«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
A Platoon is the largest Unit which it is considered one man can personally direct in battle, and is the fighting Unit on which a coordination of battle plans is based.
Four Platoons are, again, in one Company for direction and administration, and four Companies constitute a Battalion.
Each Commander, therefore, has his own regular duties which are coordinated, and assisted by certain permanent appointments and other duty officers detailed from time to time.
Duties of a Section Commander.—To look after his section at all times, in billets, in the trenches, and on the march. To know the characters of his men, their names, and their respective abilities and limitations. He should be able to identify any man by his movements and the sound of his voice. He is responsible for looking after the distribution of food, water, and fuel within his section, and for the care which men take of their clothing, equipment, and necessaries. He is responsible for the manner in which his men turn out on parade and for the cleanliness of their billets. He must understand the 222 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
Platoon roster of duties and be acquainted with the allotment of tasks. He must know how and see to the carrying out of orders from his superiors regarding work, sentry duty, or tactical deployment. He must have his section ready to follow him and should be ready to lead them, wherever the situation demands.
Duties of a Platoon Commander.—He commands his sections, and therefore must know thoroughly all the duties and difficulties of the Section Commanders. He must inculcate discipline and esprit de corps in his Platoon, and train his Section Commanders and their understudies in their duties. He is responsible for knowing and promulgating all orders, including defence schemes and plans for attack.
He must keep a Platoon Roll Book, with all particulars of his men, including previous occupation, and their next of kin. He must study the fitting of his men's boots, care of their clothing, and the state of their feet.
He inspects his Platoon daily, being responsible for their appearance and for the efficiency of their arms.
He must be able to and must train his men in the use of the weapons with which they are armed, and must train them so that he can deploy his sections readily to cope with any situation. He must direct his sections in battle and be ready to lead his men in any situation necessary.
He must ensure a proper roster of duties within the Platoon.
Platoon Sergeant.—He understudies and assists the Platoon Commander in every way. He is responsible that all other ranks within his Platoon are prompt and punctual at reveille, stand-to, and parades. He must keep a Platoon roster.
Duties of Officer Commanding a Company.—He is primarily responsible for the interior management of his Company and for their clean and soldierly appearance, for their discipline and general wellbeing. He is responsible for the training of his officers and his men. He must know the characteristics of his subordinate leaders, and is responsible that his subordinate commanders know the exact state of their commands at all times. He must develop understudies for every position of command in his Company, and while being the greatest influence in his Company, he must know that at no time is his Company or any part of it a one-man show. He must develop esprit de corps in his Company, encourage games, create amusements for his men, and make them know that they are well looked after, Corps Administration 223 and that they will always get a fair show. He must write, or see that his officers write, to the relatives of all officers and other ranks killed, seriously wounded, or missing in his Company. He is responsible for the proper conduct of his officers. He is personally responsible for all Company funds. He must see that rations and clothing are equitably distributed. He must co-ordinate the actions of his Platoons in battle.
For the above purposes he has besides his Platoon Commanders a Second-in-Command, who understudies him in everything, and whose special function is the comfort of the men, their billeting, clothing, cooking, and rationing. He must know each Platoon thoroughly, so that as occasion demands he can train any Platoon or lead any Platoon in battle.
The Company also has a Company Sergeant-Major, Company Quartermaster-Sergeant, Company Clerk, Cooks and Runners The Company Sergeant-Major is responsible for the smartness and general appearance of the non-commissioned officers of the Company.
He must possess a perfect knowledge of drill, and must be able to train the other N.C.O's in their use of weapons, and particularly their administrative duties. He details all Company duties, and must keep proper rosters for same. He attends all Company parades and Company orderly room. He is responsible for the custody and disposition of Company stores and trench stores. He must be capable of taking over the duties of the Platoon Commander in action. He must understand all orders, administrative or battle, so that he can explain them if necessary to N.C.O's, or consider the ideas of his N.C.O's.
The Company Quartermaster-Sergeant takes over the rations in bulk from the Quartermaster, and issues them to Platoons or Detachments as required, in or out of the Line, reporting to the Officer Commanding Company. He keeps a clothing roster, ascertains the wants of the Company, and makes his requisitions for clothing, equipment, and necessaries to the Quartermaster. He personally distributes clothing and equipment. He arranges under the Quartermaster any. new billeting of the Company, and is responsible, under the Second in Command, for the men's comfort, and for meals when they return from the line or from action.
The Company Clerk makes out all routine returns, and keeps the full nominal roll for the Company Commander. He prepares the rosters for the Sergeant-Major. He prepares 224 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
parade states and strength returns. He does not go into action, as he is responsible for Company records when the Battalion is in the line.
For further supervision, the Company Commander details, when out of the line, a Company Orderly Officer, whose duty it is to inspect all meals and billets daily, and to receive any complaints of the men.
The Company Sergeant-Major details for either four or seven-day periods a Company Orderly Sergeant and Company Orderly Corporal.
While the Battalion Commander is responsible for everything, he has two administrative officers, dividing routine administration between them, namely, the Adjutant and the Quartermaster, who in turn have various specialists directly under them. The Adjutant is at once the Office Manager and mouthpiece of the Commanding Officer, transmitting orders, messages, and information td other officers and other ranks. The Adjutant is responsible for dress, drill discipline and smartness. He must at all times comport himself in such a way as to be an example. His office is called an Orderly Room, and he has an Orderly Room Staff, consisting of Orderly Room Sergeant and Clerks, to whom he allocates the office work of the Battalion, and is responsible for the correctness of everything which emanates from the Orderly Room. He keeps a record of all officers, with full particulars of them and their services. Also a Non-Commissioned Officers' Seniority Roster, with dates of all promotions, etc. He has kept a record of the personal services of everyone passing through the Battalion. He is responsible for the correctness and punctuality of all returns from Companies for the information of the Commanding Officer, and compilation of Battalion Returns to higher Formations. These returns are quite multitudinous, relating to strength, equipment, situations, etc. He must be firm and tactful in his dealings with Officers Commanding Companies, who are generally his seniors. He is responsible for reporting all irregularities and departures from what should be expected, to the Commanding Officer.
