If you ever stumble across
some U.S. Army correspondence
, you're fairly likely
to see this phrase
or one like it. It will appear just before the signature
at the bottom of the memo
you're reading and it will look
cool as hell
. As you may know, all
military commanders are absurdly
, and unless specifically required to write a piece of
correspondence themselves, they will delegate the task
to one of their many
. This is what subordinates are for
, and why commanders wanted to
in the first place.
The rules-- there are rules, of course-- for such delegation are spelled out
in excruciating detail in Army Regulation 25-50. This tome of a rulebook
weighs in at 121 pages, which might not seem like much until you've seen the
title: Preparing and Managing Correspondence. That's right, it's 121 pages
of How To Write A Memo!
Section 6-2 (that's in the sixth chapter of How To Write A
Memo, mind you) lays down the law on FOR THE COMMANDER usage:
f. Delegated to the subordinate. When a subordinate has signature
authority, the subordinate will use an authority line to show for whom he or
she is signing.
(2) FOR THE COMMANDER: Documents signed by the commander's staff normally use
this authority line when the document pertains to command policy.
This happens so commonly that the "authority line" has been
specified as the place for any such indications of delegated signature
You may also see "FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF" or the like, or "BY ORDER OF
...". The latter indicates limited signature authority vested in the
subordinate, presumably because all the trustworthy subordinates are
busy drafting the next chapter of the rules on pants.
FOR THE COMMANDER: