Nor was an execution as swift as public imagination may have it- the condemned dragged from his conviction to a brick wall and blindfold. All such sentences needed to be confirmed by the Commander in Chief (Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, from 1915 onward, preceded by Sir John French) who would only be required to do so if no one else in the chain of command from brigade to corps to army, then to C-in-C had deferred the sentence. This process put a great level of check into the system to ensure that utmost attention to law and procedure had been upheld.
There are few better explanations of this balance than that offered by Captain John Paul Jones upon the founding of the US Navy during the American Revolution. In his opinion a good officer observed that “No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a word of approval. Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well meant shortcomings from heedless or stupid blunder.” This is the nature which exists in the modern era as the proviso of “Never Pass a Fault,” to not allow a mistake, no matter how minor go unnoticed and uncorrected. This idea alone ensures a high standard of behaviour among service personnel.
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