The Minute Book
Monday, 7 December 2015

Establishment of Petawawa
Topic: Canadian Militia

Establishment of Petawawa

From the Orders-in-Council documents archived on line by Library and Archives Canada, we find this memorandum on the acquisition of land near Petawawa, Ontario, to establish a firing range for artillery and rifles.

"On a memorandum dated 14th March 1907 from the Minister of Militia and Defence reporting the urgent necessity for the defence of Canada of acquiring and area of ground conveniently situated to the capital upon which the artillery of the militia may safely practice with the long range guns with which they are armed and where the infantry may be trained to use their rifles under modern service conditions.

"The Minister states that he has caused a number of localities in Ontario and Quebec to be examined and reported upon by competent officers, with a view to the selection of the most suitable area, and having considered the reports and all the circumstances of the case, he is of the opinion that the area hereinafter described situate within the Province of Ontario is the most suitable one for the purpose.

"The Minister is informed that there are certain outstanding timber licenses issued by the Government of Ontario conferring the right upon the licensees for the present to cut the trees growing upon the said lands.

"Portions of the said lands are also in the possession of settlers who are entitled upon the performance of further settlement duties, or upon making further payments to the Government of Ontario, to obtain patents for the lands so occupied by them.

"Except as to the aforesaid rights of the timber licensees and of the settlers in possession, the said lands are absolutely in His Majesty under the administration of the Government of Ontario.

"British North America Act, 1867 - Enactment no. 1

117. The several Provinces shall retain all their respective Public Property not otherwise disposed of in this Act, subject to the Right of Canada to assume any Lands or Public Property required for Fortifications or for the Defence of the Country. (Source)

"The Minister further states that it is not intended by the present recommendation to interfere with the existing rights of the said timber licensees or with the present interests of the settlers in possession, but he recommends that, subject to these rights and interests as they now exist, all the lands hereinafter described be, under the authority of section 117 of the British North America Act, 1867, assumed by Your Excellency in the right of the Government of Canada for the defence of the country.

"The lands recommended to be so assumed are described as follows:—

"All that parcel or tract of land situate and being within the Province of Ontario, bounded:—

  • on the South by the South Branch of the Petawawa River,
  • on the North by the boundary line between Concessions 8 and 9 of the Township of Wylie, the Chalk River to the boundary line between the Townships of Wylie and Buchanan, the line between Concessions 7 and 8, of the Township of Buchanan, the line between lots 18 and 19, Range A, and lots 18 and 19, Range B, of said Township of Buchanan,
  • on the East by the Ottawa River, and
  • on the West by the Western boundary of the Townships of MacKay and Wylie.

"The whole being portions of the Townships of Petawawa, MacKay, Wylie and Buchanan in the County of Renfrew, in the Province of Ontario.

"The Minister further recommends that the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario be notified by the Secretary of State of the assumption of said lands for the purposes aforesaid.

"The Committee submit the same for approval."

Signed by the Prime Minister, Wilfred Laurier, the Order-in-Council document was counter-signed in approval by the Governor-General, Lord Grey.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 6 December 2015

Discipline (QOR, 1924)
Topic: Discipline


A Guide to Riflemen of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, by Lieut.-Col. Reg. Pellatt, 1924

Discipline means obedience to orders, and this duty of a soldier. It is the foundation upon which the superstructure of a military organization is erected. Without it, the largest masses of men and material are quite useless, and the most brilliantly conceived tactical and strategical schemes are impossible to execute. Obedience must be prompt, respectful, and without a murmur. Every Rifleman must learn that his first duty as a soldier is to obey. Should he feel himself aggrieved he may complain in the proper manner after the duty, whatever it may be, has been performed. Discipline also is necessary in every walk of is the first life, and is the key to efficiency. To the civilian mind, military discipline too often appears to be a conglomeration of petty tyrannies and restrictions. This is by no means the case, however, and it should be regarded instead, as the lubricant which oils the wheels of the administrative machinery, thus enabling the whole organization to run smoothly. The efficiency and good name of the Regiment will depend upon the loyal co-operation of all ranks in maintaining a high sense of duty, which should inspire the conduct of all.

By faithful discharge of its duties under all circumstances, the Regiment will be able to maintain the glorious traditions of the past.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 1 November 2015 12:55 PM EDT
Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Soldier's Load in Vietnam
Topic: Soldiers' Load

The Soldier's Load in Vietnam

Men at War; True Stories of Heroism and Honor, Robert Barr Smith, 1997

The jungle-covered limestone ridges [of the Dak To] took a physical toll even with-out the lung-busting effort of combat. A load for an American soldier on the move might weigh as much as fifty pounds all told. Typically, he lugged at least five hundred rounds for his M-16, loaded eighteen or nineteen to a magazine. He was issued belt pouches to carry his magazines, but he often packed some of them in canteen covers or in a cloth claymore mine bag for easier access.

