Decree on Formation of the Worker-Peasant Red Army

Written: January 15/28, 1918
First Published: Sobranie Uzakonenii i Rasporiazhenii Rabochego i Krestianskogo Pravitelstva, 1918, No. 17, p. 259.
Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, The Bolshevik revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and materials, Stanford University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934, p. 568-569.
Translated: Emanuel Aronsberg
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: 2017


The Soviet of People's Commissars hereby resolves to organize on the following principles a new army to be known as the Worker-Peasant Red Army:

1. The Worker-Peasant Army is to be made up of the more classconscious and organized elements of the toiling masses.

2. Admission to the army is open to all Russian citizens of eighteen years and over. Admission is by recommendation of the army committees or democratic organizations, standing on the platform of the Soviet Government, party and labor organizations, or at least by two members of such organizations .....


1. Soldiers of the Worker-Peasant Army are fully provided for by the state and receive in addition fifty rubles a month.

2. Dependents of Red Army soldiers will be provided for according to the local standards as worked out by the local organs of the Soviet Government.


The Supreme Commanding organ of the Worker-Peasant Army is the Soviet of People's Commissars. The direct command and administration of the army is concentrated in the Commissariat of War and its specially created All-Russian Collegium.


President of the Sovnarkom


Supreme Commander-in-Chief


People's Commissars of War and Navy