of “soldier of the revolutionary army”;

2. To do away with all privileges and the external marks formerly connected with the different ranks and titles;

3. To do away with saluting;

4. To do away with all decorations and other signs of distinction;

5. To do away with all officers’ organizations …

6. To abolish the institution of orderlies in the army.

President of the Sovnarkom

People’s Commissar of Army and Navy

People’s Commissar of War

Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, ed., Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918; Documents and Materials (Stanford: Stanford University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 299.

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