22-year-old August, who had hitherto been a machinist, was summoned on 30 October 1912 to report for duty and reported on 15 November. The state gave him a pair of felted boots and assigned him to the 2nd Siberian Engineering Battalion. From the start of the war until 13 March 1915, August served as an enlisted man, at which point he was discharged permanently due to illness. He had been diagnosed with a suppurating chronic middle ear infection and damage to the eardrum. August did not see direct combat, nor was he taken prisoner. He was decorated with the Romanov dynasty’s 300th anniversary bronze medal.