He carried three or four quart canteens of water, four or more fragmentation grenades and a couple of smoke grenades, a knife or bayonet or machete, and usually a belt for one of the M-60 machine guns or a LAW antitank rocket for busting NVA bunkers. He often carried one or two claymores as well. He sometimes packed as much as three days' C rations—in tin cans—although on short patrols he might carry only a single meal in a bootsock tied to his harness. Add in the weight of his steel helmet, tack on more pounds for his M-16 or M-79 grenade launcher or M-60 machine gun, and the soldier had plenty to sweat about before anybody fired a round.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 4 December 2015

Appointments to the Permanent Force (1905)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Appointments to the Canadian Permanent Force (1905)

From the Orders-in-Council documents archives on line by Library and Archives Canada, we find this memorandum amending the conditions for appointments of new officers to the Permanent Force:

"The Minister of Militia and Defence recommends for approval the General Orders (Special) dated 14th July, 1905, containing regulation to govern appointments to the Permanent Force, the same having been recommended by the Militia Council.

"The Committee submit the same for approval."

The memo was signed off by the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, and counter-signed in approval by the Governor-General, Earl Grey on 20 July, 1905.

elipsis graphic

General Orders – 1905 (Special)

Headquarters, Ottawa, July 14th, 1905.

King's Regulations and Orders for the Militia of Canada, 1904.

Paragraph 933, and amendments thereto published in General Orders Nos. 55 and 115, 1905, are hereby cancelled, and the following substituted in lieu thereof:—

933 (1).     A candidate to be eligible for first appointment to a unit of the permanent force must fulfill the following conditions:—

(a)     He must be unmarried, and be between the ages of 18 and 25 on the first day of January of the current year,

(b)     He must be a British subject by birth of naturalization.

(c)     He must be certified by a medical board to be in every respect fit for military service.

(d)     He must be in possession of a diploma of graduation, or a certificate of military qualification, from the Royal Military College of Canada, and be recommended for appointment by the Commandant of the College; or,

(d 1)     He must have attended two annual trainings of a corps of the active militia, and be recommended by his commanding officer and the officer holding the higher command (or, when the district is not within a command, by the officer commanding the district), as being in every way fitted for appointment to a commission in the permanent force, and have obtyained an officer's long course certificate; or,

(d 2)     He must have served satisfactorily as an officer of His Majesty's regular army for at least six months; or,

(d 3)     He must have served for at least two years in the field in South Africa during the Boer War with one of the Canadian contingents, one year of such period as a commissioned officer and be recommended by the commanding officer under whom he served as in every way fitted and eligible for appointment to the permanent force, and have passed such literary examination as may be prescribed.

(2)     Applicants for commissions in the permanent force, not qualified as above described in paragraphs (d), (d 1), (d 2) and (d 3) may be attached for duty to a unit of the permanent force for the purpose of obtaining an officer's long course certificate. In no case, however, will such applicant be attached for a longer period than 18 months.

(3)     Appointments to the Army Service Corps, Army Medical Corps, Ordnance Stores Corps and the Pay Department will be specially considered by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council.

(4)     All first appointments in the Canadian permanent engineers and permanent artillery, and every alternate commission in the permanent cavalry, mounted infantry and infantry, will be offered in the first instance, to graduates of the Royal Military College of Canada.

(5)     Three commissions will be given annually, should vacancies exist, to the graduating class, viz:–every year one in the Canadian permanent infantry; and each alternate year:—

(a)     one in the permanent engineers and one in the permanent fiedl artillery,

(b)     one in the permanent cavalry or mounted infantry and one in the permanent garrison artillery.

By Command,
B.H. Vidal, Col.
Adjutant General

Document initialled: "F.W.B." – Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence, 1896-1911)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 3 December 2015

Officers' Orderlies: Napoleons, Every One
Topic: Humour

Officers' Orderlies: Napoleons, Every One

The Good Soldier Schwiek, Jaroslav Hasek, 1930

Officers' orderlies are of very ancient origin. It would appear that Alexander the Great had his batman. I am surprised that nobody has yet written a history of batmen. It would probably contain an account of how Fernando, Duke of Armavir, during the siege of Toledo, ate his batman without salt. The duke himself has described the episode in his Memoirs and he adds that the flesh of his batman was tender, though rather stringy, and the taste of it was something between that of chicken and donkey.

Among the present generation of batmen there are few so self-sacrificing that they would let their masters eat them without salt. And there are cases where officers, engaged in a regular life-and-death struggle with the modern type of orderly, have to use all possible means to maintain their authority. Thus, in 1912, a captain was tried at Graz for kicking his batman to death. He was acquitted, however, because it was only the second time he had done such a thing. On the other hand, a batman sometimes manages to get into an officer's good graces, and then he becomes the terror of the battalion. All the N.C.O.'s try to bribe him. He has the last say about leave, and by putting in a good word for anyone who has been crimed he can get him off. During the war, it was such batmen as these who gained medals for bravery. I knew several in the 91st Regiment. There was one who got the large silver medal because he was an adept at roasting geese which he stole. And his master worded the proposal in support of the decoration as follows:

"He manifested exceptional bravery in the field, showing a complete disregard for his own life and not budging an inch from his officer while under the heavy fire of the advancing enemy."

