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Elected Volunteer Officers.

An ex-captain-commandant of volunteers makes the following reply to Inspector Hume’s condemnation of the system under which volunteers elect their officers It makes all the difference how we look at volunteering. There is the view taken by military and ex-military officers on the one hand and by volunteers on the other, I look from a volunteer point of view, and, as a matter of course, I wear volunteer glasses to see through, and it will take some argument to persuade me that they are the wrong color. One of the greatest privileges the volunteers have is the choice of their own officers, I grant that the choice has not been a very wise one in every instance, but the unwise choice has been the exception, I believe the choice of good officers by the volunteers has given a far higher percentage than the percentage of good officers in the Imperial service by purchase; or than the choice of militia officers by the authorities. I have served by the side of militia officers and felt ashamed of them; I have also served for short periods with officers of the line, and never felt that I was out of place, or that the volunteers who had elected me had reason to be ashamed of their choice; and the volunteer officers who were inferior to me in their qualifications were the exception. Ido not despise schools of instruction, but the mere theory is not everything. Where did Hampden and Cromwell get their training? Yet they made themselves terrors to their adversaries. When the time comes that volunteers cease to elect their own officers, etc., then I think volunteering will have received its death-blow.

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Elected Volunteer Officers., Issue 8025, 30 September 1889

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Elected Volunteer Officers. Issue 8025, 30 September 1889

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