Quartermaster Corps (United States Army)

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Quartermaster Corps branch insignia

The United States Army Quartermaster Corps is a Sustainment, formerly combat service support (CSS), branch of the United States Army. It is also one of three U.S. Army logistics branches, the others being the Transportation Corps and the Ordnance Corps.

History[edit]

The Quartermaster Corps is the U.S. Army's oldest logistics branch, established 16 June 1775. On that date, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution providing for "one Quartermaster General of the grand army and a deputy, under him, for the separate army". From 1775 to 1912, this organization was known as the Quartermaster Department. In 1912, Congress consolidated the former Subsistence, Pay, and Quartermaster Departments to create the Quartermaster Corps. Quartermaster units and soldiers have served in every U.S. military operation from the Revolutionary War to current operations in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).

Functions[edit]

The function of the Quartermaster Corps is to provide the following support to the Army:

  • general supply (except for ammunition and medical supplies)
  • Mortuary Affairs (formerly graves registration)
  • subsistence (food service)
  • petroleum and water
  • field services
    • aerial delivery (parachute packing, air item maintenance, heavy and light equipment parachute drop, rigging and sling loading)
    • shower, laundry, fabric/light textile repair
  • material and distribution management

Former functions[edit]

Former functions and missions of the Quartermaster Corps were:

Units[edit]

Quartermaster detachments, companies and battalions are normally assigned to corps or higher level commands. Divisions and smaller units have multifunctional support battalions which combine functional areas from the Army Transportation Corps, Army Quartermaster Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and the Army Medical Service Department.

Quartermaster organizations include field service, general supply, petroleum supply and petroleum pipeline, aerial delivery (rigger), water, and mortuary affairs units. Most are company level except petroleum and water, which has battalion and group level units. There is one Bulk petroleum Company on Active Duty.

Military Occupational Specialities[edit]

The nine Quartermaster Enlisted Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) are:

  • 92A – Automated Logistical Specialist
  • 92F – Petroleum Supply Specialist
  • 92G – Food Service Operations
  • 92L – Petroleum Laboratory Specialist
  • 92M – Mortuary Affairs Specialist
  • 92R – Parachute Rigger
  • 92S – Shower/Laundry and Clothing Repair Specialist
  • 92W – Water Treatment Specialist
  • 92Y – Unit Supply Specialist

The five Quartermaster Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) are:

The three Quartermaster Officer Areas of Concentration (AOCs) have been merged into 92A as Additional Skill Identifiers (ASIs)

  • 92A – Quartermaster, General
  • R9 – Aerial Delivery and Materiel (formerly 92D)
  • R8 – Petroleum and Water (formerly 92F)

Leadership / School[edit]

The officer in charge of the branch for doctrine, training, and professional development purposes is the Quartermaster General. The current Quartermaster General is Brigadier General Gwen Bingham. The Quartermaster General does not have command authority over Quartermaster units, but instead commands the United States Army Quartermaster Center and School, located at Fort Lee, Virginia, near Petersburg. This school provides enlisted advanced individual training (AIT) and leader training for Quartermaster officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers.

For a list of US Army Quartermaster Generals, see Quartermaster General (United States).[1]

In the media[edit]

The Quartermaster Corps provides a host of vital services to the U.S. Army. But, because these jobs are often not glamorous, very little is mentioned about Quartermaster soldiers in the mainstream media. The Global War on Terrorism and the 11 September attack on the Pentagon, as well as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have brought several Quartermasters briefly into the spotlight. Here are a few who have recently gained attention:

  • MAJ Steve V. Long, a Quartermaster Officer who was serving as Secretary of the General Staff Office of the Commanding General US Total Army Personnel Command, was one of the casualties of the 11 September 2001 attack on the Pentagon.[5]

Quartermaster Creed[edit]

Quartermaster Creed

I am Quartermaster. My story is enfolded in the history of this nation. Sustainer of Armies...

My forges burned at Valley Forge. Down frozen, rutted roads my oxen hauled the meager foods a bankrupt Congress sent me... Scant rations for the cold and starving troops, gunpowder, salt, and lead.

In 1812 we sailed to war in ships my boatwrights built. I fought beside you in the deserts of our great Southwest. My pack mules perished seeking water holes, and I went on with camels. I gave flags to serve. The medals and crest you wear are my design.

Since 1862, I have sought our fallen brothers from Private to President. In war or peace I bring them home and lay them gently down in fields of honor.

Provisioner, transporter. In 1898 I took you to Havana harbor and the Philippines. I brought you tents, your khaki cloth for uniforms. When yellow fever struck, I brought the mattresses you lay upon.

In 1918, soldier... like you. Pearl Harbor, too. Mine was the first blood spilled that day. I jumped in darkness into Normandy, D-Day plus 1. Bataan, North Africa, Sicily. I was there. The 'chutes that filled the gray Korean skies were mine; I led the endless trains across the beach in Vietnam.

By air and sea I supported the fight for Grenada. Helicopters above the jungles of Panama carried my supplies. In Desert Storm, I was there when we crossed the border into Iraq...sustaining combat and paying the ultimate sacrifice as we liberated Kuwait.

I AM QUARTERMASTER. I can shape the course of combat, change the outcome of battle. Look to me: Sustainer of Armies...Since 1775.

I AM QUARTERMASTER. I AM PROUD.

Military Order of Saint Martin[edit]

The Quartermaster Corps established this military decoration on 7 February 1997. The emblematic figure is of Saint Martin of Tours.[2] The medal, for Quartermasters either on Active Duty, in the Reserves, or Civilian status, is awarded in three grades:

  • Ancient Order of Saint Martin (gold medallion)
  • Distinguished Order of Saint Martin (silver medallion)
  • Honorable Order of Saint Martin (bronze medallion)

An updated list of recipients is maintained on the Association of Quartermasters website.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Early History of the Quartermaster Corps
Korean War

External links[edit]