He is responsible for the issuing and service of all Battalion Standing Orders and Battalion Routine Orders. He is responsible for the filing and promulgation, when necessary, of all orders and regulations emanating from higher authority. He keeps a Duty Roster for Corps Administration. 225 officers, and a Leave Roster for officers and other ranks. He prepares all cases to be heard at the Battalion, daily Orderly Room, and where the accused are remanded for Court Martial he has taken summaries and usually acts as prosecutor, and as such is responsible that the case is presented fairly and not unjustly.
He is allowed an Assistant-Adjutant, who, when available, understudies him, usually taking over the office routine, while the Adjutant devotes more time to drill, smartness, and appearance of the Battalion. While the Adjutant is responsible generally for the main Headquarters Details, he is usually relieved of this by the appointment of one of the other officers attached to Headquarters, as Officer Commanding Headquarters Company, for rations and discipline. The duties of officers so appointed correspond materially to the duties of any other Company Commander in addition to his special duties whatever they may be.
The Signal Officer has under him a Signalling Sergeant, and a staff of 53 trained Signallers, for the training and efficiency of whom he is responsible. In more stationary warfare he usually allots four operators to each Company, being responsible with the remainder of the Staff for the maintenance of communication from Headquarters forward. Rear Formations take over the responsibility for maintenance of communication up to his Headquarters. In other phases of warfare he details Signallers as the situation demands. He must be thoroughly acquainted with all systems of signalling in use, and where possible take over the signalling system before the Battalion goes into the line or to action. It is his duty by day or night to maintain communication by the most expeditious method possible, be it telephone, visual, wireless, or runners.
A variable number of Battalion runners also come under the Signalling Officer.
He is responsible that all equipment is complete and serviceable, including bicycles.
Intelligence Department. An Intelligence Officer is responsible for tactical information, for collating same, and keeping his Commanding Officer informed of all changes or movements. He has a Staff of Scouts, Sentries, and Observers, for whose training he is responsible. He has charge of all maps, and is responsible for any corrections, up-to-date, and (642) Q 226 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
for the supply to the proper parties of properly corrected maps. In stationary warfare he maintains observation of the enemy, and must know thoroughly enemy landmarks in the enemy area, the positions they hold, their habits, observing their shelling and general activity, keeping close liaison with the Intelligence Officers of senior formations, reporting his observations to them, likewise recording observations received from them. In more open warfare he is responsible for the (1) collection of data regarding the area he is in ; (2) observation of our own progress, and movement or activity of the enemy. In reporting on our own progress he must know the positions of our advanced troops, and keep the flanks of the Battalion in touch with adjoining Units. (3) At all times he is responsible for routes of march, or guiding parties to strange destinations, such as assembly, positions, etc. He keeps close liaison with the Artillery. He is responsible for collation of daily intelligence records.
He is assisted by a Scout Officer, who, when possible, understudies. him, and generally conducts personally advanced reconnaissance patrols of " No Man's Land," enemy wire, and enemy positions.
Lewis Gun Officer.—In each Platoon there are two Lewis guns, the gunners for whom are of course under their own officers for training and all other matters, but the Lewis Gun Officer is responsible for their constant technical training, and assists Company Officers when necessary. He is assisted by a Lewis Gun Sergeant. He trains special classes of Lewis gunners whenever possible. He advises on the tactical handling and disposition of guns. He arranges for practice, and arranges and supervises fire on the ranges whenever the Battalion is out of the line.. He is responsible for the maintenance of the guns in good order, and for the supply of spare parts. In action he usually acts as Liaison Officer with adjoining Units, or in conjunction with the Intelligence Officer.
Bombing Officer and Works Officer.—When possible an officer is appointed as Bombing Officer, who also acts as Works Officer. He is responsible for the supply of bombs, flares, ammunition, etc., the construction of bombing pits when out of the line, and the training of all men in the use of bombs. He supervises any purely Battalion work in the trenches and out of the line, and keeps up liaison with the Engineers.
Regimental Sergeant-Major.—He must be an example to all Warrant Officers and all non-commissioned officers in the Battalion in all things, and at all times be able to coach and Corps Administration. 227 instruct them in any of their duties. He acts as a connecting link between the Adjutant and the non-commissioned officers of the Battalion. He must study critically all N.C.O's under him, and be able to report upon their character or efficiency to the Battalion Commander, and he must bring to notice any breach of duty. He gives out the detail of the Battalion duties, and parades guards, picquets, and Battalion duties. He attends Battalion Commanders' Orderly Room, and is responsible for the presence and parading of other ranks accused, and witnesses, or for interviews. He supervises the work of the Regimental Police.
Provost Sergeant.—The Provost Sergeant has a staff of Regimental Police, with whom he sees to the carrying out of Field Punishment in the proper manner, except that when in custody the field punishment men are under the Sergeant of the Guard. He finds police for guarding any special stores or places of public resort put out of bounds. He acts as escort for prisoners who have to travel. In action he finds, with his policemen, battle stops and control posts, i.e., men who see that no one leaves the action without cause. He usually supervises the turning over of the prisoners of war to Brigade prisoners of war cages.