Student, Black Sea Marine School, 1960. Graduate, Forest Engineer Dzerzhinsky Military Academy, 1973. Graduate, Military Academy General Staff, 1980.
He was the first and (as of 2016) only Marshal of the Russian Federation. Sergeyev served briefly in the Navy but later transferred to the Army, where he spent most of his career in the Strategic Rocket Forces. Sergeyev became commander in chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces in 1992.
In this position he was in charge of securing the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics"s nuclear weapons.
Sergeyev was appointed minister of defense in 1997 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Sergeyev accepted reform within a limited budget under civilian political control.
The number of military educational establishments was reduced markedly from their previous levels, which had not changed since Soviet times. A number of army divisions were given "permanent readiness" status, which was supposed to bring them up to 80 percent manning and 100 percent equipment holdings.
Sergeyev directed most of his efforts toward promoting the interests of the Strategic Rocket Forces.
All military space forces were absorbed into the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Ground Forces Headquarters was abolished. The Airborne Forces suffered some reductions, while the Naval Infantry only escaped due to their competent performance in Chechnya. Much of the available procurement monies were invested in acquiring new rockets.
In December 1999, Sergeyev called North Atlantic Treaty Organization enlargement, in and of itself, a threat to global and European collective security and world politics.
He particularly stressed the deployment and use of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces out of area without a United Nations or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mandate as a threat that devalues confidence-building measures, arms control treaties and security. Sergeyev was dismissed as defense minister in March 2001 and was replaced by Sergei Ivanov.
Sergeyev died 10 November 2006 from the effects of blood cancer. Sergeyev is blamed by some for not effectively acting during Dagestan War in 1999 but is also praised for the fact that the Russian military captured Chechen capital Grozny in 2000 during the Second Chechen War.
However, the ongoing fighting in the south of the republic caused some concern about his efficacy after Vladimir Putin became President.