Involved in revolutionary activity from 1891. Joined the Bolshevik Party, 1903. Took part in World War I. Chairman of the Regiment Soldiers Committee of the 1st Latvian Infantry Regiment, October 1971.
Joined the Red Army, 1918. Active participant in the Civil War, one of the leaders of the Latvian regiments, often used for Cheka duties. Prominent during the crushing of the sailors’ revolt in Kronstadt, 1921.
Head and political commissar of the courses for commanders of the Red Army in the 1920s. Deputy commander of the Red Army in the Caucasus.