Today these batman are scattered far and wide throughout our republic, and tell the tale of their heroic exploits. It was they who stormed Sokal, Dubno, Nish, the Piave. All of them are Napoleons: "So I up and tells our colonel as how he ought to telephone to brigade headquarters that it was high time to get a move on."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 October 2015 12:59 PM EDT
Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Odeirno's Leader Expectations
Topic: Leadership

Odeirno's Leader Expectations

Leadership Principles for the new ADP 6-22; A Monograph by Major Gregory W. McLean, US Army, SAMS, AY 2012-001

In early 2012, General Raymond T. Odeirno, former Commander of 4th Infantry Division, Commander of all forces in Iraq, and the current Chief of Staff of the Army, introduced his intent and vision for the Army. He referred to it as his Marching Orders; General Odeirno defined his intent, priorities, principles, and his leader expectations. He was able to develop in eight bullets exactly what a leader must do to fulfill his vision for the Army. The leader expectations are:

  • Have a vision and lead change.
  • Be your formation's moral and ethical compass.
  • Learn, think, and adapt.
  • Balance risk and opportunity to retain the initiative.
  • Build agile, effective, high performing teams.
  • Empower subordinates and underwrite risk.
  • Develop bold, adaptive, and broadened leaders.
  • Communicate – up, down, and laterally; tell the whole story.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Build an All-Canadian Navy
Topic: RCN

Build an All-Canadian Navy

Build an All-Canadian Navy is Advice of Lord Jellicoe Given in His Official Report

The Toronto World, 11 March 1920

Ottawa, March 10.—(By Canadian Press).—An all-Canadian navy, preferably directed by a naval board, which will be under the civil control of parliament and of which the minister of the navy will be head, is, in a word, the recommendation of Viscount Admiral Jellicoe, whose report on Canadian naval affairs was tabled in the house of commons by Hon. C.C. Ballantyne this afternoon. The admiral strongly recommends that naval affairs be placed in charge of a minister who will be responsible for them and nothing else. He makes two suggestions with regard to the constitution of the Canadian navy, one designed to satisfy a desire for a navy, which will be engaged merely in the protection of Canadian ports, and the other for a naval organization to cooperate in the general needs of the empire.

elipsis graphic

Four Alternative Suggestions For a Canadian Battle Fleet

In his report to the Canadian government on naval affairs, Admiral Jellicoe submits four alternative suggestions for a Canadian fleet:

First—Twenty-five million dollar fleet:

  • Two battle cruisers,
  • seven light cruisers,
  • one flotilla leader,
  • six destroyers,
  • one destroyer parent-ship,
  • sixteen submarines,
  • one submarine parent-ship,
  • two aircraft carriers,
  • four fleet minesweepers,
  • four local defence destroyers,
  • eight "P" boats,
  • four trawler minesweepers.

Second—Seventeen and a half million dollar fleet:

  • One battle cruisers,
  • five light cruisers,
  • one flotilla leader,
  • six destroyers,
  • one destroyer parent-ship,
  • one aircraft carrier,
  • eight submarines,
  • one submarine parent-ship,
  • two fleet minesweepers,
  • four local defence destroyers,
  • eight "P" boats,
  • four trawler minesweepers.

Third—Ten million dollar fleet:

  • Three light cruisers,
  • one flotilla leader,
  • eight submarines,
  • one submarine parent-ship,
  • four local defence destroyers,
  • eight "P" boats,
  • four trawler minesweepers.

Fourth—Five million dollar fleet:

  • Eight submarines,
  • four local defence destroyers,
  • eight "P" boats,
  • four trawler minesweepers.

"Dealing with the question of administration, it is impossible to omit mention of the immense advantages that result from keeping the naval service outside the region of party politics.

"The organization under which the Royal Navy is administered by a board of admiralty has stood the test of time and has, indeed, been followed in this general principle in the present organization of the British war office."

elipsis graphic

Summarized Conclusions

Summarized the conclusions are:

(A)     It is very desirable that there should be a minister for the navy responsible only for that service.

(B)     In the event it is suggested that all other seafaring affairs should be conducted by another minister with, perhaps, the title of "The Minister of Marine and Fisheries."

(C)     It is proposed that a shipping committee, comprising representatives of shipowners, fishery firms, the marine department, and the naval staff, should meet periodically to consider questions of general development of marine resources. Their functions would be purely advisory in peace, but in war they would take control of shipping, their chairman acting as shipping controller.

(D)     A member or branch of the naval staff should be concerned with trade and fishery questions and the war training and the constructional work involved.

On Outbreak of War

(E)     On the outbreak of war, in addition to the shipping committee possessing the same powers and functions as the ministry of shipping in England during the late war, the naval staff branch referred to in (D) should carry out the duties of the mercantile movements division.

In this way organizations already existing would be in a position to take up their war-time duties without difficulty or loss of time.

(F)     Arrangements concerning the strengthening of hulls to take defensive armament in merchant ships and fishing vessels would be dealt with by this shipping committee, recommendations being made to the director of naval ordnance for the armament when approval was obtained.

(G)     It is desirable that a knowledge of naval warfare should form part of the qualifications of merchant service officers for a certificate.

(H)     Design of fishing craft should be encouraged along lines tending to efficient auxiliary vessels for naval use in war time, so far as is consistent with their ordinary work.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 30 November 2015

Pay at the Beginning of the 19th Century
Topic: Pay; the Queen's shilling

Pay at the Beginning of the 19th Century

Inside the Regiment; The Officers and Men of the 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Carole Divall, 2011

Overall, the soldier was adequately clothed, at a cost of £1.16.6d in 1811. The regiment provided him not only with his jacket, trousers and shoes, but also with a kersey waistcoat and a cap, the last being replaced every two years, whereas the rest of the uniform was renewed annually. This headgear changed from a tricorne to a shako in 1806, the original stovepipe shako being replaced by the Belgic, with its raised front, by the time of Waterloo. Both were topped with a feather cockade. Since shakos were made of stiffened felt, they rarely retained their shape in wet weather. It was possible, however, to cover them with an oilskin protector which extended over the neck, thus offering some slight protection against rain.

