Topic: AIF - Lighthorse
Australian Light Horse
Roles within the Regiment
The following entries dealing with the roles and duties within the hierarchy of a light horse regiment are extracted from a very informative handbook called The Bushman’s Military Guide, 1898. While written in 1898, the information contained in the entries held true for the next twenty years with only minor modifications with the principles remaining as current then as now.
(a) General Duties.
(1.) The duties of the officer who fills the important post of Adjutant are far too comprehensive to be given in detail, for there is no circumstance with which the discipline of a regiment can in any way be concerned that an Adjutant should think foreign to his department. He is the direct and confidential agent of the Commanding Officer, and, for the proper performance of his duties requires thorough knowledge of his profession. He must never allow any irregularities to pass unnoticed, but must bring them to the notice of either the officer commanding the squadrons, or the Commanding Officer of the regiment.
(2.) He will be personally responsible to the Commanding Officer for the arming, clothing, musketry training, drill, and administration of the regiment both in the field and in the orderly-room,
(3.) He will be considered the voice of the Commanding Officer, all orders coming from him are to be as implicitly obeyed by all ranks as if given by the Commanding Officer in person.
(4.) Remembering the responsibility of his position, and that on him must necessarily depend much of the discipline and appearance of the regiment, officers commanding squadrons and regimental units are expected to give every support to file Adjutant, whose duties are difficult, and manifold.
(5.) He must under all circumstances exercise a careful check over all enrolments in view of having only strong able men if the ranks who reside within a reasonable distance of their respective headquarters. None but good riders, and only those possessing horses which come up to the standard approved by the Commanding Officer will be enrolled. Grey, piebald, or creamy horses should not be encouraged for the ranks.
(b) In Camp
(6.) Prior to the regiment, or any portion thereof, assembling for a Camp of instruction, he will first ascertain the approximate number of all ranks likely to attend.
(7.) He will communicate with the railway authorities (through the proper channel) with a view to making the necessary arrangement for transport of troops.
(8.) He will forward requisition for Camp equipment to the Assistant Commissary-General of Ordnance according to authorised scale, and issue the necessary orders to the Regiment in sufficient time for all ranks to make the necessary arrangements to absent themselves from their civil occupations for the whole period of the training.
(9.) He will furnish the Quartermaster with trustworthy fatigue men to pitch camp before the arrival of the main body at the place of assembly upon instructions received from headquarters.
(10.) He will see that orders are issued that no one is allowed to take more baggage into Camp than the quantity authorised for all ranks by the regulations.
(11.) When the regiment arrives in camp, the numbers and names by regimental units, should be brought to the orderly tent by the squadron or regimental unit orderly sergeant, and kept for record. Names of subsequent arrivals to be added as they arrive.
(12.) He will, as soon as possible after the arrival of the regiment in camp, order a parade of all the non-commissioned officers to see if they are conversant with their duties.
(13.) He will point out the situation of the guards and sentries, and furnish them with instructions. He will see that the guards are mounted at the appointed hour, and that they are visited twice daily.
(14.) He will see that, when horses are first picketed, the greatest attention on the part of line sentries is required, and, when necessary, the guard may be increased.
(15.) He will examine the daily reports in camp, and bring to the Commanding Officer's notice anything which appears irregular.
(16.) He will accompany the Commanding Officer at all inspections of the lines or horses.
(17.) Prior to conclusion of training, he will take care that all returns are duly checked before rendering, obtaining particulars from officers commanding squadrons or regimental units in the usual manner.
(18.) The Sergeants' Mess will be especially under his charge and constant supervision, in order that all irregularities may be prevented, and he will see that a comfortable and good mess is kept up, and that a high tone prevails therein.
(19.) The Band will be especially under him for discipline, and in other respects like a regimental unit. He will inspect them on parade, and see to their messing and other requirements.
(20.) He will form up the parades for the Commanding Officer, taking care that the hours for such as published in Regimental Orders will give sufficient time to allow officers commanding squadrons, ample opportunity to inspect their respective commands, and also impress upon all ranks the extreme necessity of PUNCTUALITY AT ALL PARADES.
(21.) He will ascertain the number of prisoners (whether regimental, brigade, or divisional), daily, and arrange with the Commanding Officer the time when such prisoners shall be dealt with.
(22.) He will especially, during the early part of the training, visit the guard, once by day and once by night, with a view of ascertaining whether non-commissioned officers in charge are conversant with their duties, sentries alert, and well acquainted with their orders.
(23.) Before leaving Camp he will, as far as possible, locate any losses or damages with squadrons or regimental units responsible, with a view to having a correct assessment of charge for damage, whether for injury to a horse, loss of equipment, or any other matter whereby a money claim might arise.
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Citation: Australian Light Horse, Roles within the Regiment, Adjutant