Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps

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The Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps is a part of the Royal Engineers in the British Army Reserve. It is intended to provide advisers on engineering and logistics to the British Army at a senior level.


Sir William McMurdo, founder of the corps

The unit was founded by William McMurdo as the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps in 1865 to ensure "the combined action among all the railways when the country is in danger" and tasked particularly with "the preparation, during peace, of schemes for drawing troops from given distant parts and for concentrating them within given areas in the shortest possible time".[1][2] The original establishment was 21 commissioned officers made up mainly of civil engineers alongside a few railway company managers.[2] The number of officers was expanded to 110 in 1908 before being subsequently reduced to the current strength of 60 officers.[2] The unit was always a volunteer unit, with members retaining their civilian jobs.[2] Until its reorganisation in 1943 its members were entitled to wear a uniform similar to that of the Royal Engineers.[2] In recent times recruitment has diversified from road, rail and port specialists to cover almost all aspects of engineering.[2] It also began to advise the Royal Corps of Transport (in addition to the Royal Engineers)and was renamed the Engineer and Transport Staff Corps in 1984 to reflect this. Following the creation of the Royal Logistic Corps in 1993 the unit was renamed again to the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps.[2]

Current work[edit]

The unit is organisationally part of HQ Engineer in Chief (Army), is constituted under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 and administered by the Ministry of Defence.[2] Members hold their commissions as officers in the Royal Engineers (Volunteers) and are grouped into four directorates: engineering; logistics; cyber and communications; and business services.[2] The establishment strength of 60 officers consists of 10 Colonels, 20 Lieutenant Colonels and 30 Majors.[2] Membership is by invitation only and promotion generally follows seniority with some discretion to allow for individual officers' statuses in their profession and their level of participation in the corps.[2][3] Officers who cease to be engaged in a relevant profession must offer to resign their commissions but may retain their appointment on the Commanding Officer's recommendation and with the approval of the Army Board of the Defence Council.[2] All officers of the corps are briefed to expect calls at any time to provide impartial and confidential advice to the British Armed Forces.[2] Officers are regularly invited to relevant army conferences and equipment demonstrations to keep them up to date with current capabilities.[2]

The corps is administered by a council of senior corps officers, chaired by the Commanding Officer (a Colonel) and assisted by the Acting Adjutant, (normally a Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel) who also acts as the council's secretary.[2] The Acting Adjutant is always a retired army officer currently working in a relevant profession who acts as a point of contact for advice.[2] The current officers are mainly chief executives, directors and senior managers of 60 different engineering, transport and logistics organisations, which together employ 100,000 people.[2]


The corps has advised British forces in the following operations, amongst others:

In addition to peacetime roles in infrastructure, training, planning and logistics.[2]


Notable members (listed by highest known rank) have included:

Commanding Officers[edit]





  1. ^ Lloyd, E M, 'McMurdo, Sir William Montagu Scott (1819-1894)', rev Roger T Stearn, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [1] accessed 25 February 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps: A Network of Advisers to Defence" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Staff Corps Membership". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  4. ^

External links[edit]