The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Speeches, Articles, Reports

Not One Week, but Fifty-Two Weeks!

The Week of the Red Army Man’s Kit is now in progress in our country. [1] Telegrams inform us that in many places the Week is going on with concerted support by local soviets and party organisations: by joint efforts, barracks are being repaired and cleaned, and the Red Army men are being supplied with buttons, thread and so on. All these are extremely gratifying facts, which testify to the rebirth of active care for the army. It is to be hoped that the remaining soviets will follow the same path, even though belatedly.

But at the same time it must be decisively stressed that this sort of material aid to the Red Army by the workers’ and peasants’ organisations constitutes only one aspect of the Week, and, moreover, the less important one. The principal task of the Week is education and self-education of the army itself in a spirit of attentive, careful, conscientious treatment of the public property which has been entrusted to it. We are poor but we are extravagant. We are inaccurate, careless, sloppy. These faults have deep roots in the slavish past, and can be eradicated only gradually, through persistent propaganda by deed, example, demonstration – by thorough checking and unrelenting insistence. Those commanders and commissars whose attention is wholly focused on obtaining material help from outside risk missing the true significance of the Week of the Red Army Man’s Kit. Proper accounting, proper attention to the Red Army men’s service-books, cleaning and maintenance – that is what is now most important.

The need for Kit Week arose because for 51 weeks in the year we were as careless and negligent as could be. It is, obviously, no good if, after repenting somewhat for the space of one week, and meeting our most glaring deficiencies with help from outside, we return thereafter to the path of carelessness and extravagance amid poverty.

We need not just one week in the year, but precisely 52 weeks of businesslike vigilance!

December 10, 1921,
Izvestiya V.Ts.I.K., No.278


1 See, on page 240, Order No.2252, October 11, 1921, by the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, on the week of care for the Red Army man’s kit.

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006