What Does a Quartermaster General Do?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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A quartermaster general is not a standard military general in charge of military actions in a war zone or on the battlefield. Rather, he or she is in charge of feeding and equipping troops, ensuring they have what they need to do their jobs. One of the most important duties of this position is the ordering of supplies, though storing all those items also is in the quartermaster's job description. The quartermaster also must collect and dispose of salvage and is in charge of coordinating services such as laundry and showering.

Military forces need a constant supply of items such as equipment, food and water, fuel, and tools for repairs. It is the quartermaster general’s duty to purchase and keep track of all these items. While he or she obtains guns and other equipment, the quartermaster general does not order ammunition, nor does he or she order cryptographic or medical supplies. The quartermaster orders most items outside these three categories.

After the items are ordered, they need to be stored and maintained to ensure the items are free from the elements and that they are in the best possible shape. The quartermaster general must coordinate his or her troops and obtain areas for storage to maintain these items. When items are needed, quartermaster generals are in charge of distributing the items to all personnel.


War and training results in a large amount of salvage, and the quartermaster general is in charge of salvage. He or she is in charge of collecting the salvage from the battlefield and other areas, and disposing of it as necessary. To ensure this is done correctly, a quartermaster general will have to go through proper channels, which requires speaking with many other officers. This ensures the materials are handled correctly and that salvageable material is recycled and reused by the military.

In the military, there are many services that are rendered in a variety of areas, and the quartermaster general is in charge of most of these services. The soldiers’ cleanliness falls on the quartermaster general, so he or she must order showering materials, maintain the facilities and ensure clothes are washed. Clothing and other items also must be maintained, if necessary, a task that also falls on the quartermaster’s shoulders. When a soldier or officer dies, the quartermaster is responsible for seeing that the body is retrieved and returned home and that services are handled.


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