"Good officers are made through the exercise of discipline upon themselves and those under them, courtesy, tact, and, above all, experience in the handling of men. This means hard work, but the respect of men, so necessary to a successful officer, cannot be gained by social charm and good birth credentials." - Customs of the Service (Advise to those newly commissioned) by A.H.S., 1939
Advice to Officers, offered in pithy one-liners or longer tomes, both tongue-in-cheek and serious in nature, has never been in short supply. Often, for the new officer, the challenge is sifting through the plethora of advice for those snippets of wisdom that actually apply to any given situation.
"Every officer is expected to obey certain unwritten laws. There are no regulations or written instructions to assist the newly commissioned officer in most of these matters." - Customs of the Service (Advise to those newly commissioned) by A.H.S., 1939
In addition to the many examples of written advice to officers, the expectations of behaviour and performance can remain a virtual minefield as the specific expectations of any superior may vary, slightly or widely, from that set forth in the guidance.
"To possess authority over one's fellow man is no mean thing. The Queen's commission can make an officer but it cannot make a Gentleman." - 1RCR Guide for Young Officers, March 1972
But one foundation document is always available to the newly commissioned officer, their Commissioning Scroll, which sets forth, in solemn tones, the importance of the responsibilities placed upon each Officer; The Queen's Commission.
THE QUEEN'S COMMISSION
(The following text is taken from a Scroll presented in 1983.)
ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith
HEREBY appointed an Officer in Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces With Seniority of the .... day of .............
WE reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your Loyalty, Courage and Integrity do by these Presents Constitute and Appoint you to be an Officer in our Canadian Armed Forces. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge your Duty as such in the Rank of .............. or in such other Rank as We may from time to time hereafter be pleased to promote or appoint you to, and you are in such manner and on such occasions as may be prescribed by Us to exercise and well discipline both the Inferior Officers and Men serving under you and use your best endeavour to keep them in good Order and Discipline. And We do hereby Command them to Obey you as their Superior Officer, and you to observe and follow such Orders and Directions as from time to time you shall receive from Us, or any your Superior Officer according to Law, in pursuance of the Trust hereby Reposed in you.
IN WITNESS Whereof our Governor General of Canada hath hereunto set his hand and Seal at Our Government House in the City of Ottawa this .... day of .......... in the Year of our Lord One THousand Nine Hundred and ................... and in the .... Year of Our Reign.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor General