United States. Navy Dept.

Annual report of the Secretary of the Navy online

. (page 11 of 49)
Online LibraryUnited States. Navy DeptAnnual report of the Secretary of the Navy → online text (page 11 of 49)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tons capacity for Boston and Pearl Harbor, the limit of cost of the
two being $660,000. The pontoons have been completed, and the erec-
tion of the superstructure and machinery is proceeding satisfactorily.



Digitized by



Google



BUBEAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS. 123

RADIO STATIONS.

The station at Arlington, Va., including one 600-foot tower and two
460-foot towers and several buildings, has been completed. Proposals
will shortly be opened for a wireless station at Guantanamo, Cuba.

FUEL OIL AND GASOLINE STORAGE PLANTS.

Fuel-oil stations have been completed at Melville, R. I., Norfolk,
Charleston, and Key West The oil station at Guantanamo is in
process of erection. Extensions have been authorized at these places,
and active construction work is under wav. A gasoline tank is also
being erected at Boston. A 25,000-ton plant has been designed for
Pearl Harbor, and the tanks and other material for 5,000 tons of
fuel oil and 250 tons of gasoline are under contract.

COAL-STORAGE PLANTS.

The coal-storage plant at Tiburon, CaL, has been completed. The
bureau has made designs for coaling plants of 200,000-ton capacity
at Boston, Norfolk, and Pearl Harbor. Funds have been allotted
to commence the construction of the plant at Pearl Harbor, and work
is being actively prosecuted.

H. R. Stanford.



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU
OF NAVIGATION.



Department op the Navy,

Bureau of Navigation,
Washington^ D. C, November 6, 1916.
From: Chief of Bureau of Navigation
To: The Secretary of the Navy.

Rear Admiral R. F. Nicholson, United States Navy, was chief of
the Bureau of Navigation for the first six months of the fiscal year
1912, and was relieved by the undersigned on January first.

The following statement of the work of the bureau, together with
certain recommendations, is submitted.

WORK Or THE BUREAU.

As the duties of the bureau are almost entirely connected with
personnel, the amount of work performed is proportioned to the
number of officers and enlisted men in the Navy. The following
table gives a comparison of the strength of the personnel of the
Navy, and the clerical force for the years 1901 and 1912 :





1901


1912


Increase.


Percent
ofm-
oreaee.


Ofltan


Number.

1,783

30,000


Number.

3,076

51,500


Number.

1,293

31,500


72


FnHffteri men , T ,...,-, , ,


157






Total


21,783
60


54,576
72


•■3


150


Clerical force


44







During the fiscal' years 1900, 1901, and 1902 a yearly average of
approximately 287,764 papers were handled in the bureau; during
the years 1910, 1911, and 1912 approximately a yearly average of
777j211 papers were nandled, or an increase or 170 per cent during a
period of 10 years.

REDUCTION OF PAPER WORK.

The bureau is endeavoring to reduce its paper work to a minimum.
The new form of correspondence and the discontinuance of press
copying has resulted in a saving of time. The making of individual
requests for duty by enlisted men has been prohibited, and this alone
will result in reducing the number of papers handled each year by
about 20,000. 'The bureau now has an officer who is devoting prac-

125



Digitized by



Google



126 BBPOBT OP THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

tically his entire time to improvements in its methods, and it hopes
to effect changes which will materially reduce the amount of work
required to be performed.

Wherever suitable, the bureau has adopted printed form letters
with the name of the chief of bureau printed thereon, which are in-
itialed by the chief of the division before mailing, no copies being
retained or recorded. In order to avoid the handling and unnecessary
addressing of a large number of envelopes, post cards have been
adopted lor acknowledgment of certain documents, such as muster
rolls, log books, pension cases, etc. The use of winaow envelopes on
certain classes of mail has resulted in saving the time required for the
typewriters to address about 100 envelopes a day.

With a view of lessening work not only in the bureau but in the
service generally ? certain returns have been discontinued, such as
returns enumerating and forwarding changes in rating, transfer slips,
etc. Four monthly returns from the Naval Home have been dis-
continued, as the information they contained was either useless or
already in the bureau and rarely used. The stub of each transporta-
tion request issued, which was formerly required to be recorded, not
only in this bureau, but also in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts,
has been discontinued, and a weekly report substituted. This weekly
report is prepared in duplicate on a typewriter, and a copy is fur-
nished each bureau, where it is filed in loose-leaf ledger for reference,
and not recorded, as heretofore.

The printing of the daily " Orders to officers " and " Movements of
vessels" on one sheet has eliminated the daily mailing of 345 papers;
and the printing of general orders twice each month and including
as many as possible on one sheet has reduced the work of mailing
them by at least 50 per cent.

Notwithstanding the elimination of some correspondence it will
not be possible to reduce the work sufficiently for the present clerical
force to properly take care of it and the bureau has recommended
that its clerical force be increased by the addition of three clerks.

CLERICAL FORCE.

In proportion to the increase in volume of the business transacted
by this bureau, its clerical force has not been increased nor received
due consideration. During the first nine months of this year only six
employees were granted any sick leave, the total of such leave being
102 days, or an average of 1.3 days sick leave for each clerk in the
bureau during this period. During this same period of 9 months
the employees have worked 547 days overtime, or an average of 7
days overtime for eaeh employee in the bureau. Almost all of this
overtime has been performed voluntarily by the employees, in an
effort to keep the work assigned them up to date ; even so, the work
has suffered in quality, owing to the rush necessary to get it out on
time with inadequate clerical force. The bureau for the same reason
has been unable to keep certain desirable records.

While the salaries of employees of commercial establishments, and
in fact the salaries in all other walks of life, have been increased in
recent years, the salaries of the employees of this bureau, with one
exception, have not been increased. The following table shows a



Digitized by



Google



BUBEAU OF NAVIGATION. 127

decrease in the average rate of pay of the clerical force in the bureau
since 1883:

_ Average

Year. salary.

1884 $1, 328

1890 1, 880

1912 1, 140

LEGISLATION PASSED LAST SESSION AFFECTING PERSONNEL.

The Pay Corps of the Navy was increased by 10 additional pay-
masters and 20 additional passed assistant and assistant paymasters.

Sections 8 and 9 of the personnel act approved March 3, 1899, were
amended so as to require that officers retiring under the provisions
of those sections will be retired with the rank and three-fourths the
sea pay of the grade from which retired.

The statute authorizing the payment of an amount equal to six
months' pay to the beneficiaries of officers and enlisted men was
amended so as to limit the payment to the widows or other dependent
relatives designated by the officers, payment to be made upon the
death from wounds or diseases not the result of their own misconduct.

The statute which gave officers who had served as chiefs of bureaus
after 30 years' service the rank, title, and emoluments of a chief of
bureau while on the active list of the Navy, was repealed.

Authority was granted for the employment on active duty, at their
own request, of retired officers. The proviso was made that no jgreater
pay and allowances than those of a lieutenant should be received by
a retired officer assigned to active duty, unless the pay and allowances
of a retired officer so ordered to duty exceed those of a lieutenant, in
which case he shall receive his retired pay only.

A medical reserve corps was authorized for the Navy under the
same general provisions of law as apply to the Medical Reserve Corps
of the Army.

A dental corps was authorized, to consist of 30 assistant dental
surgeons. Appointees are required to be between the ages of 24 and
32 years, graduates of established medical or dental colleges^ and to
pass a prescribed examination. After serving under acting ap-
pointments for three years, they are examined and, if qualified, are
regularly commissioned.

The promotion of pharmacists to the grade of chief pharmacists
after six years' service and upon passing an examination was au-
thorized, the chief pharmacists to receive the same rank, pay, and
allowances as other chief warrant officers.

The course of instruction at the Naval Academy was changed
from six years to four years, the midshipmen being appointed ensigns
immediately upon graduation at the expiration of the four-year
course.

Section 1505 of the Revised Statutes was amended so as to provide
that officers of the Navy^ below the rank of commander who, upon
examination for promotion are not found professionally qualified,
shall be suspended from promotion for a period of six months and
shall lose numbers equal to the average six months' rate of promotion
for the five years preceding. Should an officer fail upon reexamina-
tion, he shall be dropped from the service with not more than one
year's pay.



Digitized by



Google



128



REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP THE NAVY.



The number of enlisted men in the Navy was increased by 4,000
men, making the total enlisted strength 51,500 men.

Authority was granted for extending the enlistment of enlisted
men under regulations prescribed by the department. An enlist-'
ment may be extended for one, two, three, or four years, as desired
by the man, and upon such extension he will receive the same pay and
allowances as though regularly discharged and immediately reen-
listed.

Authority was also granted for discharging an enlisted man any
time within three months before the expiration of his enlistment.

A clause in the District of Columbia appropriation act prohibits
the expenditure for membership fees or aues of any officer or em-
ployee of the United States or the District of Columbia in any societv
or association unless such expenditure is specifically authorized. A
clause, however, in the legislative, executive, and judicial act sus-
pends these requirements for the fiscal year 1913.

NAVAL REVIEWS.

A comparison of the mobilization of the United States Atlantic
Fleet at New York from October 30 to November 2, 1911, with that
held October 12 to 15, 1912, shows a marked increase in naval force
in one year.



Comparison.



1911



1012



Increase.



THE FLEET.

Battleships

Armored cruisers

Smaller vessels

Displacement (tons)

PERSONNEL.

Officers

Enlisted men



24
2

72

576,634



1,124
25,378



31

4

88

720,486



1,378
28,031



7

2

16

148,852



254
2,653



The above statement for 1912 includes 78 officers and 567 men of
the various Naval Militia organizations who were enlisted and dis-
tributed among the various vessels of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
In addition, 30 officers and 280 men of the first, second, and third
battalions, New York State Militia were on board certain vessels of
the Atlantic Fleet, but were not regularly enlisted as the other
militia organizations were.

The following State Naval Militia vessels, manned by their own
officers and men, also participated in the review at New York:



State.


Vessel.


Officers.


Men.


Connecticut


Mftnhto


17
10

4
6
11
5


88


New Jersey


Marietta


69


Do


Vixen


51


New York


Wasp


29


Do


Gloucester


50


im»im1« Island -...-...-.,.-


24








Total :


53


311









Digitized by



Google



BUREAU OP NAVIGATION.



129



NATAL MILITIA EMPLOYMENT.



Naval Militia organizations of a number of States volunteered
for active service in the fleet during the naval review at New York
in October. The following State militia organizations were repre-
sented and, as a rule, were detailed to vessels of the reserve fleet:



State organisation.



Officers.


Men.


23


141


6


16


6


33


5


31


4


45


12


111


8


65


4


30


3


39


4


23


3


43


73


567



Vessel to which
assigned.



Chicago, 111

Baltimore, Md

Cleveland. Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Duluth, Minn

Detroit. Mich

Hancock, Mich

Erie, Pa

Philadelphia, Pa

Ashland, Wis.

District of Columbia.

Total



Montana.

Birmingham.

Indiana.

Massachusetts.

Wisconsin.

Tennessee.

Kearsarge.

Chester.

Kentucky.

Iowa.



The officers and men were regularly enlisted, with special proviso
that they were to be discharged by special order of the Secretary of
the Navy upon completion of the review and return of the reserve
fleet to the Philadelphia Navy Yard,

The Washington^ Baltimore, and Chicago organizations joined the
fleet at Philadelphia and remained on board until the reserve fleet's
return to the Philadelphia yard; the other militia organizations
joined the fleet at New York and returned to the Philadelphia yard,
where they were discharged.

In addition to those organizations the First, Second, and Third
Battalions of the New York Naval Militia took part in the review
and were detailed to ships of the active fleet at New York as below :



Organization.



Officers.



Men.



Vessel to which
assigned.



Pirst Battalion, New York City

8eeond Battalion, Brooklyn, N. Y

Third Battalion, Buffalo, Rochester, and Dunkirk.,
Total



21
100
49
37
37
30



Washington.

Missouri.

Utah.

Florida.

Washington.

Delaware.



30



280



These officers and men were not regularly enlisted, their travel ex-
penses and subsistence being paid by the State of New York.

