In addition to the Field Marshal, there are two other ranks that are unique in the Slothjemian army. One is the rank of Governor-General, but that is going to be explored in depth in the upcoming book, “The Governor-General’s Oath.” The other is Sergeant-Major, one of the most important jobs the army has to offer.
Each garrison or field army has assigned to it a Sergeant-Major. Since there is only one per army, there are actually fewer Sergeant-Majors in the military than there are Generals. Sergeant-Majors are tasked with training recruits, drilling the soldiers when they are not engaged in actual tactical maneuvers, and making sure that the enlisted personnel in each army are being well treated by their officers. The Sergeant-Major answers directly to their General, and all other officers are required to treat them as superiors. This makes a Sergeant-Major a terribly persuasive person, both feared and respected. If an officer is unfit for command, it is almost always the Sergeant-Major that will bring it to light, and have them relieved of duty.
While much of the duties of a Sergeant-Major are clerical in nature, don’t be lulled into thinking they are just desk jockeys. Chosen from the Sergeants in a given army, the commanding General will choose the toughest, not just the most intelligent, of these non-commissioned officers to serve as their Sergeant-Major. There is frequently an inferred loyalty by such an appointment, but more than one General has been retired because of the counsel of their Sergeant-Major to the Lord High Marshal. When General Bloodclaw went crazy and took his army off on an adventure, it was after his Sergeant-Major had dared to suggest that he was acting bizarrely. Only by this warning was Bloodclaw prevented from doing irreparable harm to relations between Geldenreich and Slothjemia, and while it cost the Sergeant-Major his life, a great deal of carnage was prevented.
One should never take a Sergeant-Major lightly. If they mean to fight, they will brawl with the best. And if they mean to be cunning, they will out move even the wisest chess masters. And while they serve at the discretion of their General, it isn’t uncommon for them to serve in the same post under multiple Generals. As the Slothjemian saying goes, “a Captain serves for a battle, a General serves for a war, and a Sergeant serves for a lifetime.”