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Cadet Russia

At present, there are some five hundred Cadet schools, military boarding schools, vocational schools and gymnasiums and a great number of Cadet classes, youth patriotic organizations in Russia. In present-day conditions, when the upbringing of children is left entirely to parents who, unfortunately, are often too busy to perform this duty, the importance of military education which has traditionally been focused, first and foremost, on preparing young Russians to public and military service and has always been notable for high efficiency and quality has in our time become even greater. These parameters, in many respects, determine the oncoming generation’s patriotic and public spirit as well as its intellectual, spiritual and cultural potential which are Russia’s future. It is up to parents to decide whether to enroll their children in Cadet classes or not provided the child is expressing his willingness and interest in it. The specificity of Cadet classes’ education requires a constant assistance of psychologists because professional screening and aptitude tests is the barrier half of the entrants fail to overcome while entering the military high schools.

In Russia and in the post-Soviet countries the Cadet movement is rapidly and steadily gathering momentum. The most popular and heard of are the five Suvorov Military Schools and Cadet Schools of the Ministry of Defence, two Suvorov Military Schools of Russia’s Ministry of Home Affairs, 36 Military Schools and Boarding schools of Russia’s Ministry of Education located in 30 cities of Russia and Belarus.

Below is a list of only some of them:
  • Military School of Achinsk
  • Kalashnikov Military School ¹ 7 in Votkinsk
  • Ivanovo-Voznesensk Field-Marshal-General Sheremetiev Military School
  • Kansk Naval Boarding School
  • Kostroma, school ¹ 7,Kostroma Naval centre
  • Kosinskiy Naval Club
  • Lesosibirsk Military School (the Krasnoyarsk territory)
  • Crown prince of Russian Empire Moscow Naval Classes
  • The First Moscow Military School
  • Navigation School in Moscow
  • General Sleptsov Cossack Military School in Penza
  • Sergiy Radonezhskiy Military School in Rostov
  • Saint-Petersburg Army Artillery and Missile School
  • Simbirsk Military School
  • Tuapse Naval College
  • Chelyabinsk Military School ¹ 45
  • Secondary School of village Shemetovo, Moscow oblast
  • Cadet Classes with Secondary School ¹ 9, the city of Slomin, the Republic of Belarus.

The key forms and methods of pedagogical process applied in Cadet classes are rather diverse. The All-Russian Watch of Memory that has already become a tradition gives an opportunity to define objectives for search activities, improve the mechanisms of cooperation between various public non-governmental organizations, law-enforcement agencies and executive authorities as well as conduct solemn burials of the fallen soldiers. Volunteer search groups and units are active in 25 regions where battle operations were conducted and in 30 back areas of Russia. Representative patriotic organizations have been formed in the Novgorod region, Leningrad oblast, Vologda and Smolensk oblasts. The members of Arkhangelsk oblast search unit and their colleagues from Tatarstan and Udmurtia have done a great scientific-methodological job in terms of searching activities organization and fallen soldiers’ identification. Nowadays over 15 000 children and teenagers are actively engaged in 52 regional search units. In 2004, in the course of search work 608 identification tags were found and 419 soldiers were identified. In late April, in Veliky Novgorod, the All-Russian Watch of Memory was initiated. The All-Russian Centre created an Internet-portal containing the data base on fallen and missing soldiers. It includes more than 2 million names. These electronic data are on open access. Apart from public authorities, representatives from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defence and teachers, various public organizations should also be involved in promoting patriotic education. To our regret, the above-mentioned bodies are not unanimous in interpreting the term “patriotic education”. A representative of the Ministry of Education and Science cited the words of the famous English philosopher Francis Bacon who said that the love to one’s motherland begins within the family. Patriotic education begins within the family circle from him/her being told about their relatives who were engaged in battles. School as an education institution also has a very important role to play in the process of developing our children’s public and patriotic spirits. And it goes without saying that history and regional ethnography lessons alone just can not produce a true patriot and citizen. School museums, which are steadily emerging every year, can significantly contribute to bringing up the oncoming generation in an all-round manner.

Veterans of war who work in educational institutions are a valuable and indispensable source of information for our youth today. They take part in teachers’ councils and supervise both Cadet classes and troubled teenagers.

Among the key constituents of teenagers’ educational process and preparation to military service are youth patriotic organizations, Clubs of commando, sailors, frontier guards and naval pilots. They work in close cooperation with veteran organizations, military units, military registration and enlistment office and law-enforcement agencies.

Another element essential for instilling patriotic qualities in the younger generation is implanting respect for national symbols. Unfortunately, while introducing and later organizing the school reform, the government failed to take this important element into account and just excluded it from the approved school curriculum. The Ministry of Education and Science has issued an order to organize a number of activities aimed at popularization of Russia’s national symbols until 2010.

Another priority area is an international youth cooperation meant for boosting patriotic education. Staring from 2002, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, together with India’s National Military School, has been promoting and organizing bilateral visits of cadets, students and members of military-patriotic clubs with the purpose of experience exchange. Systematic extensive cooperation with Ukraine’s and Belorussia’s youth organizations and groups is being carried out. Annually, Pskov and Vitebsk regions host the Festival of Russian and Belorussian Army Youth Friendship called “Brothers in Arms”. The work on restoration of defense-sport camps is under way. Today each Federal district has experimental grounds and centers where seminars and workshops on organization and development of defense-sport movement take place as well as seminars on military-sport games.

In spite of the fact that an impressive number of plans and programs have been elaborated and various all-Russian and regional events on youth patriotic education are being conducted, the key component of this activity is yet missing. By this I mean the mechanism of coordination.

What are the main difficulties the organizers of Cadet classes are confronted with nowadays? First of all, it is an absence of regulatory and legal framework and a poor, imperfect structure of educational process as such.

Another problem is poor equipment of the Cadet classes, namely, visual and teaching aids, video-materials, training aids, schoolbooks. There is one more thing which people involved in teaching are faced with. Just as the theatre starts with its cloakroom, the Cadet classes should start with a military uniform.

Unfortunately, all too often patriotic education is conducted in an ill-organized and ineffective way. In this connection, one can not but arrive at the following conclusion: it is essential that general requirements and standards be worked out at all the educational levels and in all related departments. Here are just a few facts about Naval College students’ life (taken from Internet).


The history of the Kaluga territory is closely linked with the Russian Navy: it is the native land of outstanding admirals, both of the past and present days, the supplier of sails for Peter the Great’s ships, the cradle of atomic-powered underwater fleet and…the alma-mater of future naval commanders. It follows that the principal role in military-patriotic education of the oncoming generation belongs to Cadet classes. Naval Cadet classes were formed at the premises of the lyceum “Power” in 1999 and over a relatively short period of their existence more than thirty graduates entered Military and Naval Academies and became students of seafaring institutes and colleges. It is also worth mentioning that the lyceum administration and Cadet classes’ management do not consider the training of prospective cadres for the Russian Navy the main goal of this institution. What their attention is focused on is, first and foremost, the proper upbringing and education of future citizens of our great country.

The main goal of teachers’ work in this direction is shaping a well-educated, physically strong and psychologically mature person capable of contributing to his native country’ prosperity. Students of Cadet classes differ from their peers attending other educational institutions not only for wearing naval uniform but also for studying a whole set of naval disciplines such as, for example, navigation, naval practice, ship survivability theory and naval history apart from general subjects. Much time in cadets’ education system is devoted to sport activities. In order to prepare the cadets wearing a naval uniform to cope successfully with any possible hardships and trials of life, they are practicing such difficult martial art as Ku-do and mastering their strength and stamina with the help of weightlifting exercises and dumbbells. The cadets’ physical training has always been at a high level which is proved by numerous diplomas and cubs won at various Cadets musters, tournaments and competitions. Suffice it to say that in September 2007, the 10th Cadet class took first place in the city competitions among senior classes. Annually, naval cadets implement their theoretical knowledge into practice organized at the boat base of one of Saint-Petersburg’s Naval Institutes. There the students learn how to row the six-oared yawl, make hitches and use personal rescue equipment. In addition, the cadets not only get more information about naval educational institutions but also visit museums and attend various exhibitions. After they finish the 10th class, the naval cadets have practice with the Northern Fleet where they are resented with an opportunity to see with their own eyes the real life of naval sailors, naval weapons and equipment, ships and submarines. In the summer of 2007, a group of ten naval cadets undertook a boat voyage following the places of naval glory of the Azov flotilla sailors who selflessly fought against the fascist Germans during the Great Patriotic War. The voyage’s distance totaled 250 nautical miles. The cadets have acquired unique practical naval experience and have seen a lot of sights and places of interest in such cities as Yeysk, Primorskiy Akhtarsk, Taman’, Temryuk. Most of the naval cadets actively participate in youth scientific conferences. In this way, in 2007 three cadets became winners of the All-Russian Contest “Youth, Science and Culture”.


