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Noncommissioned Officer or Petty Officer are empowered and trusted leaders in America's all-volunteer force. They enhance organizational effectiveness and directly contribute to mission success. They are the indispensable link between command guidance [from officers] and execution [by enlisted and ratings], ensuring that each task is fully understood and supervised through completion. You are responsible and accountable for the development and welfare of your subordinates. You teach, coach, and mentor them. The collective capacity of the NCO/PO ranks, junior to senior, forms a distinct and invaluable leadership cadre that balances artfully between mission and people. NCOs/POs possess professional qualities, competencies, and traits that complement the officer corps and enable the enlisted force.

“Officers make up 30% of our armed forces personnel, while in the armies of the major countries the figure is 16%. We do not consider such a number of officers in our army as quite normal,” said Colonel General Vasily Smirnov, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. As of September 2008 about 300 foreigners served in the Russian army. The Deputy Chief-of-General-Staff Vasily Smirnov said that these young people are basically from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Among these are 80 Tadjiks, 66 Uzbeks and 40 Ukrainians. After serving 3 years voluntarily, a contract-soldier can get the full-pledged Russian citizenship.

About 320,000 young men were to be drafted into the Russian Armed Forces in the fall of 2009, a deputy chief of the General Staff said on 21 July 2009. "According to our estimates, about 320,000 people will be conscripted into the Russian Armed Forces this fall," Col. Gen. Vasily Smirnov said. Only 133,000 conscripts joined the armed forces during the spring draft, and about 219,000 people were drafted in fall 2008. The general said the higher number of conscripts was due to the reduction of officer ranks, the scrapping the rank of warrant officers and cuts to contract personnel. As of January 1, 2009, the Russian Armed Forces numbered 355,000 officers and 140,000 warrant officers. "By the end of 2009, we will have 150,000 officers, all warrant officers will have been discharged or absorbed into other ranks, and we will have less contracted personnel," Smirnov said.

In December 2016 it was reported that the Ministry of Defence would finally get rid of all the so-called sergeant officers - the officers appointed to posts of sergeants and petty officers. Such a situation arose in the course of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's "transition of the Armed Forces on a new look." Due to the reduction of the army, such petty officers were transferred to the reserve or taken from their respective formation positions.

In the course of military reform 2008-2012's, the leadership of the military department decided in a reduction of officer positions. Over the years from 2009 to 2010 the number dropped from 335,000 to 150,000. Due to this, part of the junior officers, mostly graduates of military schools, were asked to either leave the reserve or occupy vacant posts of sergeants - Squad leaders, deputies platoon commanders, commanders of combat vehicles. Also the rank of warrant officers was abolished Their duties were scheduled to shift to contract sergeants, but the latter was not availible in sufficient quantities, and officers were also appointed to their positions.

At the peak of the reform of Anatoly Serdyukov there were about 10,000 men in the status of "sergeants officers." With the change of leadership of the Ministry of Defence of their number steadily declined, and by 2016 the Ministry of Defence had fewere than a thousand soldiers ssigned to the sergeant and petty officer positions.

The "sergeants officers" were reassigned to officer positions, as the Ministry of Defence was faced with an acute shortage of officer personnel. But there were still not enough to meet staff shortages.

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Page last modified: 23-01-2017 15:31:50 ZULU