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(7,686 posts)
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 12:53 PM Apr 2022

does the Russian army really does not have nco's ?

How on earth is it supposed to work ? Here in the US, nco's are the ones who keep everything going. They have the expertise, the respect of the troops and are invaluable. Same is true in most western military ( like the French one where I was an officer)

You quickly learn this as a young lieutenant fresh out of officer school. Without your staff Sgt you are screwed and you better listen to him.

No wonder the Russian army is beyond incompetent. Apparently they compensate by throwing soldiers in the fight not caring if they die it not. The meat grinder approach I guess..

13 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Happy Hoosier

(7,651 posts)
1. They have NCO's, but...
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 12:58 PM
Apr 2022

Unless Western militaries, they are not trained as leaders and are not empowered to make any decisions on their own initiative.

That‘s a BIG advantage for Western forces, and That includes Ukraine in this case because they have adopted Western organization and training approaches.


(146,538 posts)
7. That not only affects combat units, but support units as well.
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 01:15 PM
Apr 2022

Communications, transport, Mess units, supply units, medical units, and many others depend on experienced NCOs to keep things running smoothly. Without that lower level leadership, those other units tend not to get done what needs to be done.


(7,453 posts)
3. The paranoia runs deep.
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 01:08 PM
Apr 2022

Russians have never trusted their NCO’s, or their company and field grade officers either.

That’s why they always had a political officer assigned to major units/commands, to report back and punish/get rid of those who might turn on the party.

And despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, that feeling toward the enlisted and the NCO’s has never left their military, regardless of branch.



Effete Snob

(8,387 posts)
5. Yep
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 01:10 PM
Apr 2022

I was just posting the same thing (below).

Putin came out of the security services, and so the "oversight" of the state security apparatus within the regular army has the same effect of diluting the chain of (actual) authority.


(7,453 posts)
13. To pound it home...
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 05:03 PM
Apr 2022

The most startling thing (to me, a former Army Lt.) are the intercepted Russian army communications with soldiers saying their officers have left them behind.

It just blows me away when I think about it!


Effete Snob

(8,387 posts)
4. They seem to be organized very differently
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 01:08 PM
Apr 2022

From what I dimly gathered by skimming stuff a while back, it seems like their conception of how to run an army is different from ours.

It seems like they can hoover up a large number of conscripts, provide minimal training, and they're good to go.

Meanwhile, the professional corps of the army, such as it is, is frequently at odds with the security services. That might be a holdover from the old days where all the units had a embedded "political" element to enforce loyalty - i.e. there's the guys up front with guns, and there are guys behind them with guns keeping the other guys up front.

But unit discipline seems awful with these guys. It would be embarrassing if it were not also fortunate for anyone who is not them.

This whole section is just sad:


or this, later down the page:

Shoygu also focused on forming battalion tactical groups (BTGs) as the permanent readiness component of the Russian army, rather than brigade-sized formations. According to sources quoted by the Russian Interfax agency, this was due to a lack of the manpower needed for permanent-readiness brigades. BTGs made up the preponderance of units deployed by Russia in the Donbass war. By August 2021 Shoygu claimed that the Russian army had around 170 BTGs.


(12,847 posts)
6. The Russian NCOs are basically the most forceful of the graduating conscripts.
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 01:12 PM
Apr 2022

It's not considered a career track to be enlisted (or rather, conscripted).
They've been trying to create a career track NCO corps since 2010, but Russian culture has never had a concept of independent leadership or knowledge between an officer and a worker drone. It's a very top-down class culture.



Shanti Shanti Shanti

(12,047 posts)
10. Russia doesn't trust/want it's soldiers thinking for themselves. Ground troops are cannon fodder
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 02:00 PM
Apr 2022

Sniper teams might be one exception, they pick their targets, mostly


(7,654 posts)
11. A cool tidbit of info...the Ukrainian military was exactly the same, until we started training them
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 02:38 PM
Apr 2022

Not only Ukraine, but all of our NATO allies have been training new NCOs in a cooperative program with U.S. forces. This is one reason the Ukrainians are now kicking the Russian's asses.

NATO allies cultivate NCO force

Non-Commissioned Officer Corps Professional Development Reference Guidance

Wounded Bear

(59,281 posts)
12. Russians have a more 19th Century kind of organization, I think...
Sat Apr 23, 2022, 02:42 PM
Apr 2022

everything runs top down. Essentially, they emphasize "command" rather than "leadership."

Russians have never seemed to worry much about casualties, enemy or friendly or civilian.

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