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Quartermaster is a military or naval term, the meaning of which depends on the country and service.
In land armies, a quartermaster is generally a relatively senior soldier who supervises stores and distributes supplies and provisions.
In many navies, quartermaster is a non-commissioned officer (petty officer) rank. In some navies, it is not a rank but a role related to navigation.
The term appears to derive from the title of a German royal official, the Quartiermeister. This term meant "master of quarters" (where "quarters" means lodging/accommodation). Or it could have been derived from "master of the quarterdeck" where the helmsman and Captain controlled the ship. The term was then adopted by some European armies and navies. The first use in English was as a naval term, entering English via the equivalent French and Dutch naval titles quartier-maître and kwartier-meester in the fifteenth century. The term began to refer to army officers in English around 1600.Read more...
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