(From the Voennaya Entsiklopediya, I.D. Sytin, 1913.)
“GEVAL’DIGER” (Russian Provost Marshal)
GEVAL'DIGER. - (General-Geval'diger and Ober-Geval'diger) – a military official of field or company-grade officer rank whose duties include police functions. Geval'digery have a special uniform and are part of headquarters staffs at the army level (as a General-Geval'diger of field-grade officer rank), corps level (as an Ober-Geval'diger of field or company-grade officer rank no higher than major), and division level (as a Geval'diger of company-grade officer rank no higher than staff-captain).
The responsibilities of Geval'digery consist of maintaining order and proper behavior in camp, main headquarters, and the wagon park. Every formation's Geval'diger must have information on the status and productive activities of all personnel belonging to the forces or following them. He ensures that they all have regulation identity documents and passports, issuing these himself to those requiring them. Under his management come all sutlers, craftsmen, and other mercantile persons with the forces. He issues them permits to carry on their activities and ensures that there is no shortage of them nor an excess. He establishes prices for all food and drink, and is responsible for their good quality and the accuracy of weights and measures. He watches over the cleanliness of the main headquarters, the camp, and the surrounding area, and does not allow disorderly conduct or irregularities. He himself rides around all the places for which he is responsible and sends out his own patrols. Anyone met by military police officials or detachments are obliged to present their papers upon demand. Those without them, suspicious persons in general, persons engaged in too much celebration, and anyone engaged in disorderly conduct, is placed under arrest by the Geval'diger. Depending on the guilt and rank of the detained person, the Geval'diger either judges and imposes punishments himself, or forwards the case to higher authorities. The Geval'diger issues permits to all officials and persons of various ranks who belong to the army and have the right by regulation to possess wagons and horses, and he informs the wagonmaster of the size of the train, including the number of wagons and horses authorized for each person, and of the number of permits issued.
For carrying out his duties, the Geval'diger is given a detachment under his own command. A General-Geval'diger is given a detachment from the main headquarters' convoy. In addition, all authorities and commands, all guard detachments and persons providing security for the train, are obliged to render the Geval'diger or his detachments aid in preserving order.
Translated by Mark Conrad, 2008.