QUARTERMASTER CORPS. In 1912 the Quartermaster Corps of the United States army was formed by the fusion of the old Quartermaster's, Subsistence and Pay Depart ments, all of which date back in some form or other to the first two decades of the 19th cen tury. The resulting organization is commanded by the quartermaster-general, who ranks as a major general. The corps is subject to the general supervision of the Chief of Staff. It cpmbines the functions of its predecessors, and takes care of all the business needs of the army which have.nothing to do with munitions of war or the special supplies of the Corps of Engi neers, the Signal Corps and the Medical De partment, Among its duties is the provision of, transport by steamboats, railroads and trains of wagons, trucks and pack animals. It furnishes the personnel of the service of supply in the zone of communications and at the teamsters, chauffeurs, packers, etc. It pur chases stores, and distributes equipment and food, and establishes the necessary supply and commissary depots. It furnishes field to keep the troops supplied with bread. It dis burses the funds necessary for the pay of the army.. It contracts for all services necessary for the troops, and for the construction of such buildings as may be needed. In short, its activ
ities are as vaned as would be expected in a business enterprise of its magnitude. All offi cers of the Quartermaster Corps ranking as captain or over are detailed from the line. The establishment of the Quartermaster Corps is one major-general; two •brigadier-generals; 21 Colonels; 24 lieutenant-colonels; 68 majors; 180 captains; and such subordinate officers, non commissioned officers and privates as the needs of the service may require. These are: pay clerks,' ranking as second (or rarely tenants) ; field clerks, Quartermaster Corps; quartermaster sergeants, senior grade; quarter Master sergeants; sergeants, first class; ser geants, corporals, privates first class; and pri vates. In time of war, the Quartermaster Corps. of .the regular army may be supplemented by captains and majors from the Officers' Reserve Corps, and with non-commissioned officers and privates from the Enlisted Reserve Corps. At, present there are first and second lieu tenants in the. Quartermaster Corps, branch of the Officers' Reserve Corps, but this is not a permanent provision.