This is The Quartermaster Newsletter - martial concepts and tools that KS Anthony and Brady Moore bring to you to better interact with and understand our complex world.
The Quartermaster refers to the original Quartermaster of the seventeenth century - the man charged with traveling days ahead of an expeditionary army to find what path they’d take and where they’d camp. He was a trusted advisor and leader who eventually was also responsible for gathering intelligence. As Martin Van Creveld describes in Command in War:
His first task is to reconnoiter the country ahead of the army, not merely in the manner of guides but “militarily,” that is, taking into account all the possibilities and obstacles that it might present for marching and for battle. Riding ahead of the army in this capacity, the quartermaster general will naturally be entrusted with intelligence work, interrogating local inhabitants and deserters as well as intercepting friendly patrols on their way back from observing the enemy. He is [...] responsible for coordinating all the correspondence addressed by members of the army to the commanding general (who in turn will have his hands full corresponding with the minister of war and with the governments of the countries in whose territories he operates) and also for preparing all marching orders and ordres de bataille. Finally, it is for him to inform the sutlers of the army’s movements, its logistic requirements, the location of its magazines, and so on.
We’re out front, finding and translating the concepts trusted by warriors for decades (and in some cases centuries) to make sense of a rapidly changing environment. Don’t worry if the initial report sounds a little foreign - we’ll articulate and explain to make sure you’re getting the “so what”. You’re a busy commanding general. We’re here to enable the march of your army.
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