The soldier was stopped 1/6d a week for what were termed his necessaries. These comprised in part the rest of his uniform: three shirts, one pair of gaiters while these were still worn, three pairs of worsted or yarn socks, worsted or yarn mitts, the much-hated black stock, and a foraging cap. Some other necessaries were required to maintain smartness: a clothes brush, three shoe brushes, black ball, hair ribbon and leather bag (while still required), two combs, and straps for carrying a greatcoat. This last was also regarded as a necessary and was renewed every three years. The other necessaries were all related to the upkeep of the musket: turnscrew, brush and worm, emery, and brick oil. They were paid for at public expense. The final necessary, of course, was the knapsack, which carried all this paraphernalia.

Necessaries were easy to lose, exchange for ready cash, or steal, and as a result they figure frequently in regimental courts martial records. For example, in the regimental courts martial recorded in the November 1814 inspection of the first battalion twelve men were recorded as having made away with part of the regimental necessaries, for which they received punishments which could be as much as three months' solitary confinement or as many as 300 lashes, with stoppages.

elipsis graphic

Finally, there was the question of pay, a shilling a day for the first seven years of service, rising to l/1d after seven years, and 1/2d after fourteen years. This needs to be compared with civilian rates. For example, agricultural labourers earned an average of 2/- a day, while skilled textile workers might earn as much as 4/- a day. In addition, the soldier received a penny a day as beer money, and sixpence for subsistence when on the march, twopence of which remained his after fourpence had been paid to the innkeeper who fed him. Since food, clothing and accommodation were all provided, he might well feel satisfied with his lot — were it not for the deductions the army demanded. Stoppages for necessaries, as we have seen, could amount to 1/6d a week maximum, while a further 4/7d maximum might he taken for messing expenses, including the supply of vegetables. If the full amounts were exacted, the soldier would be left with 1/6d a week, hardly a princely sum. And yet some men managed to leave a considerable sum upon their death, anything between five and ten pounds not being unusual.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 29 November 2015

Extracts from the Militia Act (1924)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Extracts from the Militia Act

A Guide to Riflemen of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, by Lieut.-Col. Reg. Pellatt, 1924

The term of enlistment is for three years. (No non-commissioned officer or rifleman shall be given a discharge until he has completed his term of service, but in order to provide for the varying conditions of the men in respect to their civil employments, the Commandant may grant to any well conducted non-commissioned officer or rifleman, a certificate of service, if good reasons are given for his desiring the same, and put his name in Orders as struck off the strength of the Regiment.

By the Militia Act, the offences enumerated below are made punishable by Civil Law upon the complaint of the Officer Commanding, or the Ajutant of a battalion. Prosecutions cannot, however, be made later than six months after the commission of the offence, unless it be for the unlawful buying, selling, or having in possession arms, accoutrements or other articles issued to the Militia.

Neglecting to attend parade

Any officer, non-commissioned officer or man who, without lawful excuse, neglects or refuses to attend any parade or drill or training at the hour and place appointed, or refuses or neglects to obey any lawful order at or concerning such parade or training, a penalty, if an officer, $10.00, if a non-commissioned officer or man $5.00 for each offence, absence for each day being a separate offence.

Interrupting drill

Any person who interrupts or hinders the Militia at drill or trespasses upon the bounds set out by the officer in comand of such drill, is subject to arrest and detention during the drill and a penalty of $5.00.

Failing to keep arms, etc., in order

Any non-commissioned order officer or man who fails to keep in proper order the arms, accoutrements or clothing entrusted to him, or appears at drill or parade with them out of proper order, deficient or unserviceable, a penalty of $4.00 for each offence. Disposing of arms, etc.

Any person who unlawfully disposes of, or receives arms, accoutrements or clothing, belonging to the Crown or a corps, or refuses to give up the same when required, or has them in his possession for unlawful use, a penalty of $20.00 for each offence.

Refusal to aid the Civil Power

Any officer, non-commissioned officer, or man who, when his corps is lawfully called upon to act in aid of the Civil Power refuses or neglects to go out with such corps, or to obey the lawful order of his superior officer, a penalty, if an officer, not exceeding $100.00 if a non-commissioned officer or man not exceeding $20.00 for each offence.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 28 November 2015

Four Life-Saving Measures
Topic: Leadership

Four Life-Saving Measures

The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery; 1958

An army today is a self-contained community; it contains everything its members need for war, from bullets to blood banks. I will always remember Churchill's anger when he heard of several dentist's chairs being landed over the beaches in Normandy! But we have learnt since the 1914-18 war that by caring for a man's teeth, we keep him in the battle. The good general must not only win his battles; he must win them with a minimum of casualties and loss of life. I learnt during the 1939-45 war that four things contributed to the saving of life:

1.     Blood transfusion.

2.     Surgical teams operating well forward in the battle area, so that a badly wounded man could be dealt with at once without having to be moved by road to a hospital.

