Russian Navy

Creative service

Strength margin of a character of a Russian man is incredible. This fact was proved many times. You can judge by yourself as ordinary fellows from all cities of our motherland like their grandfathers and great-grandfathers keep bearing enormous patriotic energy and without any bravado or pathos. And when their turn comes they enlist without looking for occupational deferments or any other reasons to escape form their duty to the country. Moreover they do not simply soldier but find creative approaches to it if to say so.

It happened so that I watched these fellows several months in a row. Marines of the Guard from hand-to-hand combat exhibition group are permanent participants of all military shows in Astrakhan. While festive send-offs of local recruits at the railway station and open days at the base of their unit hand-to-hand fighters surprise the spectators with perfect fighting technique. Moreover they take the floor with unsheathed edged weapons and “work" in full contact to say so. After the show I succeeded to listen to an outburst of glowing accounts from a recruit's mother who tried to find out if her son manage to enlist into the marines would he become also so skilled. One very particular detail should be mentioned - all the members of show group serve on draft call only. Skilful command of the fighting technique was taught by them at most in their own assault combat company.

One of the members of the show group senior sergeant of the Guards Vladimir Frantsevich impresses the spectators by exercises that require acrobatic body-control. The first one when making high jump he hits the opponent by both legs. Moreover the spectators refuse to believe their own eyes. As if they are on film set of The Matrix with stuntmen on the stage. The second exercise involves several Vladimir’s partners who make a string and kneel with automatic rifles with fixed bayonets pointed headward. A short run, Vladimir flies over sharp tips arrives on two hands and makes a roll.

This kind of exhibition is creative initiative of the guardsmen not prescribed in any instructions. Anyway, soul and body "flight” can occur with those only who is truly wedded in their service.

At the same time at a shooting range I was lucky to witness how senior sergeant Frantsevich patiently taught a subordinate how to take aim properly and made guns zeroing himself. Beforehand at range practice he led the way by hitting all targets. Between the exercises we fell into a talk.

“Was you eager to join the Navy?" “Of course, as I was looking forward to serve in combat units of airborne troops, Special Forces or marines. I think I was lucky to see real military life and learn soldierly trade at the highest level of complexity. After the discharge from service I plan to enter a security organization back at home. I can give only one piece of advice to those guys who are yet to be drafted – do not fear a thing. Terrifying talks regarding military service of some "experienced" soldiers have nothing in common with the reality. As soon as we appeared in the company our senior comrades kept an eye on us and gave full support. And quite soon I was offered to go in for… hand-to-hand combat although before the marines I played football only. This was not our initiative and not our draft established the exhibition group. This is a tradition. Here I was taught to shoot and jump with parachute. Anyway I got what I wanted man profession in other words.

During celebration of the Navy Day the marines as usually demonstrated their hand-to-hand combat skills. But at that celebration the marines proved that they combine strength and bravery with singing gift. Seaman Artem Simonyan enslaved hearts of the listeners with excellent singing of a well known song with a line in it "to serve Russia that wonderful country”.

Artem was drafted only some months ago. But he experienced military service firsthand. His family thanks to the father, military officer, lived in many places, for instance in Ashuluk at air defense base and in Kaspyisk at Marine Brigade station. His genius for singing found the way yet in the childhood. Becoming mature did not cracked Artem’s voice. His parents Artur and Tatiana made their best for the son to continue his on-stage performance not only in school. Last year he won the second prize at Astrakhan Military Song Contest. Besides in May during the Family Day he sang at the naval base. The audience consisted of naval officers, warrant officers, their wives with kids and marine draftees. He could hardly expect to become recently a part of them himself as a recruit.

“Service is always not an easy thing, especially in the beginning”, says Artem. “But what makes me happy is that I go on singing because without it I can not imagine my life. Who knows, may be Navy service will allow music and singing become my future occupation. I suppose the art is in line abreast with Army and Navy. If somebody thinks differently let him look more attentively at the head of any regiment at a parade as it is led by a military band. And the Soldier Song Contest makes nobody indifferent.”

Simonyan’s parents of course are a little bit anxious about the son. How he can manage to find himself in the military service, what would be his relations with sergeants and officers, etc. But…

“If not us army and navy families then who can demonstrate to the others the way to do the honorable duty to the country. Our elder son also soldiered. When the time came Artem was enlisted. If nothing goes wrong and he chooses the military path then our family would have two professional military men. And if he makes his mind to move to non-military occupation then anyway he would be a decent man. Army and navy service will just make him harder.

Source: Krasnaya Zvezda, Author: Alexander Chebotarev

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