An officer should always bear in mind that, whilst carrying out the duties of Orderly Officer, he is representing the Commanding Officer.
It is therefore essential that these duties are carried out conscientiously and to the best of his ability.
The Orderly Officer must be very smartly turned out at all times. He is on duty for the twenty-four hours of his tour, and must remain in uniform except when he retires to bed or when he is given special permission by the Adjutant to take part in regimental games.
The duties of the Orderly Officer vary greatly in different units. The following paragraphs apply chiefly to an Orderly Officer in an Infantry Battalion. In the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery these duties are often performed under squadron or battery arrangements. Nevertheless, the principles outlined remain the same in all units.
When the Orderly Officer visits the dining hall at meal times it is not merely sufficient for him to appear for a few minutes. He should take a personal interest in the quality of the food and the method of service, and should any complaints be made they must be very carefully followed up.
Facetious complaints must not be entertained and the offender should have disciplinary action taken against him.
When mounting or dismounting the Guard or Picquet, the Orderly Officer must be faultlessly turned out. This is the least that is expected of the men.
The inspection must be very thorough and no fault should be allowed to pass without the necessary action being taken. 1 t is an officer's duty to know the correct procedure before going on parade, and also to ensure that the drill is correctly and smartly carried out.
It is one of the duties of the Orderly Officer to visit the Guard or Picquet once by day and once by night. The object of these visits is to ensure that the men are correctly dressed and thoroughly alert so that they can turn out at a moment's notice. It is therefore useless if the visits are always carried out at the same hour. It is the Orderly Officer's duty to be conscientious in his task, and he should therefore select some time different from that previously chosen.
Guards and Picquets may have tactical positions to take up on being turned out, as well as ceremonial ones. The officer must ensure that all men know these positions and understand their orders.
Sentries and prowlers should be visited to ascertain whether all is correct or not, and to ensure that they thoroughly understand their orders.
Every officer on first joining his unit will be given special instruction in the particular duties that he will have to carry out as Orderly Officer.
He must understand these duties thoroughly and perform them with keenness, for the way in which he carries them out will undoubtedly be carefully noted by his Commanding Officer.
Customs of the Army (1956) - Section VIII