Chapter I
The Naval Establishment--An Overall Survey


Functionally, organizationally, and geographically the Naval Establishment has from practically the beginning of the Federal government under the Constitution consisted of three parts: the Navy Department at the seat of government in Washington, the Shore Establishment, and the Operating Forces.

The Navy Department is the headquarters of the Naval Establishment. It is made up of the Secretary of the Navy, his civilian executive assistants, the executive offices of the Secretary, the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the several Bureaus and Boards, the Headquarters of the Marine Corps and during World War II the Headquarters of the Coast Guard. During that war the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet was also located in the Navy Department in Washington, filling at the same time the position of Chief of Naval Operations.

The Shore Establishment comprises the field activities of the Department of the Navy ashore. They are widely distributed throughout the United States and overseas. Their mission is to create, maintain, and support the operating forces. With the exception of certain shore facilities assigned to the operating forces, the responsibility for the management of the various components of the shore establishment rests with some one of the bureaus or other branch of the Navy Department.

The Operating Forces are sometimes spoken of simply as the Fleet. They comprise all of the seagoing and sea frontier forces, naval aviation, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard in time of war, and certain shore facilities assigned to the operating forces. It is on the operating forces that rests the specific responsibility for carrying out the Navy's mission in supporting fundamental national aims and policies. The Navy Department and the Shore Establishment exist solely for the Fleet.


U.S. Naval Policy and Mission of the Navy

U.S. Naval Policy and the Mission of the Navy have remained fundamentally unchanged over the years, but the details of implementation and the language used to express the concepts involved by these terms have been under constant scrutiny and modification to suit changing conditions. A statement of United States naval policy running to some 1500 words was prepared by the General Board for the Secretary of the Navy in 1940, and was promulgated by him for the guidance of the Naval Establishment. the document starts with the following statement of fundamental naval policy: "To maintain the Navy in strength and readiness, to uphold national policies and interests, and to guard the United States and its continental and overseas possessions."1

The mission of the Navy has also been defined in many different ways, but fundamentally the idea behind all of the definitions is that one expressed in an official statement of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations: "Naval power is the capacity of naval forces to establish, maintain and exploit control of the seas and to deny their use to the enemy in furtherance of national power and objectives."2

It will be helpful to an understanding of the administrative problems encountered by the Navy Department in carrying ut naval policy and the mission of the Navy in World War II first to review briefly certain highlights in the Navy Department's early history, before going into the details of World War II organization and procedures.

Early History

The Navy Department came into being in the early part of 1798, and the Marine Corps was added a few months later. The Navy of the American Revolution had by then completely disappeared, as its last ship had been sold in 1785. The Marines of the Revolution, dating back to 1775, had also disappeared. When the Constitution for the Federal Government went into effect in 1789, the War Department was charged with the administration of both the Army and the Navy, but there was no Navy to administer.

The complete disappearance of the Navy may be charged to the indifference to national interests that reached its nadir during the critical period in American history from 1781 to 1789, when the country was governed by the compact called the "Articles of Confederation." When George Washington became President in 1789, he realized the weakness


of the new nation in naval strength, as he had shown a keen understanding of the value of even minor naval forces during the American Revolution, and had displayed unquestioned genius in making the arrangements for French naval assistance that led up to Admiral de Grasse's success in preventing the British Fleet from relieving Cornwallis at Yorktown.3

Depredations by the Barbary pirates on American shipping in the Mediterranean led Congress in 1794 to authorize the construction of six frigates, among them the Constellation and Constitution of future fame and glory. Due to lack of public interest and the apathy of Congress, the construction program was not pushed vigorously and at one time was almost abandoned. When four years later the United States became involved in a quasi-war with France, the Secretary of War came in for much criticism because of naval unreadiness. The outcome was the establishment of a separate Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798 with a Secretary of the Navy as its chief officer. The law reads that, "The duty of this officer shall be to execute such orders as he shall receive from the President of the United States relative to the procurement of naval stores and materials of war as well as all other matters connected with the Naval Establishment of the United States."4

A happy choice was made in Benjamin Stoddert of Georgetown, Maryland, as the first Secretary of the Navy. He was a shipping man of wide experience and knew the operation and maintenance of merchant ships thoroughly. The nature of naval warfare of that period, together with the small size of the Naval Establishment, made administration of the new department a comparatively simple matter for a man of his experience, attainments and energy. There were only a few ships in service and half a dozen employees to supervise in the Navy Department itself. There were originally no government-owned navy yards as the first of these was not acquired until the turn of the century. Navy agents in the principal seaports from Maine to Georgia handled the Navy's business outside of the Navy Department.

The characteristics of ships and guns had not changed materially in several hundred years. A significant factor in naval administration in those early days was the similarity between warships and merchant ships. Merchant ships, during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars and before the suppression of piracy in the Mediterranean and in the Caribbean,


went armed for defense. This had, in fact, always been a necessity for ships engaged in overseas trade in the early days. Usually seagoing men of all categories sooner or later acquired some experience in the business of fighting from ships. Questions of construction, supply, armament, operating personnel, and the management of naval ships were therefore familiar to the shipping men of that period such as Stoddert and the Navy agents.

In the undeclared naval war with France and in the wars with the Barbary powers, the command function connected with the employment and operation of the ships themselves did not lay a great burden on the Secretary of the Navy. A squadron commander, or the commanding officer of a ship operating singly, was given general instructions by the Secretary before sailing, but once out of signal distance he became, in most respects a free agent. Before the invention of the telegraph, cable, or wireless detailed control of distant forces was in any case impracticable because of slow communications. The Secretary of the Navy's job in the early days was to arrange for ships, their officers, (crews were enlisted locally), and their supplies. He gave general instructions as to the missions to be performed and then had to leave the rest to squadron commanders or to the commanding officers of ships operating singly. Nevertheless, there was a great volume of detail requiring nautical knowledge that a conscientious Secretary of the Navy had to handle personally as he had no professional assistants. Only a man of great industry and competence such as Benjamin Stoddert could have measured up to the task of getting the new Department of the Navy off to a good start.5

The situation began to change in the decade preceding the War of 1812. There was much criticism of the Navy's unpreparedness for that war and of the fact that the law made no provision for professional assistants or advisers to the Secretary of the Navy. There had also been violent controversies over the naval building programs, particularly over Jefferson's gunboat policy. The war, when it came, resulted in a considerable increase in the size of the Navy and its shore establishments. By October 1814 the Navy consisted of some 11,000 officers and men and there were on the Navy list 75 vessels: frigates, brigs, sloops, and many smaller craft. The expenditures for the Navy had grown from $1,900,000 in 1811 to $8,660,000 in 1815.6 The experience of the war underlined


very definitely that the Secretary of the Navy needed more assistance to administer the affairs of the Navy Department than the small staff of clerks authorized by law, and especially that he needed the help of professional naval officers.

