Talk:Staff (military)

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US staff[edit]

why is there a massive segment about how the modern US army uses a slightly "different" staff system than 'the rest of the world' right in the middle of the historical Prussian staff segment? the US segment is even larger than the Prussian segment. Who thought that would fit in right there? Besides that the US segment doesn't sound conform to wiki rules. It basically praises the US system, makes claims that it is different and makes falls statements about the Prussian system. That is the segment in question.

"An exception to this is the U.S. military. While the U.S. armed forces have adopted the staff organisational structure described below, the General Staff concept has been largely rejected. This is partly due to U.S. concern that the professional members of General Staffs have historically demonstrated a tendency to lose touch with the operational forces they direct (says who??),

and have occasionally come regard their judgements as equal to, if not superior to, the civilian governments they nominally serve (name one case where this is true!). The German General Staffs of both World Wars serve as examples of the down-side of the General Staff concept in implementation. (how? this is not true. in the 2.ww hitler overruled the staff frequently and made them carry out orders that the rejected but in some cases where forced to carry out. hitler also plotted against the general staff several time. ->Blomberg-Fritsch Affair, Erwin von Witzleben, Ludwig Beck and many other stories. during the 1.WW there was no really civilian government anyway)

The National Security Act of 1947 instead created a Joint Staff populated by military service members who, rather than becoming career staff officers on the German General Staff model (not true for most german general staff officers),

rotate into and back out of Joint Staff positions. (just like the german staff system except for the highest generals who are staff anyway)

Following the major revision of Title 10 of the United States Code by the Goldwater–Nichols Act in 1986, the Joint Staff of today works directly for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than the corporate Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they did from 1947 to 1986. Under this scheme, operational command and control of military forces are not the province of the Joint Staff, but that of Combatant Commanders, who report through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff unless otherwise directed, to the Secretary of Defense." (how is that relevant to this segment?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 3 September 2013 (UTC)


My edit is based on Field Manuals and my experience (MOS 96D retired)in both assignment and interaction with Combined, Joint, Corps, Division, Brigade and Battalion staffs. A practitioner's input will only add a functional, empirical dimension to an open-sourced article. It also helps to remove irrelevant details. Radical man 7 18:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The article name should be changed to "military staff" as the original name only applies to the Army and the staffs that only apply to general's. The edit reworks the content to include all military staffs at all levels.Radical man 7 13:26, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

The sources do not address the military staff in general and do not describe the functional aspect or the actual organization of military staffs, nor they follow the official training doctrine used by the armed services e.g. Army FM series. The article in it's original form only speculates on the basis of recent articles that in turn do not cite actual official doctrine, in other words, its sloppy research.Radical man 7 13:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

This needs to include something about British army G.S.O.s. (Grade 1-3) Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 22:20, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Should GSO's be added here, or on a separate page? Under a heading "British System" or somesuch? I've also seen reference to B.G.S (?brigadier general staff?) Feldercarb (talk) 04:11, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

How about "line" versus "staff"? Feldercarb (talk) 22:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

United States?[edit]

I was in a staff section of the US military. I don't understand the claim that the US military doesn't use this system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

I think the claim isn't that the US doesn't use the system as a whole, but rather it doesn't use the General Staff as nominally laid out. (Deviating as specified). It would probably be safe to conclude that the US does use the classification system for HHC at least, and that seems to be supported by wikipedia's other articles on US Army structure (which acknowledges S1-4 and S6 specifically in HHC structures). It's impossible to make any conclusions from this article as to how the US's Joint Staff is organized, although one could read the article as saying the US only differs in how the Joint Staff is placed in the command heirarchy and otherwise the divisions apply as they would for a General Staff. -- (talk) 14:27, 29 June 2013 (UTC)


The header is way too bloated. The content should probably go into the article body. I've moved the quotation that was there:

--Quadalpha (talk) 02:20, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

General staff[edit]

This term redirects here, but is is most likely notable. Most other wikis have a separate article on the subject (for example see de:Generalstab and fr:État-major). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 19:46, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that should be done. However, each time that I was "almost ready" to split this article ([1]) into two, I noted that I don't know which things are written about General staffs and which - about staffs as such (for example, "The first modern use of a General Staff was in the French Revolutionary Wars, when General Louis Alexandre Berthier was assigned as Chief of Staff to the French Army of Italy in 1795." - it says it's about General staffs, but it's really about "simple" staffs, right?)... Or would it be a good idea to write a very short stub "General staff" and leave the moving of material for some later time? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:21, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure I see the difference. If I look at de:Generalstab it seems to cover military staffs in general and not purely a general staff (my German is a bit rusty though). I'm not going to dwell in to the French article... :)
As far as I know the modern military staff system is simply what the general staff system has transitioned into over times. Even today in modern NATO operations (such as ISAF) the term general staff functions is widely used for what this article describes as the continental staff system, so I guess it would be beneficial to look into the differences. In kind regards, Heb (talk) 06:56, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
The German article ([2]) says: "Andererseits wird damit auch eine bestimmte Institution bezeichnet, die höchste militärische Kommandobehörde vieler Streitkräfte.". As far, as I understand, it talks about the highest command of the military in the state. Other parts also seem to talk about the "highest" staff, not about staffs of military units. For Nazi Germany, the article mentions OKW, OKH, OKL, OKM, but not staffs of armies, army groups, battalions and the like.
That's the difference. This article ("Staff (military)") should talk about staffs in general (from battalion and above), while the other article ("General staff") should talk about the highest staffs in the state. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:03, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't "Andererseits" translate to something like elsewhere or otherwise? (I don't have a German dictionary handy right now, sorry) The term general staff may at some point in history have had a single clear definition, but in contemporary military institutions I don't believe it does anymore. Note also that the German article Generalstab actually IWs to German General Staff whereas the previously mentioned French État-major IWs to the German Stabsabteilung. --Heb (talk) 13:22, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, that would make sense. After all, it is the second sentence. The first one is "Als Generalstab wird in der deutschen Militärgeschichte häufig die Summe aller speziell ausgebildeten Generalstaboffiziere bezeichnet, die der obersten militärischen Führung zuarbeiten.". That is (I don't know much German either, but...), previously in Germany it was the name for the "General Staff Officers" as the whole. But now it is supposed to have a more common meaning...
"Even today in modern NATO operations (such as ISAF) the term general staff functions is widely used for [...]" - wouldn't that mean "general functions of the staff", rather than "functions of General staff"..?
Finally, the interwikis... Well, they are edited by the wiki users like us... OK, I'll see if I can do anything with that... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:29, 29 April 2013 (UTC)


I'm not very well informed about this subject, but I think this article should link to État-major in the French Wiki and Stato maggiore in the Italian Wiki. If you agree could you add the links to those articles in those languages and any others that seem to be missing, such as Spanish.Campolongo (talk) 19:49, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ "The Island War", World War II in Color, 2009, rebroadcast periodically by the History International Cable Channel