Whether it is possible in modern Russia to become the gentleman of St. George?
In the Provision on the state awards of the Russian Federation are defined that “ in system of the state awards … the military Order of Saint George and a distinction - the St George`s Cross are kept. rewarding with which is made for feats and differences in fights on protection of the Fatherland during attack on the Russian Federation of the external opponent “.
the award has a background. The imperial Military award of the Saint Great martyr and Pobedonosts Georgi was founded by Catherine II on November 26, 1769. The statute of an award accurately defined that it only the one can be awarded who, with “ having disdained obvious danger and having shown a valorous example of fearlessness, presence of mind and dedication, made the excellent military feat topped with full success and which brought obvious advantage “.
the Award had four degrees; only the emperor could award with awards of the first and second degrees, awarded with awards of the third and fourth degrees according to the decision of Military and Sea boards, and since 1782 - the Kavalersky thought.
In 148 years of existence of an award of awards of the first degree only 25 people, the second - the 121, third - the 647 and fourth - about 3,5 thousand received (without awards for long service). Only four became full gentlemen: the general - field marshals Mikhail Kutuzov, Mihail Barclay - - Tolly, Ivan Dibich and Ivan Paskevich.
For rewarding of the lower ranks in 1807 the Distinction of the Military Order of Saint George - the well-known soldier`s St George`s Cross was founded. Rewarding gave them considerable privileges: increase of monetary pay, pension on a transfer to the reserve, release from corporal punishments, assignment of the next military rank.
New Russian military awards, having kept external attributes of imperial without changes, received strange authorized documents. According to the Statute “ The Order of Saint George awards the military personnel from among the senior and highest officers for carrying out the combat operations on protection of the Fatherland during attack of the external opponent which came to the end with full defeat of the enemy, became a model of military art which feats are an example of valor and courage for all generations of defenders of the Fatherland “. With a similar vagueness made also the Provision on a distinction - the St George`s Cross.
But the main thing in these formulations not style, but an essence. Let`s try to penetrate into it. Now by the Order of Saint George only the senior and highest officers can be awarded (starting with the major or the captain of the III rank). Let`s present a real situation. Two companies in common conduct heavy fight. The staff which is skillfully directed by commanders of companies shows heroism, as a result - the opponent is crushed. It is possible to recommend caused a stir for prestigious military decorations, but here a problem - one company has a rank “ major “ and another carries four captain`s asterisks on shoulder straps. Then one is worthy awards, and another - is not present? By the way, at the tsar - the autocrat when the state did not proclaim the principles of equality at all, by the Order of Saint George 4 - y degrees both the ensign without mustache, and the general hoary with age could be awarded, and all privileges on an award both received in full.
In days of the Great Patriotic War when awards for rewarding of officers and generals were established, arrived more logically, than today. Positions of officers were specified in statutes of awards. For example, the Order of Suvorov 2 class awarded commanders of cases, divisions and crews, their deputies and chiefs of staffs, and the Order of Alexander Nevsky - commanders of divisions, crews, regiments, battalions, companies and platoons; the military rank of the officer did not matter.
The genre of the statute and situation has to be strict, he does not suffer blurring of terms, an ambiguity of interpretation. For rewarding it is necessary to make a feat. It would seem, quite logical requirement. But it appears, not any feats deserved rewards, and only those which “ are an example of valor and courage for all generations of defenders of the Fatherland “ “ example of bravery, dedication and military skill “. Alas, it is a sign of our time when phrase-mongering not only penetrates speeches of politicians, but also gets into official documents. Now the commander by preparation of prize documents on the caused a stir military personnel has to, acting from the face “ all generations of defenders of the Fatherland “ to define: what feats are for them (generations) an example of valor what - examples of bravery or military skill and what - fall short of these criteria. It seems that creators just did not want to understand both the Statute, and the Provision that the feat therefore is a feat that it there is no need to compare to something. Besides, if the commander of a division and furthermore the commander of army, are forced to show personal feats in combat operation as it is demanded by the Statute, are bad commanders. (We will remember what occurred near Leningrad in 1941 when Klim Voroshilov, showing personal bravery and swinging a Mauser, drove Red Army chains in attacks). A task of commanders - to organize fight or battle and was able to direct subordinates. And when the military personnel of the parts and connections entrusted to them, showing bravery, dedication and military skill, will crush the opponent, - honor to commanders, glory and high awards.
It should be noted that were listed in the statute of an imperial St George`s Cross concrete “ military feats which can grant the right for such difference “ similar approach was kept also in the statute of the Soviet three-sedate award of Glory.
Certain doubts are raised also that rewarding is provided only for the military personnel whereas the Constitution (Art. 59) proclaims protection of the Fatherland “ debt and duty “ each citizen. History demonstrates what during war, appears, there are both guerrillas, and underground workers and just the civilians involved by power of circumstances in military operations. Is at us also militiamen who are forced to participate actively in combat operations in Chechnya, but formally a military personnel are not. By the way, in imperial Russia Saint George for fighting feats about twenty priests and the sister of mercy Raisa Ivanova were awarded the order.
And the last strangeness - yes this remark will not seem a cavil to you. In modern descriptions of awards of St. George the rider strikes with a spear of a dragon. On a legend Saint Georgi struck of a serpent . It would seem whether the difference - one letter is big. But the serpent - the close relative of a dragon, and a dragon - it is also a dragon, just the reptile kowtowing. Whether it is worth aiming it the Great martyr`s spear?
It would seem, the great cause is made - nice war decorations by which also our contemporaries can be awarded returned to prize system of the country if (God forbid) attacks the country “ external opponent “ but rewarding not so much will depend on their personal feats how many from favor of officials. And there is a wish to remember Chernomyrdin: “ Meant well … “.