Officer who oversees arrangements for the quartering and movement of troops. The office dates at least to the 15th century in Europe. The French minister of war under Louis XIV created a quartermaster general's department that dotted the countryside with strategically located stockpiles of food, forage, ammunition, and equipment. By the 18th century his duties in some European countries included coordinating marches and deployments and drafting operational orders; in the U.S. he remained a specialized administrative and logistical functionary until 1962, when the Quartermaster Corps was absorbed by other agencies.
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