3.     Air evacuation direct to a Base hospital many hundreds of miles in rear, thus saving bumpy journeys by road or rail.

4.     Nursing sisters working well forward in the battle area. When I joined the Eighth Army in 1942, nursing sisters were not allowed in the forward battle area. I cancelled the order. Their presence comforted and calmed the nerves of many seriously wounded men, who then knew they would be properly nursed. No male nursing orderly can nurse like a woman, though many think they can.

All these things, and many others like them, have to be in the mind of the modern general.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 27 November 2015

It Was Not Mice
Topic: Humour

It Was Not Mice

Generals and Generalship, General Sir Archibald Wavell, 1941

Yet the British soldier himself is one of the world's greatest humourists. That unglamourous race, the Germans, held an investigation after the late War into the causes of moral, and attributed much of the British soldier's staying power to his sense of humour. They therefore decided to instil this sense into their own soldiers, and included in their manuals an order to cultivate it. They gave as an illustration in the manual one of Bairnsfather's pictures of "Old Bill" sitting in a building with an enormous shell-hole in the wall. A new chum asks: "What made that hole?" "Mice," replies "Old Bill." In the German manual a solemn footnote of explanation is added: "It was not mice, it was a shell."

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 26 November 2015

Czech Principles of Combat Operations
Topic: Military Theory

Czech Principles of Combat Operations

Doctrine of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, 2004

Common principles of military operations stated in chapter 4 of this doctrine, fully apply to combat operations too, for which the following principles are specific:

Mobility represents the armed forces elements capabilities to redeploy from one place to another one within required time limits, while maintaining the readiness (capability) to accom- plish assigned combat tasks.

Information superiority. Success in the operation (combat) will depend on the amount of information and its appropriate and timely use. This requirement will depend on the level of communication and information systems and their connection with the weapon systems. The commanders should endeavor, based on effective information utilization, to beat the opponent to his intents, and at the same time to eliminate his access to information, which he needs for his decisions.

Air space domination is one of the air force s most important tasks during joint operations conduct. It creates conditions in which land-, air- and naval operations can be conducted.

Offensive. In all combat operations, even in those where the opponent initially has the activity and freedom of action, commanders at all levels should employ every opportunity to maintain or gain the initiative and strike the opponent. Success in the operation depends directly on the troops’ individual and collective determination to clash with the enemy and break his will to fight.

Combat capabilities preservation represents the requirement, that commanders should take pains to preserve the combat capabilities of their troops until combat tasks are completed and make an effort to achieve the operational objective with minimal friendly losses. Every opportunity should be taken to rest the troops and to provide all-round support. Relief of fight-exhausted units, troop reinforcement and material replenishment are important for restoring the unit's combat capabilities.

Flexibility represents the requirement, that commanders must always be able, during combat operations, to respond quickly and in an optimal way to the actual combat situation develo- pment bearing in mind the necessity of successfully achieving the final operational objectives.

Elimination of the opponent. The operation s objective can be achieved by physically eliminating the adversary, or bringing about the loss of his combat capabilities. The significance of physical elimination of the adversary gradually decreases in current operations (combat), the alternative is to defeat the adversary by breaking the cohesion of his activity through combining manoeuvre and fire power in such a way that he no longer has opportunity or loses the will to continue combat.

Breaking the will to fight. The use of deceptive measures, psychological warfare, stratagems and selective use of force and surprise undermines the enemy s will to fight. In this way, a commander can avoid the large-scale physical destruction of enemy forces and he can even defeat a stronger enemy.

Selective destruction. Current combat activity is not conducted only to the forward edge of the battle area, but throughout the depth of the enemy s battle formation. Selective destruction of the adversary's combat power is based on disruption of his operational or combat formation elements cohesion, (that means disruption of functionality of elements ensuring his mobility, command posts, logistic systems, communication and information systems etc.), both in contact and in the depth of his operational (combat) formation.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Command and Control in the Militia Unit
Topic: Canadian Militia

Command and Control in the Militia Unit

Canada's Militia; A Heritage at Risk, T.C. Willey, 1987 (Originally published under the title "A Heritage at Risk: The Canadian Militia as a Social Institution")

At the strictly functional level, the British format is followed; each regiment has a lieutenant colonel as CO with a major as deputy CO (DCO), one departure from the British use of second in command or 2ic, who might or might not be next in line for command when the CO's three-year tour ends) and majors in command of squadrons, batteries, or companies. According to tradition, COs are supposed to be autonomous—"gods in their own bailiwick"—but this is not a principle that fits into the kind of formal organization that exists in the CF that envisions incumbencies as bureaus in the truly Weberian sense that the main concern is the carrying out of the functions prescribed by the system with a minimum of individual eccentricity. And though the same ideal of autonomy is supposed to apply to majors commanding squadrons and so on, the small size of the regiments and the prevailing system ensures that independence is a ritual only. Another British tradition that is followed in Militia (and regular) regiments is the appointment of a captain as adjutant; this can be a highly influential position because the incumbent is, in effect, the CO's personal staff officer and can be closer in confidence to the CO than any other officer. The adjutant's formal responsibility is to supervise the administration of operational and personnel business, including everything to do with discipline. Hence, there is a lot in the view that the incumbent has "more power than anyone else in this oufit 'cos he knows all the dirt and where to sweep it" as one disgruntled major put it. The amount of work is considerable, and it is not surprising that most regiments have an assistant adjutant to do the routine work; today, the incumbent is often a woman. It is also a post that can overlap that of the regular captain of the RSS.

An officer whose influence can be considerable, if the CO and the adjutant choose to follow this originally British custom, is the senior lieutenant, usually called the senior subaltern. This officer is charged with socializing the other subalterns and officer-cadets according to the traditions of the officers' mess; hence, the incumbent is usually the right hand of the major who is president of the mess committee (PMC) and might often be its secretary also. (Regiments run their own officers' and sergeants' messes according to rules that involve complex accounting and audit procedures that have to be done by the members and consume a lot of time. In some regiments the funds can be considerable, and they have not been unknown to go astray to the equally considerable embarrassment of the members concerned.) The senior subaltern is often peculiarly well informed about the feelings of the officers and to many COs is a valuable conduit to supplement the role of adjutant, an arrangement that can leave the DCO—and the other majors—outside unless the CO makes an unusual effort to ensure it does not happen. (Hence, the DCO's role can be nebulous and difficult to fill in actuality, it is hardly one for a commanding personality, yet it is nominally the one preceding command.)

The RSM, or the CWO, is joined by the CO and the adjutant in what is sometimes blasphemously known as the holy trinity of the regiment. He (as far as I know there are no women as yet) is the boss of all the noncommissioned ranks, to whom his word is law and his appearance a signal for deference appropriate to a model of what a soldier should be. He is expected to be an encyclopedia of ceremonial protocol and disciplinary procedures, and in battle he runs the regimental HQ for the adjutant. Out of battle he has the difficult task of sharing a lot of the latter concerns with the sergeant or staff sergeant who is chief clerk and equally privy to "the dirt"!

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 24 November 2015

What Soldiers Expect From Their Leaders
Topic: Leadership

What Soldiers Expect From Their Leaders

Leadership Principles for the new ADP 6-22; A Monograph by Major Gregory W. McLean, US Army, SAMS, AY 2012-001

General Bruce C. Clarke, former commander of U.S. Army Europe from 1958-1960 also had combat experience in World War II and Korea, also believed the ultimate weapon of any war of the future is the ground combat soldier, whom he regarded as "the only weapon in our arsenal who knows no limit or offers no bounds." General Clarke was renowned for his teaching of combat leadership; General Eisenhower said, "The Army has had two great trainers – Von Steuben and Bruce Clarke." He produced many maxims, which carried on the traditions of Marshall, for example:

What Soldiers expect from their Leaders:

  • Honest, just, and fair treatment.
  • Consideration due them as mature, professional soldiers.
  • Personal interest take in them as individuals.
  • Loyalty.
  • Shielding from harassment from "higher up.
  • The best in leadership.
  • That their needs be anticipated and provided for.
  • All the comforts and privileges practicable.
  • To be kept oriented and told the 'reason why.'
  • A well-thought-out program of training, work and recreation.
  • Clear-cut and positive decisions and orders which are not constantly changing demands on them commensurate with their capabilities – not to small, not too great.
  • That their good work be recognized, and publicized when appropriate.
  • The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 23 November 2015

The White Feather Brigade
Topic: Humour

The White Feather Brigade

A Brass Hat in No Man's Land, Brig.-Gen., F.P. Crozier, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., 1930

The memorable year of 1914 closes with the hope that we shall soon be 'in it.'

We have the usual Christmas dinners, leave, festivities and rejoicing. I go to London for ten days and become a civilian in mufti.

I find the ladies are very pressing in the metropolis, with white feathers for men unwilling to fight. Going to the Alhambra to book seats I meet one in Coventry Street. She presents her feather and smiles. I do likewise.

'Why are you not in uniform?' she asks. 'Afraid to fight!' And so on. 'A visit to the recruiting officer?' she suggests.

'Certainly, if you wish,' I reply.

Off we toddle together to Trafalgar Square. The recruiting officer smiles at Miss Busybody and looks at me.

'A bit on the short side! However, times are hard!' he says condescendingly.

Many questions are asked me. 'Well, I haven't actually served before, I am serving,' I state.

'What the hell are you doing here then!' asks the great man.

'I don't know, I'm sure. Better ask the lady,' I reply.

Both look blankly at each other and then at me.

'Who are you, what are you?' she asks.

'A Major in The Royal Irish Rifles,' I reply.

I hope, if she is alive to-day, this well-meaning and patriotic lady will work as hard in the cause of Peace as she did in the cause of War. She may, if she completes the patriotic circle, find opportunity of making fewer mistakes!

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 23 November 2015 12:08 AM EST
Sunday, 22 November 2015

Infantry Spirit
Topic: Discipline

But in the infantry every man must be inspired with the true spirit, and each man who is not so inspired is a source of weakness to the whole.

Infantry Spirit

Letters on Infantry, Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe Ingelfingen, translated by Lieut.-Col. N.L. Walford, R.A., 1905

Look at our infantry of the years 1870-71, and you will know what this spirit is.

