The Young Pioneers

The Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organisation was a mass youth organisation of the Soviet Union for children of 10–15. It existed between 1922 and 1991.

When I became a pioneer, no one in our class was asked if we wanted to join or not, it was obvious that everybody becomes a pioneer by the end of the 3rd grade. I didn’t know anyone at my age, who was not a pioneer.

The Oath

A Solemn Promise of a Pioneer of the Soviet Union

This is the oath we had to take, out loud and by heart, in the ceremony of entering the Pioneer Organisation:

I (surname, given name), having now joined the ranks of the Vladimir Illich Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organisation, in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise: to passionately love my fatherland and to cherish it as I can, to live, study, and fight as the Great Lenin has instructed, as the Communist Party teaches me, and as to always carry out the laws of the Pioneers of the Soviet Union.

The Pioneers was a clearly structured organisation. Each school class was a pioneer group with a particular name and one elected leader. Each group delegated one representative to the school’s Pioneer Units Board.

I was elected as a board leader in my school at the age of 11, and I lead this pioneer unit for three years.

Pioneer attributes were a red necktie and a pin with the portrait of Lenin on the background of a red star and three flames. Those attributes we had to wear every day.

The official greeting to pioneers were said by they leader: “Pioneer, for the fight for the cause of the Soviet Unions Communistic party, be prepared!”

And pioneers answered saluting with a right hand:

“Always ready!”

That is also a text on the pioneer pin in Cyrillic letters.