GER-VOLGA-L ArchivesArchiver > GER-VOLGA > 2001-06 > 0993142648
From: Vera Beljakova <>
Subject: [GV] more on Russian Military obligations
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 18:57:28 +0200
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3B31A048.232FAB00@global.co.za> <001c01c0fa67$59369a20$3028ecd8@oemcomputer>
thelma mills wrote:
> Hello - my grandfather's Military Certificate states that Joseph
> Kinderknecht was accepted into service as a soldier of the first
> classification until the age of 43 years old, until January 1, 1910
> (beginning year 1/1/1888). He was dismissed from the regular service on
> January 1, 1906. Then it says "according to the achievements during the
> exercises, can not be listed as a reservist". Given in the city of
> Novouzensk in January of 1906.
> He then came to America in April, 1908 with his family.
> I had the documents transcribed. They were so fragile, i almost hated to
> have nayone handle them. Thelma Mills
It would appear to me that your grandfather enlisted as a career soldier
(full-time for life, usually between 29-25 yrs) hence he is listed as being of
1st classification, and on retirement he was too old or sick for the reservists.
Being a career soldier did have its advantages. Regular pay, was one of them.
Also, on retirement there was a pension, in the village there was prestigious
for old campaigners who enthralled youth with their tales of distant places
and strange peoples.
Usually one enlisted at age 16, so one was free by age 41 - and would return to
village with a pension, get married, start a family, and inherit the land of
to start farming.
Sometimes who groups of retired soldiers would be sent off (voluntarily) and
a village (colony) on the border areas, known as soldiers villages or old
colonies. This was intended for the men who had likelihood of inheriting
Where you write :"dismissed" (uvolen) is a vague word in Russian, and could many
anything, like dismissed, retired, retrenched, pensioned off, due to completion
service, illness or at one request.
Retirement age was around 40+ for soldiers and 43+ for officers, because some
later in life due to longer schooling.
Enjoy your document !
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vera Beljakova" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 2:20 AM
> Subject: [GV] length of Russian Military obligations
> > German colonists and other non-ethnic Russian minorities served less time
> in the
> > army
> > (5 yrs), if they knew Russian language and were "literate" (could read
> and write),
> > than did those who knew no Russian. ( a very big incentive to go to school
> > learn Russian).
> > There were also "reservists" (on call but not on duty).
> > I do not have at my fingertips the exact years when the length of service
> > down from 25 yrs ( 1 in every 100 villagers was called up = 10% of
> able-bodies men
> > )
> > during the time of Peter the Great ( nobles also had to serve 25 yrs !!!!
> eithr in
> > the army or civil service ),
> > and it gradually came down to 5 yrs (as the conscription net widened to
> > incorporate non-ethnic Russians),
> > with a penalty of an extra 2 yrs if they did not know the national
> > Russians thought it unfair that SOME the German farmer-colonists tried to
> get out
> > of
> > national military service.
> > But there were all sorts of clauses and conditions whereby a man could
> > evade a draft.
> > eg: son of a widowed mother, breadwinner of the family, only son, etc
> > In some regions who could pay another man to substitute you.
> > In Kossack villages they were given a quota of men to submit to the army.
> > The villagers then paid the men to volunteer, and kept their families....
> > Each rule had plenty of exceptions.
> > Vera Beljakova-Miller
> > "Suzanne Heinitz D." wrote:
> > > My great uncle, George Heinitz (spelled Heintz on his discharge papers),
> > > in the Russian Army as a Border Guard, from January 1, 1899 and was
> > > into the reserve Dec 24, 1903. So that adds up to five years for him.
> He was
> > > taken into service by the Novouzinske (?) military board district #4.
> > > Suzanne Heinitz D.
> > > --- wrote:
> > > >
> > > > In a message dated 6/20/01 7:08:23 PM, writes:
> > > >
> > > > << I have heard several accounts of the length of service for the
> > > > Draftees into the Russian military. I was told that my grandfather
> > > > Werner was commited for seven years.
> > > > Did the length vary or was it standardized?
> > > > Byron Eisner
> > > > >>
> > > >
> > > > ==========
> > > > Seven years is the amount of time that my great uncle served. My
> > > > grandfather, who was younger, came to the USA rather than serve.
> > > > Ruth Schultz,
> > > > Village: Norka; Surnames: Blum, Frueauf, Scheidemann, Weitzel
> > > >
> > >
> > > =====
> > > Someday you'll be an ancestor too!