Author: V. P. MASIAGIN
Rear Admiral V. P. MASIAGIN
Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences
The naval assemblies were patterned on the assemblies that Emperor Peter the Great had started late in 1718. They were devised as a novel form of communication among the nobility and an attempt to teach the upper class European manners. The emperor wished to extend the new traditions to the army and navy officers and to use the opinion of the majority on the affairs of honor and dignity to teach others. Peter the Great was absolutely convinced that promotion in the army should not be determined by the officer's parentage, wealth and connections. Officers should be valued for their patriotism, courage, honor, and other virtues. There rules served the cornerstone of military assemblies and officer clubs that appeared in Russia in the latter half of the eighteenth century. In 1779 a club of staff- and subaltern officers of the Novgorod Infantry Regiment was opened in Tikhvin, in 1782 a military club appeared in St. Petersburg, it was at the same time that officer assemblies were organized at the Belozerskiy, Olonetskiy, Schlisselburgskii and other infantry regiments.
The aim of these clubs was to rally the officers together around the commanding officers and to create a climate of high moral values. They were also instrumental in upgrading the officers' knowledge, exchanging practical experience and organizing leisure. The officer assemblies also did their best to help their members support their families.
The Navy got naval assemblies, the eldest among them being the naval assembly in Kronstadt ceremoniously opened on March 11, 1786. This was the first ever experience of uniting the naval community "for pleasant, useful, and noble pursuits."
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