On November 6th, 2007, aboard the Northern Fleet’s missile-carrying cruiser Marshal Ustinov, a cadet commission ceremony took place. Such ceremonies when boys from Severomorsk naval boarding school are dubbed cadets aboard of this warship is a tradition that has been supported by the administration of Severomorsk and the Northern Fleet naval sailors for many years already. At present, some 80 cadets are taught in Severomorsk naval boarding school. This time 16 boys solemnly swore an oath to love and protect their Motherland. These boys are either orphans or those coming from single-parent families or being under guardianship. Some of them were born in Severomorsk while the others came here from Polyarnoye, Monchegorsk and other towns and places of Murmansk region to get school education and study military science. The newly-fledged cadets were congratulated on such a remarkable event in their lives by Head of Severomorsk administration Vitaly Voloshin, representative of Murmansk oblast administration Vice-Admiral in reserve Yury Boyarkin, Deputy Northern Fleet Commander Rear-Admiral Leonid Sukhanov. The principal of the boarding school Elena Zavadskaya and commander of the missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov Captain Pavel Kravchenko signed an agreement of future cooperation and a prospective plan of activities. While for the newly-dubbed cadets a special present was reserved – they were shown the cruiser in all its glory.


Each class in the school ¹ 18 is a “crew”. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, officers in reserve and active servicemen are often invited to conduct lessons in such class “crews”. They pass their wealth of experience and knowledge on to the children. Alexey Ivanovich Volkov, Chairman of the Naval Veterans City Council, speaks highly of this school: “The school always gives us, veterans, a very hearty welcome so we are eager to come here. We try to do our best to enhance learning motivation of these children, help them realize the necessity to grow both spiritually and physically and not to spare their efforts, zeal and persistence to become good citizens of their native land”.

An important contribution to the cause of patriotic and moral-spiritual education of the oncoming generation is made by regular public activities and events like, for example, District Military-Patriotic Event; Reader’s Conferences to discuss the book “Sirs Officers” by A.A. kharitanovsky; Cadet Oath Holiday; charitable fairs for Sailors Memory fund; annual church services in Svyato-Mikhailovsky Temple to commemorate the wreck of the ship Stereguschiy (“On Guard”) and atomic-powered submarine Kursk; keeping Watch of Memory during the days of naval glory and memory in the Memorial of the Fallen; patronage of the A.A. Sergeev School; patronage of Great Patriotic War sailors-veterans and congratulating them on the Victory Day and other marked occasions; art exhibition “The sea calls”; city show-contest “Song is a sailor’s soul”; annual Ushakov’s reading; participation in the interregional theoretical-and-practical conference “Fleet of the Past and Present”; volunteer work in the region of the Pacific naval brigade’s wreck.

The school can boast of the following military-patriotic show-contests:

- among classes – Best moral-spiritual and military-patriotic performance with annual awarding the title of “Ushakov’s Class” (classes 1-4, 5-8, 9-11 accordingly);
- among the students of Naval Cadet Classes (together with the public council of Atomic-Powered Submarine Kursk Memory Fund) for the title of “The Best Cadet” with awarding three scholarships once per term;
- among the teachers of Naval cadet Classes (together with a regional office of Russian Party of Life) for the title of “Ushakov Teacher” with awarding bonuses twice per year.

Apart from the above-mentioned, they issue special military bulletins of “class crews”, and a Naval cadet classes’ council works on a regular basis.


...On April 14th-15th, 2007, at Moscow Stadium Iskra a tournament “Zolotoy Palash” (Golden Broadsword) among basic-level military schools’ pupils took place. Teams from Moscow Suvorov Military School, naval cadet classes “Naval Cadets”, Moscow Cossack Corps, Moscow St. George Military School and Voronezh Grand Prince Mikhail Military School participated in this remarkable sport event.

…This summer, young sailors and cadets will be competing in various sport tournaments such as shooting, relay races, hitches making, heaving line serving, tug-of-war. The key and most spectacular competitive event is, without doubt, yawl racing in Strogino water area. The winners and those who took places in different competitions are awarded cups, diplomas and medals. Child-class yacht regatta with cadets and young sailors taking part in it traditionally crowns the tournament.

Unfortunately, nowadays most of the cadet classes and movements are facing serious financial difficulties, and they manage to survive without proper government support and adequate subsidies only owing to the teachers’ inexhaustible enthusiasm and help on the part of local and municipal authorities and sponsors. Angry philippics blaming “present-day youth” is heard from everywhere in our time. But if nothing is done to promote the vital cause of education of the youth, soon there will be no one left to protect Russia and selflessly work for our country’s welfare and for the common good. And we believe that Cadet classes is a sensible alternative to stagnation and decay.