Adjutant, a staff officer attached to the commander or to the headquarters of larger or smaller bodies of troops. Generally, the commander of every military post, battalion, regiment, brigade, division, corps, army, or military department has an adjutant, or an adjutant general, with such assistants as the importance of the command may require. The duty of the adjutant is to assist his chief in the performance of his military duties, to make known his orders, to see to their execution, to receive reports, and to take care of the records and returns pertaining to the troops. He has therefore under his charge, to a great extent, the internal economy of the command to which he is attached. By authority of the com-mander, he regulates the rotation of duty among its component parts, and gives out the daily orders; at the same time, he is a sort of clerk to his chief, carries on the correspondence with detachments and with the superior authorities, arranges the daily reports and returns into tabular form, and keeps the journal and statistical books of his body of troops.

Larger bodies of troops now generally have a regular staff attached, taken from the general staff of the army, and under a "chief of the staff," who takes to himself the higher functions of adjutant, and leaves him merely the transmission of orders and the regulation of the internal routine duty of the corps. Owing to the difference of regulations and military systems, as well as to the peculiarities of commanders, there is practically a great variety in the functions of adjutants. In the army of the United States there is one adjutant, or adjutant general, attached to the war department, who issues the orders of the secretary of war and the general-in-chief, and has charge of the military record of the government. He is also head of the adjutant general's department, composed of a fixed number of colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors, promoted by selection from the officers of the army, and assigned to duty in the bureaus of the adjutant general's office or with the headquarters of armies, corps, divisions, brigades, or military divisions and departments; they are called assistant adjutants general.

Besides these, the governor of each state has an adjutant general, while the requirements of monarchical institutions have created in almost all European states hosts of titular adjutants general to the monarch, whose functions are imaginary, except when called upon to do duty with their mas-ter; and even then these functions are of a purely formal kind.