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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/60

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Letters From A Railway Official.

rather the grade from which the colonel can select his adjutant has been elevated to that of captain. The adjutant has thus gained, and many military men hope that he will eventually be the lieutenant-colonel, and as in the Navy, be the executive officer, and, in effect, chief of staff for the colonel. Since no officer of the Army or Navy permits another to sign his name the adjutant uses his own autograph signature, but preceded by the phrase, “By order of Colonel Blank”; objectionable because it is sometimes a legal fiction. The adjutant system in the army works better than the assistant to system on the railroads, because the adjutant is relatively better trained for his position. Not only does the adjutant know office work, but he has learned practically to perform every duty required of non-commissioned officers and private soldiers. Very few assistants to could run a train, switch cars, handle a locomotive, or pick up a wreck. This is why soldiers and sailors have more faith in the ability of their officers than railway employes have in that of their officials. He who would be called Thor must first wield Thor’s battle axe. We should office from the railroad rather than railroad from the office.

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