Friday, April 15, 2016

Russia 2016
300th Anniversary of Army Courier Postal Communication

ISSUE DATE: 15 April 2016
STAMP SIZE: 32.5 x 65 mm

In 1716, Peter I approved the “Military regulations”, which provided for creation of field post in the army. It was the first time the personnel of the Russian army field post were defined.

Later on the “field courier” service that substituted old-Russian “tsar’s messengers” and “faithful heads” expanded drastically, mainly at times of wars, particularly during the Seven Years' War under Empress Elizabeth and during Turkish wars under Catherine the Great.

However, “field couriers” were not allotted in a particular institution for a long time and their job was carried out by laymen. It was only Paul I who laid the foundation of a field courier corps by issuing a decree on 17 (28) December 1796. In it, he approved the corps personnel, the wages, uniform and equipment.

The size and staff structure of the corps was constantly changed at various times depending on the tasks to carry out.

Thus, Alexander I decree established a new staff of the Courier Corps in June 1816. The corps was divided into З squadrons, each consisting of a captain, 6 junior officers and 30 couriers. In 1904, the Corps staff was increased by 16 officers and 10 couriers.
After the October Revolution, the system used in the Russian Army was taken as a basis of the field post communication in the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army since the creation of the Red Army up to 1922. In 1918, a Service of External Communication at the Command Squad Directorate of the All-Russian General Staff was established. It provided for delivery of governmental and military mail across the country, to headquarters of fronts and military command regions.

During the Great Patriotic War, an extraordinary scale of combat operations forced a switch of the existing delivery structures to war footing and a mobilization of all the postal communication capacity behind the lines and at the front. The field post amounted to more than 90% of all mail.
Nowadays postal and courier communication of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation provides for control of troops and navy by delivering secret and postal correspondence (telegrams) to headquarters of military units, troops, commands and military educational institutions.

The postage stamp bears an image of the Memorial to the Front Mailman sculpture by A.I. Ignatov in Voronezh (M.B. Grekov Studio of Military Artists).

Stamp images and description thanks to Russian Post

Russian Post