The Oldest Branch of the Military
Before the Continental Army, there were the Quartermasters. The Quartermaster Corps traces its origins from 16 June 1775. On that day, following General Washington's address accepting command of the Army, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution providing for one Quartermaster General of the Grand Army and a deputy, under him, for the Army. Major General Thomas Mifflin, the first Quartermaster General, had virtually no money and authority and was dependent upon the several colonies for supplies.
Though the Quartermaster supply function is as old as the first army that took the field, the term "Quartermaster" seems to have come into general usage with the rise of standing armies in the 16th century. Derived from the Old French quartier and the Latin quartarius, the term literally means master of quarters. In the standing armies of Europe, the Dutch called this officer kwartiermeester, while the Germans named him quartier-meister.
It was not until 1686, however, that the post of Quarter-Master-General was instituted in the British standing army, replacing the more ancient title of "the Harbinger" that means one who went in front to provide lodging or quarters for those who followed (Born 1).
The modern Quartermaster Corps provides supply support, field services, aerial delivery support, materiel and distribution management, combat development and doctrine, training, and professional developments to support the total Army of our nation today.
When I enlisted in the Army during the winter of 1994, I had no idea as to what I wanted to do. Ultimately, I knew that being a soldier was about carrying a weapon, shooting from foxholes, taking orders (and liking them) and marching. I was astonished when my recruiter asked me what kind of job I wanted. At this point, I was confused, he offered...