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General Laws

Section 15. (a) The state staff shall consist of one adjutant general, with the grade of major general, who shall be the chief of staff to the commander-in-chief and the chief of the state staff, and the officers provided for in this section, each of whom shall perform his duties under the direction of the adjutant general. To be eligible for initial appointment on the state staff, an officer shall have federal recognition in an organization or unit of the Massachusetts national guard, army or air. He shall thereafter hold his position until he reaches the age of sixty-five years unless separated prior to that time by resignation, disability, or for cause by a court-martial legally convened for that purpose.

(b) The adjutant general shall be appointed by the governor, in his capacity as commander-in-chief, from those persons who are, or have been, active commissioned officers in the Massachusetts national guard, army or air, for a period of not less than five years and who have attained, while serving therein, or in the national guard of the United States, a grade not lower than that of lieutenant colonel. He shall serve for a term coterminous with that of the governor and shall receive the same pay as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service.

He shall be charged with carrying out the policies of the commander-in-chief and shall issue orders in his name, but he shall not personally exercise command of troops in his capacity as adjutant general.

He shall be the immediate adviser of the commander-in-chief on all matters relating to the militia and shall be charged with the planning, development and execution of the program of the military forces of the commonwealth. He shall cause the state staff to prepare plans for recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping and mobilizing the organized militia, for use in the national defense, for state defense and emergencies, and for demobilizing the militia.

He shall hold major organization commanders responsible for the proper training of their commands, and all orders and instructions for the government of the militia and of the officers and enlisted persons therein shall be issued and communicated to those concerned through military channels.

He shall make such returns and reports as may be prescribed by the commander-in-chief or required by the laws or regulations of the commonwealth or of the United States, and may detail such officers of appropriate grade and employ such clerks and other assistants as may be necessary in his division at an expense not exceeding the amount appropriated therefor. He shall keep a roster of all Massachusetts veterans in alphabetical order by cities and towns and shall provide, upon request, said rosters to such cities and towns.

Except in those cases where by law or regulation specific powers are conferred on the adjutant general as such, he shall have no authority independently of the commander-in-chief, from whom his orders shall be considered as emanating, and the acts of the adjutant general shall be regarded as in execution of the orders of the commander-in-chief.

Under the control of the governor, in his capacity as commander-in-chief, the adjutant general shall be the executive and administrative head of the military division of the executive branch of the government of the commonwealth. Except as otherwise provided, he shall require that all contracts and may require that all expenditures made by the division be submitted to him for approval.

(c) There shall be five full-time assistant adjutants general, one of whom shall be designated executive officer and one of whom shall be designated assistant adjutant general for air, who shall perform such duties as may be delegated to them by the adjutant general, or as prescribed in orders and regulations from time to time.

(d) There shall be one full-time state quartermaster who shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in chapter three hundred and forty-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and thirty-six, have the care and control of all land and buildings held for military purposes and all other military property of the commonwealth except such as is by law expressly intrusted to the keeping of others. He shall be the state finance officer for the receipt, disbursement and accounting for all funds received by him for the payment, equipment, travel and subsistence of the armed forces of the commonwealth. He shall give bond to the commonwealth in the penal sum of twenty thousand dollars with surety or sureties approved by the commander-in-chief, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties as prescribed herein. He shall have advanced to him by the commonwealth, under such rules and regulations as the state comptroller may prescribe, one hundred per cent of the pay and mileage for duty under section forty, forty-one, forty-two or sixty, and shall return the unexpended balance of the sum so advanced as soon as possible, or at such times as the comptroller may require.

(e) There shall be a state surgeon who shall be adviser to the military division on all matters pertaining to the medical services of the armed forces of the commonwealth. He shall be a member of the board provided for in section ninety.

(f) There shall be a state judge advocate who shall be the legal adviser of the military division on all matters referred to him by law or by the commander-in-chief. He shall examine and report in writing to the commander-in-chief on all proceedings of courts-martial requiring the action of the commander-in-chief. He shall be a member of the boards provided for by sections fifty-two, ninety and ninety-five of this chapter. He may be detailed by the commander-in-chief to attend any encampment, and during the encampment shall within the limits of the camp and for a distance of one mile outside said limits have the jurisdiction of a district court of all offenses then and there committed. There shall be a full-time deputy state judge advocate who shall receive the same pay and allowances as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service but not exceeding that of colonel.

(g) There shall be a state property officer who shall be the property and fiscal officer for the commonwealth in the receipt, issue, and accounting of all federal funds and property issued or allotted to the commonwealth in connection with the armed forces. He shall make such returns and reports concerning the same as may be required by law and regulation and shall carry out such orders as may be issued from time to time by the department of defense. He shall hold rank in accordance with the national defense act, and acts in addition thereto or in amendment thereof, and regulations issued thereunder. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the commander-in-chief.

(h) There shall be a state engineer officer who shall be adviser to the military division on all technical matters involved in the construction, alteration and repair of all structures and installations intended for the use of the armed forces of the commonwealth. He shall be ex officio a member of the armory commission provided for in section eighteen of chapter six.

(i) There shall be a state inspector and a state ordnance officer who shall perform such duties pertaining to their respective offices as prescribed in orders or regulations from time to time by the commander-in-chief.

(j) Except when ordered on duty under section thirty-eight, forty, forty-one, forty-two or sixty of this chapter, the officers of the state staff shall respectively receive the following salaries:—the assistant adjutants general, the same pay as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service but not exceeding that of colonel; provided, however, that the assistant adjutant general who is designated executive officer shall hold the grade of brigadier general and shall receive the same pay as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service, but not exceeding that of brigadier general; the state quarter master, the same pay as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service but not exceeding that of colonel; the state surgeon, twenty-seven hundred and fifty dollars; provided, however, that for services rendered to the commissioner of veterans’ services in cases of state or military aid and soldiers’ relief he may receive such additional compensation, not exceeding thirteen hundred and twenty-six dollars per annum, as said commissioner shall approve; the state judge advocate, twenty-seven hundred and fifty dollars; the state property officer eleven hundred dollars; the state engineer officer, twenty-seven hundred and fifty dollars; the state inspector and the state ordnance officer, sixteen hundred and fifty dollars each.

(k) During the absence or disability of an officer of the state staff, or during such time as he is in the active military service of the United States, the commander-in-chief may in orders designate some officer to perform his duties.

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