An M40 Service Dress Uniform to a Political Lieutenant of the Soviet Naval Air Forces
Soviet military forces were unique in having a completely parallel command structure of military and political personnel. This Soviet Navy Lieutenant is wearing the M1940 regulation uniform. His political status is indicated by the large red star above his rank braid. The air force branch is indicated by the light blue "lights" between the gold.
The role of the political officer was to maintain a positive and loyal attitude towards the state and Stalin within the unit. They would conduct lectures on Soviet thinking and history, read (and importantly, interperet) the news and instigate appropriate moral activities like singing patriotic songs.
The Soviet Navy was particular that all political command personnel be able sea commanders and not just theorists or lecturers. While this may sound simply practical, it was aggressive thinking in Stalin's miltary.

This picture shows a political officer lecturing his unit. You can see how excited the men are to hear all the wonderful news of the Soviet state. In the background are Yak 3's of the Baltic fleet in the summer of 1943. Note that the uniforms are the M43 style with new shoulderboards.
A close-up view of the sleeve shows the political officer's star which is usally made of wool or silk surrounded by gold bullion. The sleeve braid of two gold stripes is for lieutenant. Regular line officers would have no color or "lights" between the stripes.

The standard Soviet Navy officer's hat. This is for all officers up until 1940. In 1940, Admirals and Generals were re-introduced into Naval ranks along with gold braid on the cap brim. In 1943, a second tier of gold braid on the brim was re-introduced for senior officers of the rank of Captain. Note that the standard brim for WWII naval caps is a single piece of thin pressed leather, squared versus rounded, with an impressed groove in the front.
The M35 wing was standardized for all aviation personnel in the Army and Navy. This was for active flight personnel only. Even though it was considered non-regulation in 1940, it was worn well into the war and did not disapper until the 1943 model uniforms were introduced. The concept of a qualified aviators insignia device was not re-introduced until 1949 with metal badges worn at the chest.

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