MEMORANDUM FOR ENSIGN JOHN NAIRNE, 5TH APRIL, 1795
1st. You ought to read the Articles of War.
2nd. To pay the greatest attention to all orders from your Superior Officers.
3rd. Take care to have your own Orders strictly obeyed by those who are under your Command but before you give any Order, be sure it is right and necessary.
4th. Attend the Parades, and learn without delay the different motions and words of Command and every part of the Duty of a Subaltern officer when upon guard; also when under Arms with the whole Battalion, or otherwise.
5th. Be always ready and willing to go upon every military duty that may be ordered. Never think you do too much in that way; the more the better and the more honourable.
6th. Be careful in doing the Company Duty, in such a manner, that the Soldiers may be kept in excellent Order and everything belonging to them; as their Arms, Accoutrements, Ammunition, Necessarys, Dress, Messing, etc., according as may be regulated by the standing Orders of the Regiment, or that may be most agreeable to your Captain or Lieutenant Commanding the Company; also not only to know every man of the Company by Name, but, as soon as possible, to know their several Characters and Dispositions that each may be encouraged, cherished, or punished, as he deserves. You ought every day, or very frequently to wait on your Captain, or Lieutenant Commanding the Company, in order to report to him upon these matters, and to know if he has any directions or Commands for you.
7th. Endeavour all you can to learn the Adjutant’s Duty: To be able to Exercise the Company (or even the Battalion) in the Manual, their Manoeuvres and the firings.
8th. Make yourself fit for paying the Company, and to be exact in keeping Accounts, so that you may be capable of even being paymaster to a Regiment.
9th. You ought to practice writing Court-Martials, Returns, and Reports of all sorts, Acquittance Rolls, Muster Rolls, and Letter Writing; taking always great pains to have a good hand of writ and to spell well.
10th. It is also recommended to you to study Engineering and Drawing; To read Military Books, The occurrences and news of the time and History, etc.; Never to leave anything undone which you think ought to be done; in short, not to lose or misspend time, but constantly [to] endeavour to gain knowledge, and improvement, and to exert yourself in being always steady and diligent in the Execution of every part of your Duty.
11th. No doubt you will soon get Acquainted with all the officers of the Regiment, and to know the Companys the Subaltern Officers belong to, likewise to know the Names and Characters of all the non-Commissioned officers, and the Companys they belong to, even most of the private men and what Companys they are in. You ought to have a Book of Quarters (or List of the Army) and learn the Number, and any thing else Remarkable of each Regiment; also concerning the Generals, and Field Officers, and the Rules and Regulations of the Army.