Tasks of the Hauptfeldwebel On Maneuvers and In the Field

Translated from “Hilfsbuch für den Hauptfeldwebel” by Hans Rödel, 1942.

On the March.

Every Kompanie wants to have as few people as possible drop out of the march due to injury. This can be achieved by:
-Instructing the enlisted men on taking care of their feet;
-Checking the fit of footwear;
-Distributing powder and foot sweat salve.

On the march, the Hauptfeldwebel has a bicycle available to him, his place is with the field kitchen. In peacetime marches, though, he will always find the opportunity to march with his Kompanie. Here, he supports the Kompaniechef in inspecting the march discipline. If the unit is to rest, whenever possible he reconnoiters the resting place, which he travels to in advance on the bicycle. If the unit is to receive rations, he inquires at the right time and gives his instructions to the field kitchen. During the rest he takes care of the receipt of rations and checks that everything is in order with marching injuries.

In Camp.

In reconnoitering a camp place, it must be ensured:
-That water is available for the horses to drink, for the enlisted men to wash up, and for filling the field kitchen;
-That the ground is not too soft and damp, even when it rains;
-That a latrine can be set up.
Constructing the tents is mostly carried out by the Zugführer according to the instruction of the Kompaniechef. When orders are given out, which takes place as soon as possible, the following should be mentioned:
-Additional duties (cleaning weapons, etc.);
-Assignment of guards, the password;
-Uniform and conduct in camp;
-Location of the latrine, and the vehicles;
-How far and for how long it is permitted to leave the camp;
-Conduct during alarms;
-Wakeup and departure on the next day:
-Exact time.

Through proper conduct and good singing, the Kompanie can win over the heart of the cantonment host as soon as they enter the quarters. The person in charge of the quarters will almost always approach the Kompanie and report on the accommodations of the Kompanie and where they will be staying. It is practical, when the Kompanie arrives at the quarters for the first time. Here the rations and the packs of the enlisted men will be given out. The Hauptfeldwebel assigns the guards, gives the time and location of the foot inspection, the next location and exact time is made known. On rest days he proposes a weapon inspection to the Kompaniechef. Before he seeks out his own quarters, he inspects the accommodations of the Tross and a part of the Kompanie. Through the foot inspection, he determines the state of march injuries.

If there is to be a ball at the end of maneuvers, the Hauptfeldwebel is to attend and to check on the orderly conduct of his people.

In the field.

The tasks of the Hauptfeldwebel in wartime will be carried out under much more difficult circumstances. But if he has constantly worked to care for his Kompanie in peacetime, he will also master these difficulties.