Non-Commissioned Officers

Under regulations established by the Secretary of War, non-commissioned officers may be examined by a board of four officers as to their qualifications for the duties of commissioned officers in the line of the army, and are eligible for appointment as second lieutenants in any corps for which they are qualified.

Meritorious Privates

Whenever a private soldier distinguishes himself in the army, the President may, on the recommendation of the commanding officers of the regiment to which such private soldier belongs, grant him a certificate of merit.


Schools arc established at all posts, garrisons, and permanent camps, at which troops are stationed, in which the enlisted men are instructed in the common English branches of education, and especially in the history of the United States. It is the duty of the post or garrison commander to set apart a suitable room or building for school and religious purposes, and the Secretary of War details such officers and enlisted men as may be necessary to carry out this measure.

Retiring Boards - Veteran Officers

From time to time the Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, assembles an Army Retiring Board, consisting of not more than nine, nor less than five, officers, two-fifths of whom are selected from the Medical corps, and besides these the board is composed, as far as may be, of seniors in rank to the officer whose disability is the subject of inquiry. The members of the board are sworn to discharge their duties honestly and impartially. The board inquires into and determines the facts touching the nature and occasion of the disability of any officer who appears to be incapable of performing the duties of his office, and shall have such powers of a court-martial and of a court of inquiry as may be necessary for that purpose. The proceedings and decision of the board are transmitted to the Secretary of War, and are by him laid before the President for his approval or disapproval and orders in the case.

When an officer has served forty consecutive years as a commissioned officer, he may, upon making application to the President, be retired from active service and placed upon the retired list, at the discretion of the President. When any officer has served forty-five years as a commissioned officer, or is sixty-two years old, he may, at the discretion of the President, be retired from active service.

When any officer has become incapable of performing the duties of his office, he shall either be retired from active service, or wholly retired from the service by the President, in the manner provided by law. Officers are retired from active service upon the actual rank held by them at the date of their retirement; are withdrawn from command and the line of promotion; are entitled to wear the uniform of their rank; continue to be borne on the army register; are subject to the rules and articles of war, and to trial by court-martial for any breach thereof. The whole number of officers on the retired list cannot at any time exceed 300.

Retired officers may be assigned to duty at the Soldiers' Home (Dayton, Ohio) when selected by the commissioners of the home, approved by the Secretary of War; and a retired officer cannot be assigned to any other duty, but may, on his own application, be detailed to serve as professor in any college. No retired officer, in these positions, however, will be allowed any additional compensation - only his regular pay as a retired officer. Rights of Enlisted Men.

No enlisted man can, during his term of service, be arrested on mesne process, or taken or charged in execution for any debt unless it was contracted before his enlistment and amounted to $20 when first contracted.


Cooks for the army are detailed, in turn, from the privates of each company of troops in the service of the United States, at the rate of one cook for each company numbering less than thirty men, and two cooks for each company numbering more than thirty men, and they serve on each detail ten days.

Officers As Teachers

The President may, upon the application of any established college or university within the United States, having capacity to educate at the same time not less than 150 male students, detail an officer of the army to act as president, superintendent or professor thereof, but the number of such officers may not exceed thirty at any time; are to be apportioned throughout the United States, as nearly as practicable, according to population, and are governed by general rules prescribed, from time to time, by the President.

Officers' Reports

Every officer commanding a regiment, corps, garrison or detachment, is required, once in two months, or oftener, to make a report to the chief of ordnance, stating all damages to arms, implements or equipments belonging to his command, noting those occasioned by negligence or abuse, and naming the officer or soldier by whose negligence or abuse such damages were occasioned.

Every officer who receives clothing or camp equipage for the use of his command, or for issue to troops, must render to the Quartermaster-General, quarter-yearly, returns of such supplies, according to prescribed forms, with the requisite vouchers.

Army Officers As CIVIL Officers

No army officer in active service can hold any civil office, either by election or appointment, and if he accepts or exercises the functions of a civil office he ceases to be an officer of the army and his commission is vacated. Should he accept a diplomatic or consular appointment under the government, he is considered as having resigned his place in the army, and it is filled as a vacancy.

Musicians And Their Pay

The leader of the band at the military academy receives $75 a month, and the chief musicians of regiments $60 and the allowances of a quarter-master sergeant.