"Why the infantry and not the other arms?" you ask. I know well that the other arms were inspired with the same spirit as the infantry, but their spirit is not so sorely tried with deadly weariness as is that of the infantry, and they have compensations, such as being mounted or belonging to a special arm, which are denied to the modest infantry soldier, who feels himself to be but an atom of a huge mass, and knows that he has been contemptuously nicknamed "Stubble-hopper" and "Food for powder." Moreover, the proper soldier spirit is far more necessary in the case of infantry than for the other arms. A skilled cavalry leader can gain great success with very moderate cavalry, … In the artillery a few trustworthy men with each gun are sufficient, while those who are less trustworthy can at least do their duty. But in the infantry every man must be inspired with the true spirit, and each man who is not so inspired is a source of weakness to the whole.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 21 November 2015

Canadian Navy will Continue with Few Ships
Topic: RCN

Canadian Navy will Continue with Few Ships

No programme of Naval Construction Planned
Arms at Minimum
Dominion to Keep Land and Air Forces at Skeleton Strength

The Gazette, Montreal, Que., 2 January 1934
(By the Canadian Press)

Ottawa, January 1.—Canada contemplates no programme of naval construction for 1934, as so far as any Government policy concerns itself with matters of defence the Dominion will embark on no lines of expansion in any branch of the service it was learned here. The four destroyers and three minesweepers which constitute the Royal Canadian Navy will continue to do so; the skeleton strengths of the permanent force units will be so maintained, while whatever is done for the Royal Canadian Air Force will be in the way of replacement only.

Some years ago the naval branch of the Defence Department had under consideration the laying-up of the minesweepers and building some sloops of the Valerian class to take their place. The advent of the depression however, killed this project, and those 17-year-old drifters remained in commission.

Of the four drafted into service during the war and given names reminiscent of Canadian military achievement on the west front — "Ypres," "Festubert," "Thiepval," and "Armentieres" — three remain. Thiepval was lost in the Pacific seven years ago. Ypres has now become a "depot ship." Only Festubert and Armentieres continue active.

Two of Canada's destroyers, "Skeena" and "Saguenay," are at the top of their class as modern warships of that type. They are only three years old, as equipped with every modern device that makes for efficient vessels and are in every respect formidable men o'war. The others, "Champlain" and "Vancouver," are still technically on loan to this country from the Royal Navy, but the Admiralty said good-bye to them long ago and does not expect to get them back. They are 16 years old. Within the next three of four years plans will have to be drawn up for their replacement, and the likelihood is that this will be achieved by constructing two more destroyers of the Saguenay class.

Shortly after the war, the British Government presented Canada with a small flotilla comprising one light cruiser, "Aurora," and two destroyers, "Patriot" and "Patrician." The cruiser was laid up in 1922. The destroyers continued to serve until almost five years ago when they followed their parent ship to the scrap-heap.

Canadian naval policy envisages a fleet owned, controlled and manned by Canadians. The first two elements are accomplished facts, the last is being gradually achieved, for the vast majority of the personnel are now natives of this country and, for the first time since naval activities assumed any importance in the Dominion, the Director of Naval Operations—Captain Percy W. Nelles, R.C.N.—is a Canadian.

Naval policy, however, does not by any means contemplate a "big" navy. It conforms to the resolution of the 1923 Imperial Conference which set forth that "the primary responsibility of each portion of the Empire represented at the conference is for its own local defence." A writer in a recent issue of an English military journal crystallized this in the following terms:

"With respect to the role of Canada's sea forces, it must be understood that whereas the security of her sea-borne commerce is recognized as a national responsibility, there are certain considerations which must not be lost sight of. At the outmost limits of the sea-lines of communication in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, South America or Africa, etc., an individual Canadian cargo is perhaps hard to find; but at the focal point of the cone, in the vicinity of Canadian waters, these cargoes become, so to speak, congested, and operation against Canadian trade in these limited areas would have an adverse effect on Canadian industry.

"It must be remembered, however, that Canada is peculiarly well situated. Geographically and strategically, vis-à-vis trans-oceanic power. Our vulnerable focal point lies 5,000 miles on one side and 3,000 miles on the other from any possible overseas adversary. In any maritime conflict it is difficult to conceive of any major forces of possible enemies being detached to attack Canadian trade at these distances, at its most vulnerable point. It is, of course, possible that minor or improvised forces might well be available for such an objective if no defences were maintained to oppose them."

Reduced to its simplest terms, this means that Canadian naval policy is to guard the sea-lanes which fan out from the mouth of the St. Lawrence, from Halifax and Saint John on the Atlantic, and from Victoria and Vancouver on the Pacific. Beyond that, naval responsibility is regarded as resting elsewhere.

Whether Canada's present forces are adequate to deal with whatever situation may arise that would demand a practical application of this policy is the concern of the naval experts working in collaboration with the Treasury Department. Warships are expensive, and Canada's financial resources are employed to their limit in taking care of railway deficits, interest on war loans and the national debt, unemployment relief, unbalanced budgets and the administrative services. Having regard to the demands of the Treasury for the maintenance of those features of national existence that are urgent and immediately necessary, any possibility of naval expansion in the near future is so remote as to be ruled out of the picture.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 20 November 2015

Reconnaissance Tips of the Trade
Topic: Drill and Training

Reconnaissance Tips of the Trade

Combat Recon Manual, Republic of Vietnam; 1970
Prepared by Project (B-52) Delta, H.Q. NhaTrang
Detachment B-52; 5th Special Forces Group (Abn), 1st Special Forces

1.     While on a mission, minimize fatigue because tired men become careless.

2.     If you show confidence, your team will have confidence

3.     If the team leader loses his temper it will affect his judgment. Keep cool. Think ahead, always keeping an alternate plan in mind. Don't be afraid to take advice from your team members.

