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The NVA and Soviet/Russian Academy Badges

During the Soviet period, the Russian armed forces, police and related agencies created a bewildering number of academies offering specialized training. The academies varied by specialization, branch of service, rank, and even by locality. Identifying by their badges the type of advanced training offered by many of the academies remains difficult.

Sources say that academy badges are no longer obtainable on the open market in Russia, part of the government’s all-too-successful crackdown on the sale of military insignia. 

Higher officers in the East German armed forces and certain other agencies commonly attended professional academies in the Soviet Union. Upon graduating, they were entitled to wear one or more of the badges listed below. NVA generals and admirals, in particular, were expected to spend up to 2 years in the USSR attending academies at the general staff level for flag officers.


The screw-back badges follow a consistent pattern: diamond-shaped white badges rimmed in silver, usually with a silver plate identifying the academy. Badges awarded to generals and admirals are rimmed in gold.

Measurements: HEIGHT: 1 7/8 inches/4.8 cm. WIDTH (Maximum): 1 inch/2.8 cm.

Soviet Academy Badges

1 - VA im. Frunze/ Frunze Academy: Army Officers

Title in Russian: ВА им. Фрунзе.Description: The Army branch of the Unions foremost academy for training field grade officers for higher positions.

2 - VVMU im. Frunze/ Frunze Academy: Navy/Marine Officers

Title in Russian: ВВМУ им. Фрунзе.

Description: The naval branch of the Unions foremost academy for training field grade officers for higher positions.

3 - VVIA im. Zhukovskogo/ Zhukov Academy

Title in Russian: ВВИА имю Жуковского.

4 - SVVMIU/ Higher Marine Engineering Academy, Sevastopol

Title in Russian: СВВМИУ.

5 - VVMIU im. Lenina/ V. I. Lenin Higher Military Naval Engineering Academy

Title in Russian: ВВМИУ им. Ленина.

6 - VAS im. Budennogo/Signals Academy Budennyi

Title in Russian: ВАС им Будённого.

7 - VATT/ Logistics Academy

Title in Russian: ВАТТ.

8 - VVA im. Gagarina/ Gagarin Academy

Title in Russian: ВВА им. Гагарина.

9 - Akademiya BTV/ Panzer (Tank) Troops

Title in Russian: Академия БТВ

10 - ChVVMU im. Nakhimova/ Nakhimov Academy

Title in Russian: ЧВВМУ им. Нахимова

11 - LBBIKA im. Mozhaiskogo/ Higher Leningrad Officer Academy Mozhaiski

Title in Russian: ЛВВИКА им. Можаиского.

12 - Podvodnogo VVMU Plavaniya/ Naval Academy, Submarine Navigation

Title in Russian: Подводного ВВМУ Плавания.

13 - VPA im. V. I. Lenina/ Lenin Academy

Title in Russian: ВПА им. В. И Ленина.

14 - VA im. Dzerzhinskogo/ Dzerzinski Academy

Title in Russian: ВА им. Дзержинского.

15 - VВМИОАУ im. Dzerzhinskogo/ Dzerzinski Academy

Title in Russian: ВВМИОАУ им. Дзержинского.

16 - VMA im. Kuznetsova/ Kuznets Academy

Title in Russian: ВМА им Кузнецова.

17 - VVMURZ im. A. C. Popova

Title in Russian: ВВМУРЗ им. А С Попова.

18 - VASA Academy

Title in Russian: ВАСА.

19 - VAS Academy

Title in Russian: ВАС.

20 - KVVA Academy

Title in Russian: КВВА.

21 - VMA im. S. M. Kirova/Kirov Academy

Title in Russian: ВМА им. С. М. Кирова.

22 - VAA Academy

Title in Russian: ВВА.

23 - VPU Academy

Title in Russian: ВПУ.

24 - VVM UPP Academy

Title in Russian: ВВМ УПП.

25 - VYUA Academy.KVVA Academy

Title in Russian: ВЮА.

26 - VIA im. Kuybysheva Academy/Kuybyshev Academy

Title in Russian: ВИА им. Куйбышева.

27 - VAEFP VYUF Academy

Title in Russian: ВАЭФП ВЮФ.

28 - TOVVMU im. Makarova/Makarov Academy

Title in Russian: ТОВВМУ им.Макарова.

29 - VVMU Kaliningradskoe Academy

Title in Russian: ВВМУ Калининградское.

30 - RAGS pri Prezidenterf Academy

Title in Russian: РАГС при Президентерф.

31 - LVVPU Academy

Title in Russian: ЛВВПУ.

32 - VMII Academy

Title in Russian: ВМИИ.

33S - Soviet Armed Forces Junior Officer Academy Badge

Description: Lieutenant-grade officers in the Soviet armed forces received this badge upon graduating from officer intermediate training school. It is valuable to collectors in that it can be put on a wide range of officer tunics.

34 - Soviet MVD Political Academy Graduation Badge: Intermediate Level

Description: The MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) evolved out of the notorious NKVD to become one of the pillars of the Soviet system of state security. Under Stalin, the authority of the MVD reached into every area of Soviet life. To staff its massive empire, the MVD operated a large number of specialized academies, including the intermediate level political academy whose badge for graduates is offered here.

35 - Soviet Period Stalin Academy Tank Badge: Akademiya BTV

Description: Quite appropriately, the Soviet Army named its major academy for studying and practicing armor tactics after Joseph Stalin, the USSR's leader in World War 2. We cannot furnish names, but believe that the academy was also open to officers in the East German armed forces.

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