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The Ideology of the Officer Corps (1889)

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Furthermore, it is extremely important that even officers in the reserve and the militia, who have such extraordinary influence on the population, always allow their own convictions to be inspired and strengthened anew by the example of their active colleagues whenever they are called to serve. For even in peacetime, officers on leave have a very important responsibility. They stand with one foot in the army and the other among the people. Therefore, they are [the ones] most truly qualified to spread and uphold the desire and love for the king’s service within broad segments of society. They can be the most active advocates for all interests of the Fatherland’s army.

May those fellow gentlemen on leave always take the traditions and views of the officer’s profession as their guiding principle even in their civilian lives, and may they remain not only obedient to their king but also loyal under all circumstances! Even when they are on leave, His Majesty is counting on their service!

Source: Militär-Wochenblatt [Military Weekly], vol. 74, Berlin 1889, no. 62 (July 20, 1889) and no. 67 (August 7, 1889), pp. 1311-12, 1314-15; pp. 1452, 1454, 1456.

Original German text reprinted in Gerhard A. Ritter, ed., Das Deutsche Kaiserreich 1871-1914. Ein historisches Lesebuch [The German Kaiserreich 1871-1914: A Historical Reader], 5th ed. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992, pp. 92-94.

Translation: Erwin Fink

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