The officers and men of the militia were assigned to duties on board
according to their rank or rating in the militia. The watch officers
took regular watch duty with the officers of the service, and the men
of the militia with the enlisted personnel. They assisted materially
in the movement of the reserve ships, which were short handed, hav-
ing only their reserve crews on board. The case of the Montana is
an example of the aid given by the militiamen, inasmuch as she devel-
oped a speed of 18£ mots on half boiler power on the trip to New
York; and during the return trip to Philadelphia all the vessels
70707°— navy 1912 9



Digitized by



Google



130 REPOBT OF THE SECRETARY OP THE NAVY.

engaged in a steaming competition with excellent results. The
highest praise was given to the militiamen by the captains of their
chips for their seamanlike conduct and bearing.

DETAIL OF OFFICERS.

The bureau has adopted a system of rotation in duty at sea, so that
officers will be given details in each of the fleets and in small craft, as
well as in capital ships, during their careers. In making out the
schedule of changes to take effect during the year, each officer's record
is studied and his detail is governed to a great extent by the nature of
his previous sea service in connection with his reports of fitness. It
is hoped that the effect of this system will be that duty of all kinds
and on all stations will be shared alike by all officers.

officers' and enlisted men's qualifications.

A card system is now going into effect by which all professional

Salifications and preferences for duty of any officer can be instantly
etermined, and by which the names of all officers having desired
qualifications or preference can be instantly determined.

The bureau is also putting into effect a more complete record of
enlisted men qualified in the various duties which will enable it to
make details to these duties in accordance with the needs of the serv-
ice and the qualifications of the men.

This need has been shown by the fact that men specially trained in
torpedoes, radio work, and other technical branches are often lost
track of and have been found assigned to general duties.

CIVIL EMPLOYMENT OF RETIRED OFFICER8.

Attention is invited to the recommendation in last year's report of
the Secretary for the removal of the restriction on the civil employ-
ment of officers which has been operative since June 10, 1896. This
restriction was originally made in the early days of steel and armor
manufacture in this country, when it was thought that the employ-
ment of officers by such concerns might have an influence on contracts
between their employers and the Government. This prohibition ap-
plies to employment in any concern which has a contract with the
Government, so that little employment is possible for retired officers.
The restriction works especial hardship on naval and marine officers,
since it does not apply to officers of other branches of the Government.

Experience abroad is that a distinct advantage to the country re-
sults from the employment of retired officers by private firms — a prac-
tice which utilizes the skill which these officers have acquired in the
Government service, while at the same time the Government has a
legal control over them, guaranteeing against improper action on
their part.

PHYSICAL EXERCISE.

Regular physical exercise was first prescribed in a general order
dated January 4, 1909. This exercise consisted of a walk of 50 miles
in 3 consecutive days ; a ride on horseback of 90 miles in 3 consecutive
days or a bicycle ride of 100 miles in 3 consecutive days. It con-



Digitized by



Google



BUBEAU OF NAVIGATION. 131

tinned through the years 1909 and 1910. For the calendar year
1911 the exercise was changed to a quarterly walk of 25 miles in 2
consecutive days, 12J miles each day, and ior 1912 it was changed
to a monthly walk of 10 miles in 1 day, in not more than 4 nor
less than 3 consecutive hours. Within the tropics, where the tem-
perature is 80° Fahrenheit or above, the distances walked and the
time limits are two-thirds of those under normal conditions.

Before taking the first monthly exercise in each year each officer
is examined by a board of medical officers to determine whether he
is physically nt to perform all the active duties of his grade and
whether the prescribed exercises may be taken without danger to him.
No <Hie is excused from the exercise except for physical disability.



It is recommended that a permanent corps of paymasters' clerks
with warrant rank be established. The present boay of clerks is con-
stantly changing, as every time a paymaster is detached from his
duty the appointment of his clerk (in many cases, two clerks) is
revoked and the latter is ordered to his home. After arrival home
he may be reappointed with the same op some other paymaster or he
may never be reappointed. This leads to much confusion, increases
the charge to the travel appropriation, and, it is believed, reduces
very much the efficiency of the clerks themselves on account of the
lack of stability in their positions. If belonging to a permanent
corps, the clerks would perioral their quota of sea and shore duty like
other warrant officers, irrespective of the paymaster with whom they
may serve, their details having no relation to that of the paymasters.
The clerks should be bonded for a small sum.

