Today a Railroad Troops spokesman provided a year-ender for these bastard children of the Defense Ministry, and he described their efforts to adopt a ‘new profile’ in 2009.
Most interestingly, the spokesman said that the Railroad Troops have placed 300 excess officers, mostly lieutenants and senior lieutenants, in sergeant billets. These men, who’ve suddenly discovered they’re no longer officers, will be the first to be promoted into officer positions when they become available, according to the spokesman. He also said a similar scheme for preserving officer cadres, i.e. demoting them into the NCO ranks, exists in the other services and branches of the armed forces.
So rumors that officers were being ‘offered’ transfers into the NCO ranks turn out to be true. This was reported as far back as the closure of the SibVO’s 67th Spetsnaz brigade late last winter, but had not been confirmed until now.
The Railroad Troops also put over 1,000 warrant officers into sergeant’s posts, but this downgrading was always an overt part of the Defense Ministry’s plans.
The Railroad Troops spokesman said 1,500 officers and 1,200 warrants were dismissed in 2009, and nearly 1,800 officers and warrants entered the limbo of being placed at the disposal of their commanders, i.e. they’ve lost their duty posts and are outside the TO&E.
Housing remains a problem. About 3,000 personnel need apartments, or improved housing conditions. The Railroad Troops need 1,700 apartments for dismissed servicemen. They were allocated 472 apartments and 81 state housing certificates (GZhS).