Within the United Commonwealth General Staff, there is a body known as the Army Inspectorate Board. It is composed of officers from the various combat arms, such as Infantry and Armour, and support arms, such as Artillery and Signals, of the Army.

It is charged with creating new training and combat doctrines, as well as helping with the development of their respective arms, such as by assisting part of the procurement committees in charge of getting new equipment.

In these roles, would this Board really be that useful, and should I keep it, or is it better if I try to find an alternative.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How is this different from (some parts of) what a normal regular General Staff is doing? (In the USA, that's the Joint Staff working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the USSR, it was the Stavka, nowadays called the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 19, 2021 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ Why are they called inspectors if they don't... inspect? $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Sep 19, 2021 at 0:40
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    $\begingroup$ Creating new doctrine not what Inspectors General typically do. For the most part, they ensure that existing doctrine is being properly followed. Their main role is to provide an in-house exception and investigation system. Any hierarchical system with a lot of people needs one. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Sep 19, 2021 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ A function like you describe (agree it should have another name) could be useful for certain parts of a story. Suppose you have a political fiction, where a dictator wishes to use weapons off mass destruction against his own population, the Inspectors General in your story could inhibit that, by creating a doctrine that prevents such directions to get executed. Also, in another story line, your inspectors general could be a corrupt bunch, setting low specifications, so bad equipment is delivered. Suppose people get killed because of that corruption.. and it is kept silent.. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Sep 19, 2021 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the feedback. The Inspector part of the title came from their overview of the training of the soldiers, as they set the standards and regulations for training and excercises, as well as having a minor part in the military justice system $\endgroup$
    – Archmagos
    Sep 19, 2021 at 1:30

3 Answers 3


Most nations will find their own wrinkles on the naming of their command structure, often with obscure historical motivations. The Germans are using inspector right now.

From a worldbuilding perspective, you should mix not in Kansas any more elements with show, don't tell while avoiding page-long data dumps.

You want your readers or players to get immersed in the setting. You have only a limited number of weird things before they throw it away. Is this one of them?


Tremendously useful for storytelling.

The military in general is good at what they do. They are not looking for new ways because the old ways work OK. But at the highest level it is recognized that some innovation can occasionally be helpful. Your Board is a dumping ground for persons too creative and innovative for their own good. When the various services discover such a person in their midst they send them to be part of the Board.

Like a bunch of gamers "playing" a tabletop game who chielfy find joy in arguing with one another, The Board members mostly bicker, devising wildly impractical new methods and weapons that are immediately shot down and mocked by other persons on the board, who then proceed to come up with their own wildly impractical new methods.

Every now and then something comes from the Board to the people who actually do the work of the military. A Board member arrives with new weapons, or a new strategy. The conservative officers of the various branches tolerate the Board, and are obliged to test out what they bring. That would be fun to write and give energy to your narrative. Almost always these things turn out to be wildly impractical and sometimes dangerous. The Board person is appreciative of the efforts of the personell beta testing the idea, and goes back to scheme up some more ideas.

Later in the story, some of these wild ideas turn out to have their uses.


You've stated that the 'Inspector Generals Board' as you decided to call it would be charged with;

"creating new training and combat doctrines, as well as helping with the development of their respective arms, such as by assisting part of the procurement committees in charge of getting new equipment."

In reality as someone else has noted those two tasks would fall within the remit of the General Staff itself (ultimately every facet of military planning everything does). However development and procurement are two very distinct and specialized areas of expertise and are therefore usually separated into two distinct command structures within the military. So while both branches would ultimately accountable to the General staff they would not be combined in an Inspector Generals Office.

In the real world however the title of 'Inspector Generals' (IG's) exists and serves a very specific and important role/function (Hint the purpose is in the name.) And that is to ensure the projects being managed by the other two arms are actually progressing as reported back to the General Staff.

It's one thing to be told by your weapons development branch that 'project x is performing to spec and will be ready on time' or that 'the army's order for Y is being delivered in quantity, on schedule and within budget.'

It's entirely another for everything to be going exactly according to plan or if its not, finding out exactly why not. That's where the IG's Office comes in. They are teams of subject matter exerts in fields like engineering, electronics or logistics and accounting etc that get sent in to audit and inspect programs to make sure everything is running smoothly. And in cases where problems have been identified and reported upwards to the General Staff they can also;

  • review and analyze what the issues/problems are,
  • determine whether the best solution has been chosen to fix the problem;
  • come up with suggested fixes; and
  • if nothing else identify who or what is to that went wrong and whose blame!

So they can both give the General Staff independent oversight of important projects and equally important if things are going wrong they also have the ability to sit down with the other two branches, ask hard questions and come up with possible solutions that can be fed back to General Staff for consideration/approval.

They won't always be popular with the people they 'inspect' but they will be (and in the real world are) essential to the General Staff.


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