The young officers guide to knowldge

The young officers' guide to knowldge-by the Senior Major
A fine early C20th publication. A short pocket sized book with excellent ideas for dealing with life's more troublesome people and tasks, such as umpires RMOs and Brigadeers.
Has anyone else got a copy of this fine book?
muzzleflash said:
No OC, but I suggest you add 'the beginners guide to the spelling of military rank' to your collection
Also requires a normal dictionary or spell check that works ( or is that the new way to spell 'knowledge' ?)
I have little formal education in spelling having gone to public school followed by a failed physics degree where writing was not compulsorary part of the process. Plus officers being plural in this case i.e. applying to multiple officers the apostrophe goes at the end of the word not before the S.

so nyah nyah nya nyah nyah

(blows raspberry)


orificecadet said:
I have little formal education in spelling having gone to public school followed by a failed physics degree where writing was not compulsorary part of the process.
Worst excuse I've ever seen: ten extras for you.
orificecadet said:
nevertheless has anyone else a copy of this fine aide memoire?
1. Please capitalise the first letter in a sentence. It seriously irritates me when people neglect to do this.

2. Does this mean you have a copy and are wondering if anyone else has a copy, or is - as I suspect - the 'else' superfluous?

As an Officer Cadet (which is abbreviated to OCdt, not OC) and soon to be subaltern, you will find that far more of your superiors will see your written work than will ever witness your actual on-the-job performance, and - in your case unfortunately - the standard of your Defence Writing will strongly influence their first impression of you. This is why it is so important to master DW as soon as possible. Since spelling and punctuation are of vital importance, it is a good idea to start correcting the mistakes wherever you make them....including here!
I'm a Cat B stab at the moment. I'm well over a year away from commisioning at the moment. It is else.

Orificecadet: I seriously hope that you are not in the Gunners, nor are considering a Commission in the Royal Regiment.

The Gunners are famed across the Services for being uniquely ‘anal’ when it comes to Service Writing. Gunner Field Officers take delight in being able to obscure a Subaltern’s offerings with red ink, and return it with extra duties/a drink for each error.

Your spelling stinks as much as your attitude to those who have proffered advice to you.

You may think you are “well over a year away from Commissioning”, but your childlike response causes me to urge that you recognise the importance of being able to give clear and concise orders to those below you as well as giving logical, well written reports and information to those above you.

Poor writing leaves room for confusion: not ideal in the world of Artillery to say the least.

Heed this advice: learn to read and write correctly. If you cannot, or will not, then you will spend a large amount of your time re-writing reports and exercise plans while your fellow subalterns are in the local brothel up to their nuts in glory. Also, your soldiers will not thank you when your poor attempt at writing their annual report (arguably the most important peace-time activity of an officer) results in them not being deemed suitable for promotion.



PS. Before you ask, I left the Army as the senior captain in my Regiment (and funnily enough, it was an AS90 regiment).
Dread my thanks for your advice. It is most gratefully received. I currently an OTC gun troop and yes I am enquiring about a commision in the Royal Regiment although not soley so. Cheers

orificecadet said:
I'm a Cat B stab at the moment. I'm well over a year away from commisioning at the moment. It is else.
Given your open minded approach to feedback and your clear, correct and articulate use of the written word I would suggest that you are probably a darn sight further away from commissioning than a year. Indeed I would suspect that this may be the only opprtunity you get to use the initials "OC" in reference to yourself, make the most of it !
regimentalrogue said:
The link above wasn't to the right page at my site; the Regimental Rogue:

Although I expect most poeple who followed the link probably found the page in question, for "THE YOUNG OFFICER'S GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE, By THE SENIOR MAJOR (1915)"

See this link -

Given the direction the thread has taken, these pages may also be found useful:

The Young Officer and Staff Duties

How to Write Effective English, by Strome Galloway
Thanks for the link, I shall pass that along to some of my miltary and civilian colleagues.

It's one of the least attractive benefits of email, in that you can fire off instant responses to questions, and in such a way almost overwhelm your recipients. I have a work colleague who uses email like a shotgun, with the number of cc addresses she uses, and invariably she shoots herself in the foot in the process, as her initial email was so poorly crafted as to create howls of laughter and/or indignation.

For my sins, I've taught Defence Writing, which is simply a house-style, much like you'd find in any industrial setting.

The one thing I've always tried to impress upon people is for them to proof read it before sending - if necessary, asking a colleague in the same office to check it. Rather they check it, than the CO/Chairman or R2IC/Department Head hand it back covered in red lines!
Hi there Regimental Rogue,

Many thanks for the link to those amazing documents that provide a lot of guidance. Though I fear a lot of their views are antiquated they still provide a wealth of knowledge.

Guys, if you've a spare hour or so have a read - well worth it IMHO.

Thanks again!
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