chapter  1
16 Pages

The Guard as Revolutionary Institution

ByKenneth Katzman

The strength of the Guard as a revolutionary institution stands in contrast to other Iranian revolutionary organizations that collapsed or were seriously weakened by leadership failure, turmoil, or change. The Revolutionary Guard was formed from the bottom up, not the top down. Unlike the Soviet Red Army and the French revolutionary army, the Guard was not formed with extensive participation of officers and units from the prerevolutionary monarchical army; it was created almost totally from revolutionary elements. In an organization such as the Revolutionary Guard, discipline and professionalism are crucial factors determining the Guard's ability to act as a unit. Revolutionary Guard discipline and professionalzational is ultimately inseparable from the more general understanding of its zeal, morale, religious and revolutionary commitment, and role as implementer and enforcers of the Islamic revolution as defined by Ayatollah Khomeini.