Congress has provided for a retired list for paymasters' clerks, but
under the present system its benefit may be lost entirely by able clerks
long in the service if they happen not to be employed at the time
some disabling accident or sickness may occur to them or on the day
of reaching the retirement age. It would appear also that Congress
contemplated a permanency of tenure in establishing a retired list.

Should a permanent corps be established, it would afford a line
of advancement for the yeomen class in the Navy, which is now not
eligible to promotion to warrant grade. Such a scheme of advance-
ment could readily be effected by Tiaving promotions to the grade of
Saymasters' clerks, similar to that of the grade of carpenter in the
fayy, open to civilians and yeomen by competitive examinations.
This would add greatly to the efficiency of the yeomen class.

CONDITION OF OFFICERS' LIST.

There is a continued shortage of line officers in the fleet, due to the
increased number of vessels in active commission and in reserve.

In 1915-16 there will be officers enough to man the fleet, provided
its size is no greater than at present; but the distribution of these
officers through the grades of the line, as authorized by statute, will
not be properly proportioned to the duties and total numbers. Unless
the higher grades are increased, it will cause great stagnation in pro-
motion. Under the operation of existing law there would be 1,921
line officers by July. 1916. How this number should be distributed



Digitized by



Google



132 REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

in the various grades to meet the requirements of the service and how
the law now in force would distribute them is shown, comparatively,
as follows :



To meet service requirements..
By existing law



Above
lieuten-
ant.



566
400



Senior
lieuten-
ants.



Junior
lieuten-
ants and



738
350



617
1,171



Of the 1,171 officers in the lowest two grades over 670 would l>e
junior lieutenants, and at the rate of promotion now provided an
officer would be 16 years in that grade, and could not become a com-
mander under 58 years of age, leaving only 4 years before retirement
for service as commander, captain, and flag officer. Needless to say
this would mean a condition far more intolerable than that from
which the personnel act of 1899 gave relief.

OUTPUT OF NAVAL ACADEMY.

The class of midshipmen entering this year will number about
265, or about 20 more than last year, making a total of about 770 at
the Naval Academy. Next year the reapportionment of congres-
sional districts in many States will add nearly 100 appointments,
and it is expected that the entering class will number about 300,
bringing the total nearly to the full capacity of the present accom-
modations for midshipmen.

The existing law governing appointments, however, provides that
after June 30, 1913, each Senator and Representative shall have only
a single appointment instead of two; so that the class entering in
1914, succeeding one of the largest on record, will be unusually
small. Such fluctuations do not make for good administration, either
of the Naval Academy or of the Navy at large. But the important
consideration here is to safeguard the Navy's future supply of com-
missioned officers in adequate numbers, and to do this it is necessary
to have the same number of midshipmen allowed.

No probable requirement is now foreseen for more officers than
could be supplied by the Naval Academy without enlarging existing
accommodations. For the next few years the numbers graduated
will suffice for vacancies and necessary increase, including the staff
corps and the Marine Corps. If there were a decrease in the size of
classes, it could only result in impaired efficiency for lack of suffi-
cient officers.

The proposed personnel bill now before Congress contains provi-
sions fixing the entrance ages for midshipmen at 15 to 18 years, and
continuing the present number of appointments.

In connection with the age limits special attention was given in
revising the Naval Academy curriculum to adjust the entrance exam-
ination so that the age limits could be lowered without hardship
to the candidates. The aim was to make the entrance requirements
and first year's work so conform to average school conditions outside
that any boy of 15 to 18 who has been a faithful student may not
feel the need of a course at a special preparatory school.



Digitized by



Google



BUBEAU OF NAVIGATION. 133

midshipmen's PRACTICE CRUISE.

The two-year cruise for graduate midshipmen was abolished by act
of Congress March 7, 1912, making a radical change necessary in
the form of practice cruise for the midshipmen during the summer.
This year all members of the third class were sent to sea in one battle-
ship, fitted out especially as a schoolship. This was but little differ-
ent from former practice. The radical departure consisted in divid-
ing the first and second class men among: the battleships of the At-
lantic Fleet, so many of each class to a snip. The second-class men
were given duties and instruction mainly of a technical nature, in



Online LibraryUnited States. Navy DeptAnnual report of the Secretary of the Navy → online text (page 11 of 49)