Adjutant
Overview
 

Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO (non-commissioned officer), normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.

An Adjutant General
Adjutant general
An Adjutant General is a military chief administrative officer.-Imperial Russia:In Imperial Russia, the General-Adjutant was a Court officer, who was usually an army general. He served as a personal aide to the Tsar and hence was a member of the H. I. M. Retinue...

 is commander of an army's administrative services.
Adjutant comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 adjutans, present participle of the verb adjuvare, "to help"; the Romans actually used adiutor for the noun.
In various uniformed hierarchies, the term is used for number of functions, but generally as a principal aide to a commanding officer.

A Regimental Adjutant, Garrison Adjutant etc.
Encyclopedia

Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO (non-commissioned officer), normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.

An Adjutant General
Adjutant general
An Adjutant General is a military chief administrative officer.-Imperial Russia:In Imperial Russia, the General-Adjutant was a Court officer, who was usually an army general. He served as a personal aide to the Tsar and hence was a member of the H. I. M. Retinue...

 is commander of an army's administrative services.

Etymology

Adjutant comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 adjutans, present participle of the verb adjuvare, "to help"; the Romans actually used adiutor for the noun.

Military and paramilitary appointment

In various uniformed hierarchies, the term is used for number of functions, but generally as a principal aide to a commanding officer.

A Regimental Adjutant, Garrison Adjutant etc. is a staff officer, who assists the commanding officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 of a regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

, battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 or garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 in the details of regimental, garrison or similar duty. In United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 squadrons, the adjutant is often the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the administrative platoon.

In the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, the Adjutant (Adj; sometimes actually referred to as this) is usually a senior captain (sometimes a major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

). As the colonel's personal staff officer, he was once in charge of all the organization, administration and discipline for a battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 or regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

, although now the bulk of administrative work is carried out by the Regimental Administrative Officer (RAO). Until the 1970s the adjutant was also the regimental operations officer, although this job is now filled by a separate officer. In the British Army adjutants are given Field Rank and as such are senior by appointment to all other captains, ranking just behind the majors. Unlike the RAO (who is an officer of the Adjutant General's Corps
Adjutant General's Corps
The Adjutant General's Corps is a corps in the British Army responsible for many of its general administrative services. As of 2002, the AGC had a staff of 7,000 people...

), the adjutant is a member of the corps
Corps
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...

 or regiment of which their unit is a part. The adjutant's job is not solely a 'backroom' one, since he usually accompanies the colonel - Captain David Wood, the adjutant of 2 Para, was killed in action at the Battle of Goose Green
Battle of Goose Green
The Battle of Goose Green was an engagement of the Falklands War between British and Argentine forces. Goose Green and its neighbour Darwin are settlements on East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. They lie on Choiseul Sound on the east side of the island's central isthmus...

, for example. Normally, in a British Infantry battalion, the Adjutant controls the battle whilst the CO commands it. As such, the Adjutant is usually a man of significant influence within his battalion.

In the Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

, and most other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 armies, the Adjutant performs much the same role as in the British Army.

In the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, historically the Adjutant was generally a member of the branch or regiment of the parent unit (e.g. in an infantry battalion, the adjutant was usually an infantry officer). In 2008, as a result of the Army's transformation, the Human Resources
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

 community implemented the Personnel Services Delivery Redesign, which recoded the adjutant position in battalions to an officer from the Adjutant General branch. The Adjutant at the battalion-level is generally a junior captain or senior first lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

 and, in conjunction with the S-1 section, manages the administrative functions of the unit. The adjutant, particularly in a battalion, also works closely with the unit's command sergeant major for awards ceremonies, traditional ceremonial functions, casual events (hails and farewells), evaluation reports, and management of correspondence and other secretarial functions. At the brigade-level, an adjutant will be either a captain or a major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 and is also a member of the Adjutant General's Corps
Adjutant General's Corps
The Adjutant General's Corps is a corps in the British Army responsible for many of its general administrative services. As of 2002, the AGC had a staff of 7,000 people...

. Above the brigade level, the officer in charge of the personnel section of the element is no longer called an adjutant. At any level, the adjutant no longer serves as the commander's personal assistant, but more as a functioning member of the staff managed by the executive officer
Executive officer
An executive officer is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization.-Administrative law:...

.

There is a bugle call
Bugle call
A bugle call is a short tune, originating as a military signal announcing scheduled and certain non-scheduled events on a military installation, battlefield, or ship. Historically, bugles, drums, and other loud musical instruments were used for clear communication in the noise and confusion of a...

 announcing the adjutant that is still used in military ceremonies today.

Non-Commissioned rank

In some armies, Adjutant is a rank similar to a commonwealth Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in several countries.The origin of the name is that they were part of the staff of a British army regiment and paid at that level rather than as a member of a battalion or company.-Australia:...

 or Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

.

