The following section on Discipline is excerpted fron the Militia and Defence publication "Instructions Governing Organization and Administration" for new Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This publication was provided to the new staffs of units being raised for service overseas in the First World War and introduced them to the complex world of administration in a rapidly expanding army.
Organization and Administration of CEF Units
For purposes of discipline all ranks will be subject to the Army Act, to King's Regulations, and to such other ordinances as may apply or may be made to apply to the British Regular Army.
The following remarks regarding discipline will, no doubt, be found helpful:—
Discipline means respectful obedience to orders which is the first principle and duty of all soldiers and is the only true basis on which discipline can rest.
Without discipline there can be no real bond of confidence between officers and man or even between the men themselves.
Obedience means obedience to the spirit of all orders, not only by the letter. Promptness and punctuality are indicative of discipline as is steadiness on parade and saluting.
Life in a highly disciplined Corps is always more pleasant than in one where order and regularity are not strictly maintained.
Discipline must not have its origin in fear of punishment, but upon the knowledge and conviction that the orders emanate from a superior not only in rank but in knowledge.
Without discipline all Military bodies become mobs and worse than useless, but discipline enforced by punishment alone is a poor sort which will not stand any severe strain. What must be aimed at is that high state of discipline which springs from a Military system administered with impartiality and judgment, so as to induce all ranks a feeling of duty and the assurance that while no offence will be passed over, no offender will be unjustly dealt with.
In all cases the whole Corps should see that the punishment awarded is not more than is necessary for the maintenance of discipline.
A C.O. cannot pay too much attention to the prevention of Crime—but the true criterion of well established discipline is the absence of crime, not its screened existence.
These should be such as to insure discipline and at the same time foster self-respect.
Indecision or the use of intemperate language or an offensive manner should be carefully avoided.
C.Os. should prevent officers, N.C.Os, or men publishing information relative to the numbers, movements or operations or troops or Military details.
They should not permit any letters of complaint to be published or memorials or requisitions made without their consent.
Any officer or soldier is personally responsible for reports of this kind, which he may make without special permission, or for placing information beyond his control so that it finds its way into unauthorized hands.
Officers and soldiers are forbidden to give publicity to their individual opinions in any manner tending to prejudge any questions undergoing official investigation.
No assemblage of officer, N.C.Os or men should take place to deliberate on any military matter without the consent of the C.O.
Neither officers nor men as such should take part in any political, religious or party demonstration.
Officers should avoid reprimanding N.C.Os for irregularity of duty or awkwardness in the presence of the privates lest they weaken their authority and lessen their self-respect, unless it be necessary as in the case of severe reprimand that the reproof be public for the benefit of example.