Resigning Army Commissions (long)
Posted by Captain Everett on July 23, 1998 at 15:26:38:
In response to Army--commisions and resigning, written by Anna P on July 22, 1998 at 17:35:10
] [snip] Would such a sudden resignation be historically accurate?
During the Regency, Army Commissions were viewed very much as property. It could, subject to various regulations, be bought and sold at set prices.
General Regulations and Orders (1812) does give some references to resignations. Most of the entries cover applying for, and purchasing commissions. It does state that, "In particular Instances, Commissions in the Regular Army are allowed to be disposed of by Sale..." at the established rates.
When an Officer is desirous of retiring from the Service, and of obtaining Leave to sell his Commission, he is to send his Resignation, through the Commanding Officer of his Regiment (if his Regiment is in Great Britain), to his Colonel, who, in transmitting the same to the Commander-in-Chief, through his Military Secretary, may at the same Time, if there are Purchasers in the Corps, recommend in Succession the Seniors of their respective Ranks for Purchase, both the Colonel and Commanding Officer certifying that they are satisfied that no more than the Sum stipulated by His Majesty's Regulations is given or received.
Should there be no Purchaser in the Regiment, the Resignation of the Officer desirous to retire is alone to be transmitted, in the Matter and Form above mentioned, to the Commander-in-Chief.
Officers belonging to Regiments stationed in Ireland must make their Applications in a similar course to the Commander of the Forces in that part of the Kingdom; and on Foreign Stations, to the General Officer Commanding, their Applications being previously sanctioned by their respective Commanding Officers, who are to certify, in the same Manner as Colonels of Regiments at Home, that they are satisfied in regard to the Sums given, or to be received, being in strict conformity to His Majesty's Regulations.
Colonels, when absent from Great Britain and Ireland, may empower the Officer in actual Command of their Regiments, and if their Regiments are also Abroad, they may empower their Regimental Agents, to recommend Purchasers for vacant Commissions, in which Case the necessary Certificates, in regard to the Sum to be paid in Regimental Successions, must be signed by them in the Colonel's Absence, as well as the Recommondation for the Purchase.
Officers on Leave of Absence from Corps on Foreign Service may transmit their Applications to purchase or sell, thrugh the Colonels of their Regiments; and in the Event of a Change in the Officer's Circumstances between the Quarterly Returns, he may make a direct Communication to Head-Quarters, in order to prevent any Purchase taking place in his Own Corps, by which he may be passed over by an Junior Officer:- This Rule is applicable also to Officers on the Recruiting Service, or on other Military Duties, whose Corps may be on a Foreign Station.
[I would doubt, however, that if a unit were on active service, or about to be sent overseas, the Commanding Officer would grant permission until a suitable replacement was found. Unless of course the CO determined that it was in the best interests to get rid of said officer.] The Commander-in-Chief at that time was the Duke of York.
I remain, etc.
- Thank you, sir! Anna P 09:49:27 7/24/98 (0)
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