Benelux

In the Belgian Army
Belgian Army
The Land Component is organised using the concept of capacities, whereby units are gathered together according to their function and material. Within this framework, there are five capacities: the command capacity, the combat capacity, the support capacity, the services capacity and the training...

 and Luxembourg Army
Military of Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Army is the national military of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has no navy, as the country is landlocked, or air force, although it does have aircraft. The Luxembourg Army was integrated into the Force Publique which included the Gendarmerie and the Police. The Gendarmerie was merged...

, the ranks are Adjudant, Adjudant-Chef and Adjudant-Major (or Adjudant-Majoor in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

). In Dutch, they are collectively known as Keuronderofficier ("elite NCOs"). Adjudant-Onderofficier is the only grade of warrant officer in the Royal Netherlands Army
Royal Netherlands Army
The Royal Netherlands Army is the land forces element of the military of the Netherlands.-Short history:The Royal Netherlands Army was raised on 9 January 1814, but its origins date back to 1572, when the so-called Staatse Leger was raised...

.

Canada

In the Canadian Army
Canadian Forces Land Force Command
The Canadian Army , previously called Land Force Command, is responsible for army operations within the Canadian Forces. The current size of the Army is 19,500 regular soldiers and 16,000 reserve soldiers, for a total of around 35,500 soldiers...

 and Canadian Air Force
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

, Adjudant is the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 form of the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 "Warrant Officer", and as such can refer to both the cadre of Warrant Officers, and the specific ranks of Adjudant (Warrant Officer), Adjudant-maître (Master Warrant Officer
Master Warrant Officer
Master warrant officer is a senior military rank in the Canadian Forces, Singapore Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces.-Canadian Forces:...

), and Adjudant-chef (Chief Warrant Officer
Chief Warrant Officer
Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the Canadian Forces and the Israel Defence Forces.-Canada:In the Canadian Forces, a chief warrant officer or CWO is the most senior non-commissioned member rank in the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force...

). In English, the term adjutant is used in common with other English-speaking armies, and the corresponding French term is Capitaine-adjudant.

France

Adjutant (adjudant in French) is a class of NCO
Non-commissioned officer
A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

 ranks in French Army, Air Force and Gendarmerie. These ranks are senior to the rank of sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

 and junior to the rank of major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

. Like the officers, the adjudants are entitled to the mon before their rank, as in "mon adjudant"

The adjutant ranks are, in order of seniority :
  • Adjutant (adjudant) : equivalent to a U.S. master sergeant or a British Commonwealth Warrant Officer 2
  • Chief Adjutant (adjudant-chef) : equivalent, but slightly junior, to a U.S. Sergeant Major or a British/Commonwealth Warrant Officer 1


In France, each corps has a colour (gold or silver). A French adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the opposite colour to that of his corps. A chief adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the colour of his corps. In order to distinguish an adjutant from a chief adjutant it is therefore necessary to know the arm's colour: This will be the colour of the cap badge e.g. gold cap badge for the infantry, silver cap badge for armoured cavalry.

India

The Indian Army has the position of Adjutant, which is based on the old British system. The Adjutants in most cases are Captains but in some cases hold the rank of Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 (especially in Regimental Centres). Subedar Adjutant (SA) is a position unique to the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

. He is a Subedar
Subedar
Subedar is a historical rank in the Indian Army, ranking below British commissioned officers and above non-commissioned officers. The rank was otherwise equivalent to a British lieutenant and was introduced in the East India Company's presidency armies, to make it easier for British officers to...

 who acts as deputy to the Adjutant. On all formal parades, the standard procedure is for the Company Havildar Major
Havildar
Havildar ) was the Military 'In Charge' of a Fort during the times of Maratha Empire. In the British Indian Army it was equivalent rank to Sergeant, next above Naik, and is still used in the modern Indian Army and Pakistan Army. The cavalry equivalent is Daffadar...

 to first report to the Subedar Adjutant, and the Subedar Adjutant in turn to report to the Adjutant. In the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

, the equivalent position was the Jemadar Adjutant, who held the lower rank of Jemadar
Jemadar
Jemadar was a rank used in the British Indian Army, where it was the lowest rank for a Viceroy's Commissioned Officer . Jemadars either commanded platoons or troops themselves or assisted their British commander...

.

Adjutant General

An Adjutant General
Adjutant general
An Adjutant General is a military chief administrative officer.-Imperial Russia:In Imperial Russia, the General-Adjutant was a Court officer, who was usually an army general. He served as a personal aide to the Tsar and hence was a member of the H. I. M. Retinue...

 is a rank and a role that may represent the principal staff officer of an army; through him, the commanding general receives communications and issues military orders.

In the United States, the Adjutant General is the chief military officer of the National Guard units in any one of the American States. This use of the term reflects the early history of the US where each of the 50 States retains partial sovereignty, including the right to maintain military forces; the Army and Air National Guard are state units that can be called to federal duty in case of national emergency.
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