4.     Teamwork, the key to success, only comes through constant practice and training. Realism must be injected into all phases of training such as zeroing of weapons at targets In the jungle, use of live training aids for PW snatch or ambush practice, etc.

5.     Teams that have a good physical training program have fewer health problems.

6.     Make sure that personnel take salt tablets as a preventative measure rather then waiting until collapse is imminent. One tablet in a canteen of water is a good way to take salt, especially on very hot and humid days. Only take extra salt when plenty of water is available.

7.     If your mission calls for emplacing a mine in a road ensure that an extra fuse is taken along just in case one is lost.

8.     All personnel should wear loose fitting and untailored clothing on field operations. Tight fitting clothing often tears or rips allowing easy access to exposed parts of the body for mosquitoes or leeches.

9.     Each team leader should have a pre-mission and post-mission checklist to ensure that nothing is left behind.

10.     Use tact when reprimanding your personnel, especially indigenous team members. If possible, take the men aside to criticize him. This enables him to reason positively to the criticism since he will not feel ridiculed and lose self confidence.

11.     Do not hang clothing or bandanas on green bamboo if you plan on wearing it afterwards. The fuzz on the bamboo is just like Itching powder.

12.     Conduct English classes for your Indigenous personnel, especially interpreters. Conduct classes for your U.S. Personnel on your indigenous team member's dialect.

13.     Pre-set frequencies on the PRC-25 so that a quick turn of the dials will put you on the desired frequency. This is especially helpful at night when you want to avoid a light.

14.     Carry CS powder in plastic insect repellent or lube oil bottles. It is difficult to put CS powder in them but it is definitely worth the effort. Sprinkle CS powder in and on empty "C" ration cans and food containers. This will prevent animals from digging them up once you have buried them.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 19 November 2015

Dress (QOR, 1924)
Topic: Discipline

The public are very apt to form an opinion of a regiment's smartness, which perhaps they have never seen on parade, by the appearance and conduct of just one man whom they may chance to see on the street.


A Guide to Riflemen of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, by Lieut.-Col. Reg. Pellatt, 1924

The public are very apt to form an opinion of a regiment's smartness, which perhaps they have never seen on parade, by the appearance and conduct of just one man whom they may chance to see on the street.

The importance of always, at all times when in uniform, whether on parade or walking on the street, being neat, tidy, and with jacket always buttoned up, puttees neatly put on, brass of the belt shined, boots polished, face cleanly shaved, etc., cannot be impressed too strongly upon every Rifleman if the reputation of the Regiment is to remain of the highest.

Untidy appearance and slouching along the street always brings discredit to any regiment.

In uniform, watch-chains and trinkets are not to be worn in such a manner as to be seen.

The unauthorized wearing of a uniform is prohibited.

After obtaining a uniform all Riflemen must be very careful to wear it as a soldier should. It is Government property and, while in their possession, they are responsible for its safe keeping, and return when required of them. Lost articles must be padd for.

All ranks are cautioned against wearing caps or clothing other than the authorized regimental pattern.

Only non-commissioned officers of the rank of sergeant and above are permitted to wear side-arms when walking out.

For the Honour of the Regiment it is expected that all Riflemen will turn themselves out, and con- duct themselves in such a manner that it will not be necessary for people on the street to look at the badge before saying, "He is a Rifleman of the Queen's Own."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Careful in the Use of the Liquor
Topic: Humour

Careful in the Use of the Liquor

The Last Full Measure; The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers, Richard Moe, 1993

King [the regimental sutler] also provided liquor for the officers, a service that understandably rankled many of the enlisted men. One night several of them decided to liberate a keg of whiskey from King's tent. Without detection they carried it to a nearby field, where it was tapped, half emptied—into the men's canteens—it is not recorded how much disappeared on its way from the keg to the canteen—and then buried for future retrieval. The theft was soon discovered, and the lieutenant of the guard was dispatched to apprehend the guilty parties. Alarmed, the perpetrators sought the help of their sergeant, who had not been part of the plot. He reproved them for the act, but he was not about to let them down. He observed that the lieutenant was making his way down the row of tents, determining the number of occupants in each, and then calling for that number of canteens.

Returning to his own tent, the sergeant discovered that only two canteens besides his own were empty, so he had to think fast. According to Lochren, the lieutenant "soon approached and called for him. 'Sergeant, how many men have you?' 'Fourteen.' 'Pass out their canteens.' With a peremptory order from the sergeant to the men to pass up their canteens rapidly, an empty canteen was passed to the officer, smelled of, and dropped at his feet as a second one was handed him, while a man, lying down where he could reach safely in the darkness, passed the dropped canteen back to the sergeant, to be presented to the officer again, and thus the three canteens were each examined five times and nothing found. The culprits were never discovered, although the experience "frightened the boys, and made them careful in the use of the liquor."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 18 November 2015 12:07 AM EST

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