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A Final Word

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Now it is proper to consider your relation to your immediate superiors.

You have no business commanding unless you have first learned how to

obey. The finer the training and caliber of an officer, the more

sensitive is he to the wishes of his commanding officer, however,

informally they may be expressed.

The ideal officer is a Christian gentleman who has no task too small to

faithfully perfo
m, whose country's welfare is above his own, ready for

any sacrifice great or small; whose thoughtfulness and efficiency last

twenty-four hours a day, whose relations with his superiors are based on

modesty, cheerfulness, and loyalty.

A message from the Father and Mother whose son is to serve under you:

I want my boy to do his bit. I want him to willingly submit to all

sacrifices. I don't limit them. I expect him to become efficient. I

expect him to obey orders. That means all orders. Wrong orders as well

as right orders.

But I want him to have a fighting chance. I don't want him to serve

under an inefficient officer who is playing to the galleries; who is in

the habit of doing things wrong instead of right. If the worst should

come, I want my boy to perish for a good cause. I don't want there to be

any blunders about it.

In willingly placing my boy under your orders, I charge you with a

sacred task. I charge you to lead him efficiently.