Administrative Pamphlet No. 3
Notes on the Preparation of Unit Orders – 1942

Example Standing Orders – Duties of Officers

Subaltern officers will, at all times, address their seniors with due respect. On parade, this is, of course, axiomatic, but in the Mess, or off parade, whilst a certain amount of familiarity is permitted, it is not considered good form for a subaltern to call a field officer by his first name, or a nickname.

The Platoon or Section Commander

23.    He commands his unit and must know thoroughly all the duties and difficulties of his sub commanders.

He must know everything about his command;— its strength, the names and characters of his men, their good points and their limitations.

He is responsible to his Company Commander for the instruction of his command.

24.    He must inculcate discipline in his platoon or section and train his sub-section commanders and their understudies in their duties.

He must take an interest in games and encourage his men to do the same.

25.     He is responsible for knowing and promulgating all orders; he keeps a roll book.

26.    He is responsible for the clothing, arms, and equipment of his men. he must insect frequently and personally see that deficiencies are made up.

The Senior Subaltern

27.    The Senior Subaltern has many unwritten and unofficial duties, the principal of which is to act as a buffer between the subalterns and the Senior Officers of the Unit. He should possess, or acquire, tact and firmness and should immediately check any subaltern in dress, deportment or conversation amongst other subalterns.

A good Senior Subaltern can save his brother subalterns a lot of trouble by a few timely words of warning, and he should not hesitate to correct and advise them whenever necessary.

If the Senior Subaltern is doing his job properly, it should seldom be necessary for the C.O., or other Senior Officers of the Unit, to reprove a subaltern for minor infractions of the military code.

If his admonitions are not being heeded, then it is his duty to report the culprits to the Adjutant.

He should pay particular attention to the education of newly joined officers, especially in correction with regimental history and tradition.

In all well-disciplined educational institutions the maintenance of discipline by the student body is a well-established practice. Applying this principle to the army, the Senior Subaltern is in the position of "Senior Prefect" and, as such, will be given wide powers and the very strongest support.


28.     Subaltern officers will, at all times, address their seniors with due respect. On parade, this is, of course, axiomatic, but in the Mess, or off parade, whilst a certain amount of familiarity is permitted, it is not considered good form for a subaltern to call a field officer by his first name, or a nickname. In any case, it is bad manners.

29.     They will not only assume complete responsibility for everything concerning their own Platoons, but will generally assist the Company Commander in all matter affecting the Company and will bring to notice any irregularities and suggested improvements.

As they may be called upon at any time to ct as Company Commanders, or Company 2i/c , they will be expected to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the duties of these officers and the Standing Orders related to them.

30.     Every Subaltern is furnished with a copy of Canadian Army Training Memorandum–issued monthly. This publication contains much instructive and interesting reading matter. It should be studied closely by all officers, together with such other publications as may be issued–particularly those affecting his own branch of the service.

31.     Subalterns should spend as much time as possible with their men, particularly during non-parade hours. This does not mean that they must spend hours in the barrack rooms (a soldier needs some privacy), but it does mean that they must enter the men's sports and recreations. A subaltern in expected to know full details of every man in his platoon. Age, place of enlistment, civil occupation, family conditions, etc., etc. he will encourage his men to come to him with their troubles, and whilst acting as their "Father Confessor", must avoid all suspicion of vulgar curiosity or "coddling".

Note: There are a great many other items which could be included in this sub-section. Commanding Officers will be the best judges as to what should be added or deleted.

Officers Generally

32.     Officers will always remember that it is due to the honour of their profession and of their Regiment at all times to set an example of gentlemanly conduct. It should be the constant aim of every officer to maintain the high standard of the Canadian Army and particularly to maintain the traditions and esprit de corps of his Regiment.

Officers will nor criticize or discuss among themselves, and particularly in the presence of other ranks, the actions or orders of superior officers. They will avoid the discussion in general society, of regimental matters and the private affairs of their brother officers. Their attention is particularly directed to the many instructions which have been issued regarding the discussion in public or private of Naval, Military, and Air Force matters.

33.     A superior officer must maintain to parade the strictest form and discipline, and, in his official capacity, is compelled at times to speak and act in a manner other than he would if he considered his own private inclinations. Every officer must bear this in mind, and must not allow official conduct in official matters to influence his personal relations or to prejudice the closest intimacy in private–and vice versa.

34.     Officers must be most punctilious in returning salutes, remembering that there is only one method of saluting authorized for all ranks. A flick of the cane, or a nor or a perfunctionary salute with a pipe or cigarette in one's mouth is nor permissible.

35.     All officers are expected to take a keen interest in the recreation of the other ranks, and by their encouragement, example, and particularly participation, stimulate every form of sport.

The chief interest of all officers should be the comfort and well-being of their men. they should make a close study of their individual characters and endeavour to gain a thorough and sympathetic understanding of their points of view, and thus be in a position to remove grievance–both real and imaginary.

Officers must consider duty first, amusement after; they must obtain a thorough knowledge of all their duties if they wish to command the respect and confidence of their men.

36.     Officers must invariably check or take notice of any slackness or improper behaviour on the part of officers or soldiers either of their own or other regiments, whenever met with.

37.     No officer will march off, or dismiss a guard, parade, or party, should a senior officer be present, until he has asked for and received permission to do so.

Only the officer ordering a parade can give leave from it.

Officers must be acquainted with all orders. Absence on leave or sickness is no excuse for ignorance of orders.

38.     Officers requiring information from the Orderly room will apply to the Adjutant, and will, in no circumstances, consult the Orderly Room staff without the express permission of the Adjutant.

Officers, except the Second-in-Command, wishing to speak to the Commanding Officer on official matters, will first arrange to see the C.O. through the Adjutant.

39.     Officers will at all times exercise the most scrupulous care in the conduct of their financial affairs, and will avoid getting into debt with tradesmen. The issue of N.S.F. cheques is not only a criminal offence, but brings discredit on the Army and on the Regiment.

An officer, by putting his signature to a paper, renders himself responsible for the correctness of facts and figures stated in that paper.

40.     Officers are to consider punctuality on parade as a cardinal principle. "Mess" is a parade.

Uniformity in dress is most important, and the strictest attention should be paid to it. officers should bear in mind the great advantage of example in this respect.

41.     An officer may not change duty with another officer without permission of the Adjutant.

Officers unable to perform their duties through sickness must report at once to the O.C. Company, and the Adjutant will also be informed.

Practical joking leads to trouble and is, therefore, forbidden. Gambling and "treating" are also forbidden.

42.     All officers must pull together and support their Commanding Officer at all times and in all places.