In militaries, a general order
is a published directive, originated by a commander, and binding upon all personnel under his command, the purpose of which is to enforce a policy
unique to his unit's situation which is not otherwise addressed in applicable service regulations, military law
, or public law
. A general order has the force of law; it is an offense punishible by court martial
or lesser military court to disobey one. What makes it a general order (as opposed to a direct order, is that the actor is not explicitly named, nor precisely that (or whom) which is to be acted upon. (See also standing order
In the United States armed forces
, a set of eleven general orders
delineates the responsibilities of gateguards and sentries, viz:
- To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
- To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
- To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
- To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
- To quit my post only when properly relieved.
- To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and noncommissioned officerss of the guard only.
- To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
- To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
- To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.
- To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
- To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
A set of general orders
, including the Prime Directive
, has been established in Paramount Pictures
' source documentation
to govern the Starfleet
organization in the Star Trek fictional universe
. An edition of it can be viewed at the following link: