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Flag of Russia.svg
Praporshchik in Russia
Coat of arms Kolchak 1919.jpg
Imperial Russian Army Prap 1917 v.png
Rank insignia Russian Imperial Army
Introduction 19th century
Rank group Praporchik
Army / Air Force Praporchik
Navy Michman
Lower:
Higher:
Starshina
Starshiy praporchik
NATO
equivalent
OR-9

Russian praporshchik Shchegolev, 1854.

Praporshchik (Russian: пра́порщик, pronounced [ˈprapərɕɪk]) is a former rank in the Russian military, though it may still be used in other uniformed services of the Russian government such as the Police. It was a junior officer rank in Imperial Russia and was restored in the 1970s as a warrant officer rank.

Imperial Russia[edit | edit source]

Praporshchik was originally a name of a junior commissioned officer rank in the military of the Russian Empire equivalent to ensign. The rank was abolished 1917 by the Bolsheviks (but still existed in 1917—1921 in the White Army) and restored in 1970s in the former USSR for non-commissioned officers and was equivalent to warrant officer rank.

It was first introduced in Streltsy New Regiments. The name originates from Slavonic prapor (прапор), meaning flag; the praporshchik was a flag-bearer in Kievan Rus troops. In the New Regiments of the Streltsy and the "new army" of Peter the Great, praporshchik was ranked as a commissioned officer of the lowest grade; this was legalised by the Table of Ranks of 1722. By the 19th century, the rank was given to senior non-commissioned officers of the Russian army upon their retirement and also reserve or volunteer officers with no previous service (from then on commissioned officers started service as podporuchik ("sub-lieutenants").

In spite of this, podpraporshchik ("sub-ensign") was one of the NCO grades, originally below sergeant and feldwebel. From 1826 to 1884 it became the highest non-commissioned rank of the infantry, cavalry and the Leib Guard. From 1884 podpraporshchik ranked below the newly introduced NCO grade zauryad praporshchik ("deputy ensign").

Soviet Army and Militia[edit | edit source]

In the Soviet Army, the reintroduction of the praporshchik rank in 1972, along with the michman (ми́чман; "midshipman") rank in the Soviet Navy, marked the attempt to recreate a corps of contract non-commissioned officers similar to master sergeants and chief petty officers, the role that was previously reserved for senior drafted personnel. Contrary to Western practice of assigning the senior sergeant ranks to veteran soldiers, the Soviet ranks of starshina and sergeant were routinely assigned to 20 year old soldiers at the end of their 2-year draft. The praporshchiks were aged volunteers and were expected to have more authority over draftsmen than similarly aged sergeants; they are placed in a separate category of "master non-commissioned officers" (praporshchik and michman).

from 1971 Ground Forces (Army) Air Force Navy Police (formerly Militia)
Coat of arms of the Soviet Union.svg Rank insignia of старший прапорщик of the Soviet Army.svg Rank insignia of прапорщик of the Soviet Army.svg Rank insignia of старший прапорщик of the Soviet Air Force.svg Rank insignia of прапорщик of the Soviet Air Force.svg Rank insignia of старший мичман of the Soviet Navy.svg Rank insignia of мичман of the Soviet Navy.svg Russian police senior warrant officer.png Russian police warrant officer.png
Senior praporshchik
(1981-1994)
Praporshchik
(1971-1994)
Senior praporshchik
(1981-1994)
Praporshchik
(1971-1994)
Senior michman
(1981-1994)
Michman
(1971-1994)
Senior praporshchik Praporshchik

Carey Schofield's Inside the Soviet Army c.1990 provides a good description of the place of the praporshchik within the Soviet military system.

Praporshchik rank of the Russian Federation[edit | edit source]

The praporshchik rank continues to be used in the armies of ex-Soviet states.

Praporshchik and michman ranks of the Russian armed forces from 1994[edit | edit source]

1994-2010 Ground Forces (Army) Air Force Airborne Troops Navy
Banner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (obverse).svg RAF A W2SenPrap 2010.png RAF A W1Prap 2010.png RAF A W2SenPrap 2010field.svg RAF A W1Prap 2010field.svg RAF AF W2SenPrap 2010.png RAF AF W1Prap 2010.png RAF ABTr W2SenPrap 2010.png RAF ABTr W1Prap 2010.png RAF N W2SenMichm 2010.svg RAF N W1Michman 2010.svg
Senior praporshchik Praporshchik Senior praporshchik
field uniform
Praporshchik
field uniform
Senior praporshchik Praporshchik Senior praporshchik Praporshchik Senior michman Michman
from 2010 Ground Forces (Army) Air Force Airborne troops Navy
RAF A W2SenPrap after2010.png RAF A W1Prap after2010.png 8stprp.png 7prp.png RAF N W2-StMichm 2010–.svg RAF N W1-Michm 2010–.svg
Senior praporshchik Praporshchik Senior praporshchik
field uniform
Praporshchik
field uniform
Senior michman Michman

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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