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Adjutant General's Corps

The Adjutant General's Corps is a Combat Service Support branch of the Army. The Adjutant General Corps, or "AG Corps" as most soldiers call it, provides personnel and administration support to Army field commanders. AG soldiers' tasks include tracking awards and promotions, maintaining personnel records, providing secretarial and clerk support, and handling mail. Their mission is to help build and sustain combat readiness through planning, operating, and managing all military personnel activities, which include the following functions: Personnel Services, Personnel Strength Management, Personnel Management, Automation, Band Operations, and Postal Operations. Various headquarters -- from battalion and separate brigade to division, Army headquarters, major commands, and Department of the Army -- require astute, innovative officers to plan, develop, and operate personnel management systems in support of the organization or headquarters in peacetime as well as a combat environment. Officers of the Adjutant General's Corps meet this requirement.

The 21,000 enlisted soldiers in the Army's Adjutant General Corps will go through a consolidation beginning next year that will result in expanded job descriptions for many people, while other jobs simply go away. Although the precise number of jobs to disappear wasn't announced until spring 2003, Army officials gave the AG Corps' enlisted soldiers a "warning order" in December 2002. Those AG soldiers whose jobs do remain intact will require additional training, and some of those soldiers may have to change their duty stations. Enlisted soldiers in the AG Corps share a total of four Military Occupational Specialties, or MOSs, all of which will be affected by the consolidation. But no officer or warrant officer MOS's will be affected.

the AG Corps' four enlisted MOS's were all numbered in the 70's: 75H, Personnel Specialist; 75B, company clerk; 71L, administration specialist; and 75F, standard installation personnel clerk. Beginning in June 2003, the Army began consolidating all of the 75Hs, 75Bs, and some 71L soldiers under a new number and title: 42A, human resource management specialist. Army officials decided to change the number to match the AG officer and warrant officers' branch designator, which are both 42. Some of the 71L soldiers who aren't redesignated as 42As will retain their administration specialist title, but under a new MOS number and letter, 42L. The remaining portion of 71L soldiers - those not redesignated as 42A or 42L - will be vulnerable to a force structure cut. There are 9,273 soldiers whose MOS is 71L. Those AG soldiers who keep their jobs under the new "42A" designator will have much broader duties and responsibilities, "to reflect current technology and business practices.

The lineage of the Adjutant General's Corps dates back nearly as far as the Army which it has honorably served for over 200 years. On June 16, 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Horatio Gates, a former British Army major, as the first Adjutant General and commissioned him in the grade of Brigadier General. With that appointment, the second oldest existing branch of the Army received its birthright. Horatio Gates is honored as the forefather of the Adjutant General's Corps. Historically, he was the second officer to receive a commission in the Continental Army (George Washington was the first). General Gates' primary duty was to serve as key advisor and principal assistant to General Washington. Horatio Gates proved himself to be an able assistant as well as a brilliant field commander. Under his leadership, the Continental Army won the Battle of Saratoga--considered by many to be the most critical battle of the Revolutionary War. Following his strategic victory over the British, the Congress awarded General Gates our country's highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.

During the War of 1812, Adjutant Generals proved themselves to be officers of exceptional character, judgment, and combat prowess. Two men in particular who served as the Adjutant General during this period rose to prominence. Alexander Macomb is noted for repulsing the British in the Battle of Plattsburg and later becoming the Commanding General of the Army. The famous explorer Zebulon Pike was killed in battle while leading the victorious assault on York, Canada.

With the appointment of Brevet Brigadier General Roger Jones in 1825, the office began its climb in importance to the Army. During his tenure, General Jones molded the office of the Adjutant General into the central bureau of the War Department. Adjutants General became the only officers invested with the authority to speak for the commander.

Recognizing this, the Army began appointing West Point graduates almost exclusively as Adjutants General from 1839 through the early 1900's. The first two graduates so appointed, Samuel Cooper and Lorenzo Thomas, served with distinction as Adjutants General during the Civil War. Cooper served the South, and Thomas served the North.

By the onset of the Spanish-American War, The Adjutant General's Office had evolved as the central coordinating bureau in the Army. Strengthening military organization has been the legacy of the Adjutants General from one era to another. Major General William H. Carter, under the able direction of Secretary of War Elihu Root, bolstered that legacy by designing the modern general staff. The relationships between The Adjutant General's Department and this newly-organized general staff took several years of refinement as some functions were transferred and others were duplicated.

During World War II, more than 15,000 officers, soldiers, and civilians served in the Office of the Adjutant General. By the end of the war, the Adjutant General's Corps processed more than six million soldiers back into civilian life. In what has been described as one of the most successful administrative tasks ever carried out, the AG Corps processed nearly one-half million discharges a month in accomplishing this difficult mission.

Since World War II, the Adjutant General's Corps has been combat tested on several far-flung battlefields such as Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and, most recently, in the Persian Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm). AG soldiers mobilized 139,207 reserve component soldiers (equating to 1,045 Reserve and National Guard units of all types), recalled 1,386 retirees to active duty, deployed 1,600 Army civilians to Southwest Asia, processed over 10,000 individual and unit replacements, and delivered more than 27,000 tons of mail to deployed Army forces.

Traditionally, Adjutant General's Corps officers were charged with most of the non-supply functions of the staff as we know them today. Their focus has been primarily centered around records, and as such, they have historically been given the responsibility for developing Army personnel and administrative policies and programs.

Through the years, functions developed by the Adjutant General have evolved into independent staff agencies. The Inspector General, The Provost Marshal, The Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and the Chief of Military History all owe their foundations to The Adjutants General of the past. For more than 200 years the mission of the Adjutant General's Corps has remained constant and clear: to assist the commander in war and peace, and be the vanguard of personnel support to the Army.

Strength management officers are responsible for reporting the personnel status of a unit to the commander. Commanders need this information to ensure unit readiness. As a strength management officer, you are also responsible for requisitioning replacements to ensure the unit has enough trained personnel to perform the unit's mission in both war and peace.

Officers who serve in Personnel Management plan, develop, and direct personnel systems which support and implement programs concerning the personnel life cycle. Included are personnel reassignments, reenlistments, promotions, eliminations, and awards and decorations. These officers command personnel service companies (PSC) or assist in commanding. Adjutant General's Corps officers also serve as Adjutants/S1s of battalions and brigades, and G1s of divisions.

Recruiting is vital to maintaining a strong quality force in the Army. As an AG officer you may be assigned to command a recruiting company. AG officers also hold positions as Adjutants or operations officers at recruiting battalions or brigades. Officers in the area of recruiting are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring quality men and women are enlisted in the Army. They must ensure that people coming into the Army have the aptitude and are physically and mentally fit for military service.

The United States Army Bands Program is one of the largest single employers of musicians in the world. It consists of 123 bands: 48 Active Army, 56 Army National Guard, and 19 Army Reserve bands. Army Bands are stationed throughout the world with the largest concentration in the continental United States. While the majority of our bands have 40 band members (one Warrant Officer Bandmaster and 39 enlisted musicians), the size varies from 250 (The United States Army Band) to our 13-space detachment in Belgium. The Army Bands Program is continually seeking highly qualified musicians to serve in its many organizations. For acceptance into the program, successful performance of an audition is required. AG Officers in the field of Army Bands can serve as Band Commanders and Band Staff Officers.

One of the most critical AG wartime functions is postal operations. Timely delivery of mail to soldiers and their families is crucial to sustaining morale and fighting capability. This has proven true in every conflict, from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm. The AG Corps operates Army Post Offices in overseas locations from Korea to Germany to Turkey.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:33:57 ZULU