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Political officer

A political officer or zampolit was a system originally designed by Leon Trotsky for the Red Army and was borrowed by many other Soviet-influenced armies, notably the People's Liberation Army.

In this system, each unit has a political officer who is not responsible to the normal military chain of command, but instead is answers to a separate chain of command which is controlled by the Communist Party. The purpose of the system is to ensure political loyality and to prevent the military from acting independently and perhaps stage a coup d'etat.