An Aide-de-camp, a French expression meaning helper in the military camp, is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, a member of a royal family, or a head of state. This is not to be confused with the rank and role of an Adjutant, who is the senior administrator of a military unit. The first Aide-de-camp is typically the foremost personal aide. In some countries, the Aide-de-camp is considered to be a title of honour (which confers the post-nominal letters ADC or A de C), and participates at ceremonial functions. The badge of office for an Aide-de-camp is usually the aiguillette, a braided cord in gold or other colours, worn on the shoulder of a uniform. Whether it is worn on the left or the right shoulder is dictated by protocol.
In the United Kingdom, junior officers serve as aides-de-camp to certain senior officers. Flag Lieutenant is the Royal Navy's equivalent. An Equerry is the equivalent to an aide-de-camp in the Royal Household, in which they are restricted to senior officers with a primarily honorific role. Aides-de-Camp and Equerries (along with certain other officers) are distinguished by the addition of aiguillettes to dress uniforms, which differ in size, colour and position of wear, depending on the appointment. In addition, ADCs to the monarch wear the monarch's royal monogram on their shoulder straps in various orders of dress. A distinctive and elaborate full-dress uniform used to be worn by army ADCs, but use of full-dress was largely discontinued after the First World War.
References / notes
- Aide-de-camp. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Accessed 22 April, 2017.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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