In some armies it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies it is a rank, which normally corresponds roughly to a Commonwealth Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.
An Adjutant General is commander of an army's administrative services.
A Regimental Adjutant, Garrison Adjutant etc. is a staff officer, who assists the commanding officer of a regiment, battalion or garrison in the details of regimental, garrison or similar duty. In United States Army squadrons, the adjutant is often the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the administrative platoon.
In the British Army, the Adjutant (Adj; sometimes actually referred to as this) is usually a senior captain (sometimes a major). As the colonel's personal staff officer, he was once in charge of all the organization, administration and discipline for a battalion or regiment, although now the bulk of administrative work is carried out by the Regimental Administrative Officer (RAO). Until the 1970s the adjutant was also the regimental operations officer, although this job is now filled by a separate officer. In the British Army adjutants are given Field Rank and as such are senior by appointment to all other captains, ranking just behind the majors. Unlike the RAO (who is an officer of the Adjutant General's Corps), the adjutant is a member of the corps or regiment of which their unit is a part. The adjutant's job is not solely a 'backroom' one, since he usually accompanies the colonel - Captain David Wood, the adjutant of 2 Para, was killed in action at the Battle of Goose Green, for example. Normally, in a British Infantry battalion, the Adjutant controls the battle whilst the CO commands it. As such, the Adjutant is usually a man of significant influence within his battalion.
In the Australian Army, the Adjutant performs much the same role as in the British Army.
In the US Army, the Adjutant will generally also be a member of the branch or regiment of the parent unit (i.e. in an infantry battalion, the adjutant will usually be an infantry officer). The Adjutant at the battalion-level is generally a junior captain or senior first lieutenant and, in conjunction with the S-1 section, manages the administrative functions of the unit. The adjutant, particularly in a battalion, also works closely with the unit's command sergeant major for awards ceremonies, traditional ceremonial functions, casual events (hails and farewells), evaluation reports, and management of correspondence and other secretarial functions. At the brigade-level, an adjutant will be either a captain or a major and will likely be a member of the Adjutant General's Corps. Above the brigade level, the officer in charge of the personnel section of the element is no longer called an adjutant. At any level, the adjutant no longer serves as the commander's personal assistant, but more as a functioning member of the staff managed by the executive officer.
There is a bugle call announcing the adjutant that is still used in military ceremonies today.
Adjutant (adjudant in french) is a class of NCO ranks in french Army, Air Force and Gendarmerie. These ranks are senior to the rank of sergeant and junior to the rank of major. Like the officers, the adjudants are entitled to the mon before their rank, as in "mon adjudant
The adjutant ranks are, in order of seniority :
In France each corps has a colour (gold or silver). A French adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the opposite colour to that of his corps. A chief adjutant wears a band, with thin red line, in the colour of his corps. In order to distinguish an adjutant from a chief adjutant it is therefore necessary to know the arm's colour: This will be the colour of the cap badge e.g. gold cap badge for the infantry, silver cap badge for armoured cavalry.
An Adjutant General is a rank and a role that mayrepresnt: