RECRUITING is the act of raising men for the military or naval service. As to the military service, recruiting is done by officers appointed for the pur pose, who engage men by bounties to enter as private soldiers into particular regiments. The officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, while so em ployed, are said to be on the recruiting service ; but the actual engaging of men as recruits is called enlistment. The laws relating to this subject have been already noticed. [ENLISTMENT.] Formerly private persons were al lowed to enlist men for the army in any way that they might think best; but now, by a clause in the Mutiny Act, any person advertising or opening an office for recruits without authority in writing from the adjutant-general or the direc tors of the East-India Company is liable to the penalty of twenty pounds.
In order to produce uniformity in the system of recruiting, and to ensure the employment of legal means only in ob taining men, the supreme control of this branch of the military service was vested in the adjutant-general of the army, and both Great Britain and Ireland were divided into several recruiting districts. To each of these were appointed an in specting field-officer; an adjutant, whose duty it is to ascertain, in respect of stature and bodily strength, the fitness of any recruit for the service ; a paymaster; and a surgeon, the latter of whom is to re port concerning the health of the recruit. Under the inspecting field-officer there are several regimental officers who are stationed in the principal towns of the different recruiting districts in order to superintend the non-commissioned of ficers appointed to receive the applica tions of the persons who may be desirous of entering the service.
In order to procure recruits, a serjeant or other non-commissioned officer mixes, in country places, with the peasantry at their times of recreation ; and, in towns, with artisans who happen to be unem ployed, or who are dissatisfied with their condition; and, by address in represent ing whatever may seem agreeable in the life of a soldier, or by the allurement of a bounty, occasionally induces such per sons to enter the service.
The reports concerning the fitness of a recruit for military service are finally submitted for approval to the inspecting field-officer of the district, except when the distance of the head-quarters from the place where the recruit is enlisted is such that it would be more convenient to send the latter to the depot of the regi ment to which he is to belong: in that case the officer commanding at the depot is especially authorised to sanction them.
Officers employed on the recruiting service are not allowed to interfere with one another in the performance of their duties ; particularly, no one is permitted to use any means in order to obtain for his own party a man who has already taken steps by which he may become en gaged to another.