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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 15: State staff; composition; qualifications; tenure

Section 15. (a) The state staff shall consist of 1 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 their duties under the direction of the adjutant general. Officers of the state staff, with the exception of the adjutant general, shall be appointed for an initial period of 6 years, with the opportunity for reappointment every 2 years thereafter. 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. The officer shall thereafter hold the position for the period of appointment or until reaching the age of 65 years, whichever occurs first, unless separated from the position prior to that time by resignation, disability, for cause in accordance with section 29 or by a legally convened court-martial in accordance with this chapter.

(b) The adjutant general shall be appointed by the 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 5 years and who have attained, while serving therein, or in the armed forces of the United States, a grade not lower than that of colonel. The adjutant general shall serve for a term coterminous with that of the commander-in-chief and shall receive the same pay and allowances as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service.

The adjutant general shall be charged with carrying out the policies of the commander-in-chief and shall issue orders in the commander-in-chief's name; provided, however, that the adjutant general shall not personally exercise command of troops.

The adjutant general shall be the immediate adviser of the commander-in-chief on all matters relating to the military and shall be charged with the planning, development and execution of the program of the military forces of the commonwealth. The adjutant general shall cause the state staff to support the mobilization and demobilization of the organized militia for use in the national defense, for state defense and emergencies.

The adjutant general shall hold major organization commanders responsible for the proper training of their commands. 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.

The adjutant general 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 the division at an expense not exceeding the amount so appropriated. The adjutant general shall keep a roster of all veterans of the commonwealth, in alphabetical order by cities and towns, and shall provide, upon request, said rosters to such cities and towns.

Unless powers are specifically conferred on the adjutant general by law or regulation, the adjutant general shall have no authority independent from the commander-in-chief, from whom all orders shall emanate, 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 commander-in-chief, the adjutant general shall be the executive and administrative head of the military division of the commonwealth. Except as otherwise provided, the adjutant general shall personally approve all contracts and may require personal approval of all expenditures made by the division.

(c) There shall be not fewer than 3 and not more than 5 full-time assistant adjutants general appointed by the adjutant general, 1 of whom shall be designated the assistant chief of the state staff, who shall perform such duties delegated to them by the adjutant general or as prescribed in orders and regulations: provided, however, that at least 1 of the full-time assistant adjutants general shall be an army officer and at least 1 shall be an air officer. The assistant adjutant general who is designated as the assistant chief of the state staff shall be the state finance officer for the receipt, disbursement and accounting for all funds received for the payment, equipment, travel and subsistence of the armed forces of the commonwealth and shall be advanced by the commonwealth, under such rules and regulations as the state comptroller may prescribe, 100 per cent of the pay, allowances and mileage for duty under section 38, 40, 41 or 60, and shall return the unexpended balance of the sum so advanced as soon as possible, or at such times as the comptroller may require. The assistant adjutant general designated as the assistant chief of the state staff shall provide a bond to the commonwealth for $20,000 with surety or sureties approved by the commander-in-chief, conditioned upon the faithful performance of all duties as prescribed in this chapter.

(d) There shall be 1 full-time state quartermaster appointed by the adjutant general who shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in chapter 344 of the acts of 1936, have the care and control of all land and buildings held for military purposes and all other military property of the commonwealth except property that, by law, is expressly entrusted to the keeping of others. The state quartermaster 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. The state quartermaster shall provide a bond to the commonwealth for $20,000 with surety or sureties approved by the commander-in-chief, conditioned upon the faithful performance of all duties as prescribed in this chapter. The state quartermaster shall be clerk of the armory commission established in section 18 of chapter 6.

(e) There shall be a state surgeon appointed by the adjutant general who shall be adviser to the military division on all matters pertaining to the medical services of the armed forces of the commonwealth. The state surgeon shall be a member of the board established in section 90.

(f) There shall be a full-time state judge advocate appointed by the adjutant general who shall be the legal adviser of the military division on all matters referred by law or by the commander-in-chief. The state judge advocate 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 and shall be a member of any boards established by sections 52 and 90. The state judge advocate 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 1 mile outside said limits have the jurisdiction of a district court of all offenses then and there committed.

(g) There may be a state inspector general appointed by the adjutant general who shall perform such duties as prescribed in orders by the commander-in-chief.

(h) Unless ordered on duty pursuant to section 38, 40, 41 or 60, the officers of the state staff shall respectively receive the following salaries: the assistant adjutants general, the same pay and allowances as an officer of the regular service of corresponding grade of at least lieutenant colonel but not exceeding that of colonel with corresponding length of service; provided, however, that the assistant adjutant general who is designated assistant chief of the state staff shall hold the grade of brigadier general and 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 brigadier general; the state quartermaster, 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; the state judge advocate, 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; the state surgeon and the state inspector general, the same pay and allowances as officers of the regular service of corresponding grade with corresponding length of service but not exceeding that of colonel for each day of service, not to exceed $25,000 each per annum.

(i) During the absence or disability of an officer of the state staff, or during such time as the officer is in the active military service of the United States, that officer's duties shall be performed by another officer designated in orders by the commander-in-chief.