Much study was given the subject and many recommendations were made to improve a situation that was unsatisfactory to Congress, to former Secretaries of the Navy, and to professional naval officers. The upshot of the agitation was a law passed under date of February 7, 1815 "to alter and amend the several Acts establishing a Navy Department by adding thereto a Board of Commissioners." This Board was to be composed of three Post Captains of the Navy. The law prescribed that nothing in the Act was to be construed "to take from the Secretary of the Navy his control and direction of the naval forces of the United States, as now by law possessed." At the same time under the superintendence of the Secretary of the Navy, the Board of Navy Commissioners was to "discharge all the ministerial duties of said office, relative to the procurement of naval stores and materials and the construction, armament, equipment, and employment of vessels of war as well as all other matters connected with the naval establishment of the United States."7 It will be noted that Congress was particularly concerned about the preservation of civilian control over the Navy.

The Navy Commissioners held their first meeting on April 25, 1815 and within a month clashed with Secretary of the Navy Crowninshield over their respective sphere of duty, the specific question being whether the Secretary was obligated to communicate to the Commissioners "the destination of a squadron." The disagreement was finally settled by President Madison who decided that the Navy Commissioners were to handle such matters as the building, repairing, and equipping of ships and the superintending of navy yards, but that military functions were to remain in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy. The latter included the appointment of officer personnel, the assignment of officers to duty, the employment and movements of ships, and the discipline of the Navy. In other words the responsibilities of the Secretary were to lie principally in the field of naval command, those of the Navy Commissioners principally in the field of logistics. Due largely to the course that the evolution of warships and of naval warfare took thereafter, the opposite concept emerged over the years so that during the period with which this history deals the naval command function was considered the primary responsibility of the Chief of Naval Operations whereas the producer aspects of logistics, as implemented by the Bureau system, were the primary responsibility of the Secretary's principal civilian executive and naval technical assistants.


The creation of the Board of Navy Commissioners in 1815 was the first of a number of major changes that have been made in the organization of the Navy Department. These changes mark five more or less distinct phases in the history of its headquarter's organization. During the first phase, which has already been briefly described, departmental administration was in the hands of civilians exclusively. During that period the Navy fought the undeclared war with France, the wars with the Barbary powers, and the War of 1812 with England.

The second phase lasted from 1815 to 1842. During that period the Board of Navy Commissioners were the principal professional assistants and advisers to the Secretary of the Navy. The underlying reasons for the creation of the Board of Navy Commissioners have been given. No naval wars occurred during that period.

The third phase began with the establishment of the Bureau system in 1842. The reasons for the adoption of the system and for the modifications that have been made in it over the years will be covered in some detail in the chapter on the bureaus. The system is based on the concept of the functional distribution of the work of the Navy Department. Under this system, without any modification in principle, the Navy fought the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. Briefly, these deficiencies were the lack of any specific mechanism for making war plans, for planning and directing the operations of the fleet, and for coordinating the work of the bureaus.

The fourth phase was an attempt to correct these shortcomings by the adoption in 1909 of the Naval Aide system. Under this system, four line officers of high rank became the Secretary's naval assistants and advisers, for fleet operations, personnel, mat´riel, and inspections, respectively. Collectively, the four Aides were to constitute an advisory council to the Secretary on policy-making and on departmental administration, as a whole. Congress, however, refused to give statutory approval to the system. Josephus Daniels, when he became3 Secretary of the Navy in 1913, was lukewarm to the system and allowed most of it to die of disuse.

The Office of Chief of Naval Operations was established by act of Congress dated 3 March 1915 and inaugurated the fifth phase in the organization of the Navy Department. The act stipulated that this executive "shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, be charged with the operations of the fleet and with the preparation and readiness of


plans for its use in war." The background of the Naval Aide system, the thinking and the events that led up to the establishment of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the history of that Office during the pre-war and World War II periods, will be covered in more detail in the chapter on "Chief of Naval Operations--Commander-in-Chief U.S.Fleet."

None of these major changes came about suddenly. They were the outcome of much study and argument extending over many years. There has, in fact, rarely been a time when there have not been propositions before Congress or under discussion within the Navy Department and its various elements for modifications in organization and procedures, all advanced by their proponents with the object of improving the administration of the Navy Department. Although basic changes in organization were few during the period from the adoption of the Bureau system in 1842 until the early part of World War II, the thinking on the subject remained in a continuous state of flux.

Figure No. 1 shows the organization of the Navy Department as of 21 December 1940, when the steps taken to prepare the Navy for war had reached considerable momentum but the attack on Pearl Harbor was still a year off.

The Underlying Reasons for Organizational Changes, whether merely proposed or actually made, have always been a complex of many factors. Basically, they have had their roots in the ever-increasing mechanization and growing complexity of warships and of naval warfare. This has necessitated more and more planning and better and better coordinating of the Navy Department's many activities which, in turn, has called for more specialization of personnel at all levels and instill further functionalization of its organization structure.

Going hand in hand with these irreversible trends has been the ever present problem of keeping the authority of those occupying key positions, whether civilians or in uniform, in step with their ever growing responsibilities. Authority commensurate with responsibility is universally recognized as a basic requirement of sound administration, but automatic agreement by all concerned as to what constitutes adequate authority for the respective groups and individuals comprising a complex organization can hardly be expected of human nature. Closely allied to this problem are those differences of opinion between career naval personnel and civilians, and also between the various groups of men in uniform in matters that are not susceptible of scientific evaluation but belong in the realm of intangibles that are responsible for the morale and esprit de corps of military organizations.

Then there has been the ever present problem of getting the best Navy for the least money; a continuous preoccupation with all who make


Fig. 1--Organization of the Navy Department (21 Dec 1940)


a career of the Navy whether in uniform or as civilians, as well as with Congress and the top level executives to whom public service is only an avocation. The frailties of human nature have made superlative administration of the Navy Department no less difficult of achievement than for other enterprises of like size and complexity. The ideal has therefore never been reached and never will be.

The Task Concept of Navy Department Administration

Around the turn of the century Secretaries of the Navy and naval officers, interested in making organizational improvements in the Navy Department usually spoke of the functions of the Navy Department as being of either a military or a civilian character. With the growth in complexity of the Navy and its supporting activities, the adequacy of such a broad general division of functions began to be questioned. Businessmen like Charles Edison, Frank Knox, and James Forrestal, as well as many naval officers, began to discuss organization and procedures from the task point of view. This led finally to the recognition of four main tasks as basic to the accomplishment of the Navy Department's mission: "Policy Control," "Naval Command," "Logistics Administration and Control," and "Business Administration."8 A brief explanation of the meaning of these terms is in order before proceeding with an overall survey of the organization and administration of the Naval Establishment during the war, based on the task concept.

Policy Control concerns the interpretation and application of national and military policy to the development and use of the Naval Establishment, particularly in the use of the Operating Forces. It is the task of defining the broad objectives to be attained by the Naval Establishment and of interpreting them to Congress, the President, and the Naval Establishment itself. It is in the broadest sense a job of public relations encompassing relationships with the President, Congress, other branches of the government, public information media, private industry, labor, and the public at large.

Policy Control was the unqualified responsibility and prerogative of the Secretary of the Navy during World War II. Policy decisions were normally reached by the Secretary in various ways, perhaps after discussion at Cabinet meetings, with individual members of the Cabinet and men in civilian life with specialized knowledge, consultation with his naval and


civilian assistants, or were made for him by the President. Actually, in World War II, President Roosevelt usually by-passed the Secretary of the Navy and dealt directly with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and with Admiral William D. Leahy and Admiral Ernest J. King in military policy matters involving the use of the Navy. During the national emergency shorted-of-war period he often made naval policy decision after consultation with Admiral Harold R. Stark.

In addition to the formulation and enunciation of high level policies arrived at as briefly outlined above, a vast area of policy formulation has always been delegated by the Secretary of the Navy to his principal civilian assistants, to the Chief of Naval Operations, to the Bureaus, and to other offices of the Navy Department. The general directives which become the fabric of the administrative procedures of the Navy Department and the Navy regulations, themselves, originate largely at lower levels. However, such policies are always subject to the Secretary's review and final approval. Navy regulations, for example, do not become effective until approved by the Secretary. Some further coverage of policy-making and control will be found in the chapter on "The Secretary of the Navy."

Naval Command is defined as the task of commanding the operating forces of the Navy and of maintaining them in a state of readiness for war. This involves organizing and training such forces and planning and promulgating the directives for their employment as well as planning for their logistic support. The consumer aspects of the logistics task, such as determining the needs of the operating forces and when and where the personnel, the matériel, and the required services must be furnished are defined as part of the Naval Command task. Included in the task are also such activities as naval communications, the gathering of naval intelligence, the promulgation of security regulations, the administration of naval discipline, and all other activities of a military character.

Logistics Administration and Control is defined as a task having two phases: consumer logistics and producer logistics. Consumer logistics is concerned with the planning, timing, and distribution of the matériel and personnel needed by the operating forces to prepare for war and to operate them in peace and war. It can be visualized as the what, when and where of logistics and is both the beginning and the end of the logistics element in warfare. Consumer logistics, as already mentioned, was recognized as a command function with the primary responsibility for its satisfactory performance resting with the Chief of Naval Operations.

Producer logistics includes everything that is involved in procuring and producing the matériel and in recruiting, educating, and training the personnel necessary to meet the needs of the operating forces. It can be visualized as the how of logistics and has always been the primary responsibility


of the Bureaus but increasingly during World War II became also a responsibility of the Secretary's civilian executive assistants. Close relationship had to be maintained at all times between consumer and producer logistics in order that the "ideal" and the "desirable," while always the gaol of logistics, would not get out of step with the "possible." The line between these two phases of logistics is not a sharp one because these two aspects of the task are highly interdependent, resulting in a continuous cause and effect relationship between the two. The experience of the Navy Department in World War II underlined the importance of providing appropriate administrative machinery to coordinate these two phases of the task. The part that naval logistics played in World War II is told in the chapter on "Naval Logistics" in this work.

Business Administration is involved in the performance of all of the tasks of the Navy Department. It has for its object getting the most for the money and effort spent on the Navy, and to improve continually the techniques of administration and management. Business management was particularly stressed as a basic task by Secretary of the Navy, Frank Know, and by his Under Secretary, James Forrestal, who succeeded him as Secretary. Both were businessmen of outstanding ability who believed that the war effort of the Navy Department would be seriously handicapped unless based on sound business practices. This belief had also been held by Charles Edison, the previous Secretary of the navy who, in addition, brought to the office the judgments of a competent engineer.

The career personnel of the Naval Establishment, whether civilian or in uniform, would, however, be the last to admit that it took a war to bring to their attention the importance of good business management in the administration of the Navy Department. The operating forces, the navy yards, and the Navy Department itself, had for years been alert to the need for economy and efficiency in naval management. In the forces afloat the great strides beginning at about the turn of the century in gunnery training, self-maintenance of ships, and steaming economy can be pointed out as examples of the interest taken by the Fleet in economical and efficient management. Naval officers were also early pioneers in introducing scientific management and modern cost accounting into the Navy's shore establishments.

Professional naval officers hold, however, that the mission of the Navy may at times transcend the requirements of business efficiency and economy. It is certain that extravagant Navy Department administration if it were needed to defeat the enemy would be hailed as successful, whereas management that used money and manpower economically but caused military defeat would be rated as the ultimate in failure. Good business management, while an important factor in providing the logistics for the


Fig. 2.--Organization for the Executive Administration of the Naval Establishment
Fig. 2.--Organization for the Executive Administration of the Naval Establishment
(Chart Accompanying SecNav's Annual Report for 1945)


fighting forces, must not be allowed to take precedence over command and battle efficiency.

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, in his annual report to the President for the fiscal year 1945, showed these concepts on an organization chart, accompanying the report, which is reproduced herewith as Figure No. 2. By comparing this chart with Figure No. 1, it will be seen that no drastic reorganization of the Navy Department had been found necessary to fight the war. In order however, to crystallize and clarify the thinking on organization, policies, and procedures, while the experiences of World War II were still fresh in the minds of men. Forrestal, on August 18, 1945, immediately after V-J Day, appointed a Board to make recommendation concerning the Executive Administration of the Naval Establishment.9

The Board, known as the Gates Board, submitted its report entitled "Recommendations Concerning the Executive Administration of the Naval Establishment," under date of 7 November 1945. It concluded that the existing organization represented a satisfactory basic framework for the administration of the Naval Establishment, but that the allocation of duties and responsibilities among its various elements needed some readjustment and clarification. The Board recommended that the Chief of Naval Operations be assigned full authority and responsibility for the administration of "consumer logistics," and that the allocation of responsibilities and authority place in effect during the war by Executive Orders be perpetuated by statute. The Board's recommendations were in general adopted.

A brief description is now in order of the administrative machinery that had evolved to implement these concepts of Navy Department management.

Organizational Developments of the Navy Department in World War II

Figure No. 2 is a graphic representation of the task concept of naval administration and shows that the Secretary of the Navy's principal assistants fall under two categories: his civilian executive assistants and his professional naval assistants. The latter may be further subdivided under two categories: his Naval Command Assistant and his Naval Technical Assistants. The place of these assistants in the structure of the organization and their functions are shown in Figure No. 3, (dated 8 Feb 1946)


Fig 3.--Organization of the Navy Department Immediately After World War II (8 Feb 1946)
Fig 3.--Organization of the Navy Department Immediately After World War II (8 Feb 1946)


prepared a few months after the Gates Board made its report and recommendation in November 1945.

Civilian Executive Assistants. The Secretary's principal assistants in this category were the Under Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air. These offices were all created by statute at one time or another, going back to the Civil War in the case of the Assistant Secretary. In all cases the statutes provide that they perform "such duties as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy or required by law." The Office of Under Secretary was created in1940 and that of Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air was revived shortly thereafter. The administrative assistant was added at the end of the war. During World War II the responsibilities of the Under Secretary and of the two Assistant Secretaries increased greatly and their staffs grew in size and importance in order to coordinate and assist in carrying out the tasks of business administration and producer logistics. They used boards a shown in Figure No. 3. During the war the cart would have shown the Coast Guard also as in the Navy Department organization.

The Naval Command Assistant consisted of the Chief of Naval Operations. This position was established by Act of Congress dated 3 March 1915 under circumstances and with responsibilities as already briefly described. As the result of experience before and during World War II, the authority and responsibilities of this naval assistant were greatly broadened and strengthened, as will be recorded in some detail in a later chapter. In brief, by various Executive Orders of the President, later confirmed by Acts of Congress, the Chief of Naval Operations was during World War I more specifically than before designated as the principal naval adviser to the President and the Secretary of the Navy on the conduct of war, and as the principal naval executive to the Secretary on the conduct of the activities of the Naval Establishment. He was likewise charged, in logistic support of the operating forces, and to that end with the coordination and direction of effort of the bureaus and offices of the Navy Department.


Chief of Naval Operations. The basic responsibilities of the Chief of Naval Operations as the secretary's principal naval command assistant have been briefly mentioned. The outbreak of World War II in europe immediately increased the routine administrative tasks of that office. Although the principal burden of carrying out the 1940 defense programs fell on the bureaus, every CNO office was faced with additional responsibilities and more work. New situations arose constantly requiring further subdivision and expansion of the organization. In March 1942, Admiral E.J. King, USN, was appointed Chief of Naval Operations in addition to his duties as Commander-in-Chief of the operating forces. The chapter on "CNO-COMINCH" will relate the history of that dual arrangement. It was a temporary one and the two organizations were kept entirely separate during the war, with the Vice Chief of Naval Operations as the operating head of CNO. Under the organization that emerged from World War II, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations performs the usual duties of a Chief of Staff.

The need for delegating authority at the upper level to meet new responsibilities became pressing as the war went on. It took the form of gradually adding Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations to the hierarchy of command assistants.

The DCNO for Air. The Deputy Chiefs were not established at one and the same time, but only as the need arose for most detailed functionalization of the work that had to be done. The first was the DCNO for Air, set up under date of 18 August 1943 in recognition of the increasing importance and growth of naval aviation and to give the naval aviators a more direct voice in such matters at the highest level. Assigned to this DCNO were some of the responsibilities formerly carried by the Bureau of Aeronautics, among them enlarging the part of naval aviation in surface and sub-surface warfare, integrating Marine Corps aviation with naval aviation, and formulating policies for the recruitment and training of aviation personnel. The DCNO for Air made recommendations to the Bureau of Naval Personnel for the assignment to duty of aviation personnel.

The DCNO for Operations was not set up as a Deputy until COMINCH was again dissociated from CNO and was moved out of Washington a few months after the surrender of Japan. This Deputy then took over most of the functions that had been performed by the Chief of Staff of COMINCH during the war. He was given the responsibility of formulating information and issuing directives covering the activities of the operating forces. He had direct cognizance of the organization, readiness, administration, and operations of the seagoing forces, the sea frontiers, and the overseas naval command areas. Included in this group of activities


were the Naval Intelligence Division, the Atomic Energy Division, the new Development and Operational Evaluation Division, and the International Affairs Division. It became the largest of the five DCNO's.

The DCNO for Administration was made responsible for the general administration of the office of the CNO and had cognizance over certain activities that could not logically be placed under any one of the bureaus, such as the Naval Observatory, the Hydrographic Office, the Naval History Division, Pan-American Affairs, United States Naval Missions Abroad, and certain other activities.

The DCNO for Personnel was given the specific responsibility for developing overall plans for the recruitment, education, training, and mobilization of naval personnel and for bringing personnel into correlation with other naval activities and with national manpower and military training policies. When the office was established, the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel was appointed to the position as additional duty. General supervision over Naval Reserve activities was at first included, but was later placed under a separate Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Naval Reserves.

The DCNO for Logistics. One of the deficiencies of the Bureau system, when it was adopted in 1842, was its lack of specific provision for performing the task of consumer logistics; that is, the task of determining what the Navy needed and when and where needed in order to insure naval readiness for war. Neither was there any specific provision for coordinating consumer logistics with the producer logistics of the bureaus. The arrangements for improving performance in this field were of slow growth and culminated during the war in setting up a DCNO for logistics. For this overall survey it will suffice to say that the organization of this office included divisions for logistics planning, determination of ship characteristics, fleet and shore establishment development and maintenance, material control, and for the inspection of ships and shore stations by the Board of Inspection and Survey.

The Naval Inspector General was a wartime creation to provide a group that could be used by either the Secretary of the CNO for making inspections and investigations of specific matters. For many years the Secretary of the Navy had used more or less permanent boards to inspect ships and shore establishments. The short-lived Aide system had provided the Secretary with an Aide for Inspections, but the Navy had, at no time, a separate inspection corps, such as is found in the Army and in the Marine Corps, manned by officers devoting their careers to such work. Officers form the line, from Staff Corps and other specialists were detailed for duty with the Inspector General reported direct to both the Secretary of the Navy and to the CNO, and could be given inspection assignments by


either. Inspections and trials of ships were, as formerly, conducted by the permanent Board of Inspection and Survey, which was one of the units of the DCNO for Logistics.

Naval Technical Assistants. These consisted during World War II of the Chiefs of the several bureaus, the Commandants of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard in their technical capacities, the Judge Advocate General, and some of the units of the Executive Office of the Secretary, such as the Coordinator of Research and Development, the Chief of Procurement and Material, and others, Figure No. 3 lists the units of the Executive Offices, but as it represents the organization several months after V-J Day, the names of some of the offices differ form the names used during the war because certain adjustments and modifications were made in their duties at the end of the war. However, for the purpose of an overall survey, FIgure No.3 provides an accurate picture of the organization and shows the Secretary's principal assistants involved in carrying out the task concept of Naval Administration. To supplement this picture a brief description of the functions of the bureaus and some of the other activities coming under the Secretary's Naval Technical Assistants is in order.

Bureau of Yards and Docks. That Bureau was established in 1842 as the Burau of Navy Yards and Docks. Until 1862 it had exclusive jurisdiction over navy yards and the Commandants of the navy yards reported to the Chief of that Bureau. Its principal responsibility had been the construction and maintenance of naval public works. During World War II one of the Bureau's important functions became the recruiting, training, and management of the Seabees (Construction Battalions) employed in the construction and maintenance of overseas bases. It is operated by the Corps of Civil Engineers of the Navy, but until 1898 its Chief was a line officer. Since then the Chief has been an officer of the Corps of Civil Engineers.

Bureau of Ships. That Bureau was formed by the merger in1940 of the former Bureaus of Construction and Repair, and Engineering. The Bureau of Construction and Repair dated back to 1842, and the Bureau of Engineering to 1862. The Bureau of Ships is responsible for the design, construction, and repair of ships, of their machinery, and of most of their equipment. It exercises management control over naval shipyards and certain other shore activities. The two merged Bureaus were originally operated respectively, by the Construction Corps and the Engineer Corps of the Navy. During the war the Bureau was staffed in respect to Naval personnel by officers of the regular Navy, designated specifically for engineering duty in various specialties, by Reserve officers, and by unrestricted line officers. Its Chief was, and is a line officer restricted to engineering duty. It was the largest of the bureaus during the war, both from the point of view of personnel employed and of appropriations received from Congress.


Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. That Bureau was one of the original Bureaus established in 1842, but the name has undergone several changes. It procures, stores, and issues supplies, provisions, clothing, fuel, and such other material as the technical bureaus do not procure directly; keeps the property and money accounts of the Navy; and pays vendor invoices and Navy payrolls. It is operated by the Supply Corps of the Navy, and has management control of supply depots and similar activities.

Bureau of Ordnance. This was one of the original Bureaus established in 1842. It was responsible for the armament of ships, for ammunition and, in general, for the armor protection of ships. It had management control of ordnance plants, ammunition depots, ordnance laboratories, and certain testing stations. It wa operated by line officers, and its Chief was an unrestricted line officer.

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. This was one of the five original Bureaus, and is the only one whose title has not been changed since it was established in 1842. Its duties have always been to maintain the health of the Navy and to care for its sick and wounded, afloat and ashore. It operates hospitals, dispensaries and laboratories, and trains medical department personnel. Under it come the Medical Corps, the Dental Corps, the Medical Service Corps, and the Nurse Corps of the Navy. Its Chief is the Surgeon General of the Navy who is an officer of the Medical Corps of the Navy.

Bureau of Naval Personnel. This Bureau was established as the Bureau of Navigation in 1862. It received its present name in 1942 as more nearly describing its actual duties. Under it came originally the Hydrographic Office, the Naval Observatory, and other technical activities giving it the character of a scientific Bureau. Gradually it acquired the responsibility for the recruitment, education, training, and detailing of naval personnel and lost its technical activities. Under it comes the Chaplain Corps. It exercises management control over the Naval Academy, the Naval War College, Naval Training Stations, and other educational activities of the Navy. Its Chief is an unrestricted line officer, and most of the naval personnel operating the Bureau belong to the command branch of the Navy.

Bureau of Aeronautics. This Bureau was established in 1921 and was made responsible for all matters involving naval aviation. Originally operations were included, but were transferred to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air) in 1943. The naval personnel staffing the Bureau were unrestricted line officer,s most of whom were aviators, and line officers restricted to aeronautical engineering duty. It has management control over naval air stations, the Naval Aircraft Factory, and other shore establishments engaged primarily in aeronautical work. Its Chief was an unrestricted line officer who must be a qualified aviator.

Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. The status of the Marine Corps


in the organization of the Navy Department was during World War II much the same as that of the Bureaus, but its functions covered a much broader range than those of any single bureau. The Marine Corps consists of three parts just as does the Naval Establishment: its headquarters in the Navy Department in Washington, its operating forces at sea and on shore, and its bases and training establishments. It is essentially a self-contained organization for procuring, training, distributing, and administering the officers and enlisted personnel of the Marine Corps. It depends for its logistics largely on the Navy and the Army, and on the Navy for medical and some other services. The Commandant of the Marine Corps is a principal adviser to the Secretary in both the command and technical senses.

Coast Guard. The Coast Guard came under the Navy Department during the war, its status being similar to that of the Marine Corps and the Bureaus. It was established as the Revenue Marine under the Treasury Department in 1790, was later called the Revenue Cutter Service, and by a consolidation with the Life Saving Service became the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915. In 1939 the Lighthouse Service of the Department of Commerce was transferred to the Coast Guard. Maritime safety and law enforcement at sea are the principal duties of the Coast Guard in peacetime.

The Judge Advocate General. At the outbreak of World War II, this office had cognizance of all phases of military, administrative, legislative, applied, and commercial law incident to the operation of the Naval establishment. During the war, as will be described in a later chapter, commercial law was gradually transferred to a new office designated eventually as the Office of General Counsel headed by a civilian.

The Office of Procurement and Material, established by the Secretary's directive of January 30, 1942 and after World War II given legal status of the Office of Naval Material, played an important role in coordinating the procurement work of the bureaus, including the inspection of purchased material.

Coordinator of Research and Development. This office was established in 1941 to advise the Secretary on scientific research matters, particularly with respect to the utilization of the services of the Office of Scientific Research and Development under which civilian scientists had been mobilized as an independent emergency organization.

The Shore Establishment

The Shore Establishment comprises the field activities of the bureaus and offices of the Navy Department and includes all shore activities not assigned to the operating forces. Collectively, under the direction of the Navy Department, the function of these activities is to produce the matériel and personnel needed for maintaining and supporting the operating


forces of the Navy. The responsibilities for producer logistics of the civilian executive and naval technical assistants of the Secretary culminate in the Shore Establishment where material, services, and personnel are provided to the operating forces to satisfy their consumer logistic needs.

Although certain of these activities go back to almost the beginning of the Federal Government, their numbers and the size of the existing ones had to be greatly increased just before and during World War II. Details as to the expansion found necessary will be treated in other chapters in this work. It will suffice to say at this point that at the peak there were about 7,000 such activities, of which about 700 were located overseas. In July 1938 the "Public Works of the Navy Data Book" listed 485 such activities. At the peak during the war the shore activities operated by the Navy Department employed some 753,000 civilians, 383,000 enlisted personnel and 70,000 officers.10 On the industrial side, the activities consisted principally of naval shipyards, aircraft and ordnance plants, laboratories and experimental stations, ammunition depots, supply and assembly depots, inspection activities of many kinds, etc. On the personnel side, they included schools and training centers, recruiting activities of many kinds, recreation and rest centers, hospitals, etc.

Most of the units of the Shore Establishment were located in the continental United States. Many of the activities were closed out promptly after the cessation of hostilities, but the numbers that remained were much greater than the numbers and variety needed before the war; this, largely because of the great increase in the kinds of supporting facilities required by modern naval warfare.

Naval Districts. In order to facilitate control over the Shore Establishment, the East and West Coasts of the United States were, shortly after the Spanish-American War, divided into naval districts, each comprising several states. A high ranking naval officer was appointed Commandant of each district. In 1920 the entire continental area of the United States was divided into naval districts. An inland district designated as the NINTH Naval District was established with headquarters at Great Lakes, Illinois. Outside of the continental limits of the United States naval districts were also set up to cover the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, the Canal Zone, Alaska, and later, the Caribbean area.

On the outbreak of World War II the East and West Coasts, the Hawaiian Islands, the Caribbean area, and the Panama area were designated as sea frontiers with a senior officer as the commander of each, who was sometimes also the commandant of one of the naval districts in the area. The main purpose was to provide more effective coordination and control over defense measures against enemy submarines. The exact command relationship


between sea frontier commanders, naval district commanders, and the heads of the various naval shore activities in their territory seemed very involved at times, but caused no particular difficulty to the commanders. In general, the Chief of Naval Operations, besides having direct military command of the sea frontiers, exercised coordination control over shore activities through the sea frontier commanders. Likewise, each district commandant exercised military command over the various naval activities in his district, but he had no responsibility for the management of their functional activities.

One of the responsibilities of the commandants of the naval districts, stressed by the Secretary of the Navy during the war, was public relations. The commandants were given the task of interpreting to the public the policies and acts of the Navy Department and of keeping the people in their districts informed as to the capacity and readiness of the Navy to promote and defend national security.

Thus, administration of the shore establishment so far as it was a task of the Navy Department, included the elements of military command, management control, and technical control, with provision for coordinating all elements. The Secretary of the Navy, through his principal civilian assistants, exercised general administrative supervision over their activities with respect especially to civilian personnel, public relations, and decisions in matters of general policy.

Military command stemmed from CNO-COMINCH and was exercised mainly through the sea frontier commanders. The Vice CNO, by reason of his responsibility for logistics, dealt more directly with the district commandants than with the sea frontier commanders. Toward the end of the war, a considerable degree of management control of the shore establishment was restored to the Bureaus where it had at one time lodged, but had been withdrawn for reasons that will be described later in this work. To each Bureau management control over certain specific activities was now assigned. The management policies and procedures of the Bureaus were, however, subject to coordination and control by the civilian executive assistants of the Secretary. The relations of the Navy Department with the shore establishment will be covered in greater detail in the chapter on the "Shore Establishment."

The Operating Forces

In February 1941, nine months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but after the Navy had started neutrality patrols in the Atlantic, the naval forces were organized as follows and operated directly under the Chief of Naval Operations.



Fig. 4--Organization of the U.S. Navy (July 1945)
Fig. 4--Organization of the U.S. Navy (July 1945)


      Minecraft, Service Forces, and Training Units for the purpose of administering and standardizing the training and assignment of their personnel, their maintenance, servicing and matériel improvement, fixing allowances of stores, etc.
    1. The Task Fleets, comprising the striking forces of the Pacific Fleet. The Task Fleets in the Pacific were designated eventually as the Third Fleet, the Fifth Fleet, the Seventh Fleet, and the British Pacific Fleet (known as the Eleventh Fleet when operating as part of the Pacific Fleet). Submarines were a separate task force in the Pacific Fleet.
  1. The Atlantic Fleet, at the end of the war, included Type organizations and one Task Fleet, known as the Second Fleet. Specific Type organizations for the Atlantic Fleet consisted of Naval Aircraft, Destroyers, Submarines, Service Forces, and a Training Command.
  2. The U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and the Twelfth Fleet, which were under the administrative and logistic control of the Commander, Naval Forces, Europe, for training, equipment, maintenance, and assignment. The operational control of these Forces was distributed as follows:
    1. The Naval Forces in the United Kingdom were operationally under the Commander, Naval Forces, Europe.
    2. The Naval Forces in Germany and France were operationally under the Commander, U.S. Forces, European Theater of Operations.
    3. The Naval Forces in Northwest African Waters were operationally under the Allied Theater Commander.
  3. The Western, Eastern, Caribbean, and Gulf Sea Frontiers came directly under COMINCH. The Western Sea Frontier was unique in that, in addition to its regular defensive functions, it coordinated the logistic activities of the three West Coast Naval Districts. In this connection, the Commander Western Sea Frntier also reported to the Area Commander in the Pacific.


The reader will find the subject "Personnel" pervading this work throughout because men play the most important role in every step involved in preparing a nation for war and in making war, a role of greater importance even than a nation's natural resources or its favorable geographical location. Naval Personnel will be covered in some detail in the chapter on the "Bureau of Naval Personnel" and "Civilian Personnel" in the chapter by that name. It will be found, however, that personnel occupies an important place in every chapter of this history. It is appropriate therefore to devote a few pages in this overall survey of the subject.

Naval officer personnel may be treated under two headings, career officers of the regular Navy and Naval Reserve Officers. Only a small percentage of the Reserve Officers of World War II had had any previous naval experience. Those who went into the command branch of the Navy and saw duty on ships met with the same influences that mold the career naval officer. Their exposure to these influences was of course short, compared to that of career officers, and few reached high enough rank during


the war to be confronted with all of the responsibilities of career naval officers. Those assigned to shore duty, for example on administrative and technical work, often found their tasks much the same as the work they had been doing in civilian life. They had however to be indoctrinated with the ways of the military, especially with the importance of working in channels and complying with Navy Regulations.

High level civilians, normally older men, those needed by the Secretary of the Navy to fill important advisory and specialist positions, usually retained their civilian status. They were paid only nominal salaries or per diem expenses, following, with modifications, a practice inaugurated in World War I. The vast expansion and administration of the civilian working forces in the Navy Department and the Shore Establishment presented a still different problem. That subject is covered in the chapter on "Civilian Personnel".

Naval Personnel. Before World War II, the principal advisers and assistants of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Navy were career naval officers. A word is therefore in order as to how the career naval officer reacts to his responsibilities as a dedicated public servant, what concepts he holds with respect to loyalty to a superior, why he is frequently charged with ineptness in dealing with the public; in a word, why a career naval officer thinks as he does.

The thinking of naval officers is conditioned by their way of life, much of which is spent on ships. From earliest times the ship has been the nucleus of navies. The ship is, however, a unique organism, peculiar in that all of its internal activities must be completely integrated and subordinated to the good of the whole. This is essential because of the conditions under which ships must operate. Unless there is complete integration and subordination of all component elements to the good of the whole, a ship cannot function satisfactorily. This has led to the command system for the management of ships and to a way of life on naval ships that is not normal for those who live on land.

Basic to the command system afloat is the practically autocratic power that the commanding officer, or the master as he is called in the merchant service, must have in order that he may be able to carry out his responsibilities for the management and safety of his ship. Subject to Navy regulations the commanding officer has absolute authority over his ship and can in no way divest himself of responsibility for the ship. In the United Sates Navy a ship in commission is therefore never without a commanding officer. The Navy regulations are explicit in providing for succession to command under all circumstances. The presence on board of a flag officer diminishes neither the authority nor the responsibility of the commanding officer for the ship. This rule of the Navy reflects a way of the


sea which represents the accumulated experience of many centuries in the operation of ships and of many different maritime peoples. Experiments with other forms of ship government have failed. Democracies as well as totalitarian governments accept the principle that the commanding officer of a ship must exercise unqualified command with complete responsibility for the ship under his command.

The unrestricted line officer, representing by far the largest group of officers making a career of the Navy, becomes completely indoctrinated with this philosophy through many tours of duty at sea, beginning as a junior officer and including command of ships of various types. However, the same philosophy affects the thinking also of many others who make a profession of the Navy even though some of them, for example, the officers of the Civil Engineer Corps of the Navy, spend a little time a sea.

Even though the unrestricted line officer is concerned primarily with the management and operation of individual ships, aggregations of ships, and with naval aviation, he plays a crucial role also in the administration of the Navy Department and its shore establishments. This role has grown steadily in importance since 1815, when naval officers were first assigned to assist the Secretary of the Navy in the performance of his duties.

The creation of warships and naval aircraft, with their weapons and equipment, is one of the major administrative tasks of the Navy Department. The responsibility for carrying out this and other logistic functions on which the Fleet depends, rests mainly on the bureaus and the specialist officers and civilians staffing the bureaus and the shore establishment. However, all seagoing officers, when assigned to shore duty, particularly those in the command branch of the Navy, play a crucial role in connection with logistics, because they provide a continuous flow of practical sea experience into the Navy Department and its shore activities; and through rotation in duty, a corresponding counterflow into the Fleet of experience with Navy Department administrative problems. By this process, line officers have the last word as to the kind of ships, aircraft, and weapons the Navy must have to win victories. History shows that without sea experience as a guide to naval administration afloat and ashore no country can have a good fighting Navy.

When the career naval officer engages in administrative activities on shore he is instinctively guided by the philosophy underlying the management of ships. It is not that he may consciously attempt to transplant to the Navy Department or a shore activity the mores of the quarterdeck and the bridge, but rather that his approach to administration on shore is flavored by his seagoing experience. He does not feel compelled to make out a case for his opinions and actions as must the man in civil life on


shore who is under the constant pressure of competition of a kind that differs greatly from the competition in the Navy. He is apt, therefore, to fall back instinctively on the methods of administration and the techniques of operation that he finds necessary and universally accepted in the management of ships.

The naval officer's unchallenged authority on board ship tends to make him somewhat insensitive and unresponsive to the professional views of others. He is likely to be a much more forthright individual than his civilian associate. He does not shrink from making decisions, as he has had to make them every day since receiving his first commission. He seeks progress but is apt to be suspicious of new ideas just because they are new. His cost consciousness, dimmed through it may be by the wastefulness of war, often makes him unwilling to commit the government to expenditures for experiments that may not clearly lead to something useful. If he is an unrestricted line officer, he may not habitually recognize the importance of giving specialists in the naval establishment the authority and the free hand they need to get the best and quickest results from their labors. These characteristics have at times been the cause of friction between the line officers and officers in some of the technical bureaus who are specialists in their own fields.

However, by World War II the day of the career naval officer, who made a practice of using his shipboard powers arbitrarily on shore duty, lay well in the past. This came about largely through his own increasing adaptability to changing conditions. During the first decade of the 20th century the older element in the line still resisted the changes that the forward-looking officers in the Navy, both line and staff, but particularly the staff corps, wanted to make in the organization and management of the Navy Department and the Navy Department and the Navy Yards, as typified by the plans of Secretary Truman H. Newberry in 1908. With the introduction of post-graduate education for practically all line officers in a wide range of technical subjects and the assignment of line officers to at least one tour of duty at a Navy Yard or other shore station involving labor-management relations, the point had been reached by the outbreak of World War II where practically no officer arrived at flag rank without some and often considerable experience in handling personnel by other than the shipboard authoritarian method.

The command system has had a powerful influence on the career naval officer's concept of what constitutes loyalty to a superior. In order to avoid slavish compliance with the wishes of higher authority, all officers become thoroughly indoctrinated with the principle that the highest loyalty to a superior consists of expressing opinions forthrightly while a matter is under discussion, even though that opinion is known to be in


disagreement with the opinion held by the superior officer. It is even proper for a subordinate to ask for reconsideration of an order if he feels the order to be wrong. It is only after a subordinate has stated his objections clearly and fully and has been overruled that duty requires him to obey an order without further question. These fine distinctions are accepted as a matter of course within the naval service and become instinctive with career naval officers. However, such loyalty concepts are apt to lead to serious disagreements when an officer deals with those in high authority who have not been brought up on the same philosophy.

An outstanding example of such a disagreement was the one between Josephus Daniels and the naval officer hierarchy over the education of enlisted men. When Daniels became Secretary of the Navy in 1913 he took up with his naval aides a plan for classroom study on board ship by enlisted men of arithmetic, grammar, geography, spelling, and history. To make his position clear, he delivered a lecture on the subject at the Naval War College. The studies he advocated were to take the place of some of the time devoted by the crew to drills and ship upkeep. It was pointed out to him that any member of the crew interested in more education could get all the help he needed from his division officer, that it was a tradition in the Navy to help enlisted men to obtain advancement through study; and that devoting drill periods to classroom study would interfere seriously with the training and ship upkeep that had battle readiness for their objective.

These arguments were, however, of no avail, and on December 16, 1913, the Secretary issued General Order No. 63, which put his program for "Instruction on Board Ship" into effect. The Navy accepted the situation and did its best to carry out the order. The next year saw the beginning of trouble with Mexico and the outbreak of World War I in Europe. Ships then became so busy with their paramount duties that by the end of the war General Order No. 63 had died a natural death, and the Navy returned to its normal and traditional method of giving educational help to individual members of the crew requesting such help.

Josephus Daniels came into conflict with high level naval officers on a number of other issues, such clashes usually springing from differences of opinion on matters in which the naval officer's experience was at variance with the Secretary's judgment. This does not mean that there was unanimity of opinion among naval officers on all controversial matters. The Line of the Navy, for example, vigorously opposed the Secretary's proposal to give military titles to staff officers, but the move was popular with the officers of the staff corps. His order removing alcoholic beverages from ships was favored by many officers, even though it sometimes embarrassed them when they were unable to show hospitality to the officers


of foreign ships in the usual manner. The opposition of Admiral Bradley Fiske, Aide for Operations, and other high-ranking line officers to some of Daniels' beliefs created a strong prejudice in his mind against them and sowed in him the suspicion that Fiske and his colleagues were fighting civilian control of the Navy.

It has not been uncommon for similar clashes to occur during the administration of other Secretaries of the Navy. Certain sections of the press and even members of Congress have often interpreted these differences of opinion as attempts on the part of naval officers to take over control of the Navy Department. As a matter of fact, naval officers have had a particularly clear record of standing behind and favoring civilian control. No naval officer has ever been Secretary of the Navy, and only two so far as known were ever offered the position, but both declined appointment.

These episodes illustrate the great difficulty a well-intentioned and conscientious officer may have in doing his duty as he sees it. Where the administration of the Navy Department is involved, he runs the risk of being unjustly charged with opposing the principle of civilian control.12

The environment of the command system together with frequent experiences in dealing with those who have much authority but little knowledge of the Navy and its mission has bred in the career naval officer a type of integrity that finds expression particularly in honest dissent. Financial integrity can be taken for granted as a trait of practically all Americans who make public service their life work; but the integrity of differing, when dissent runs counter to an individual's personal interests or is at least highly unpopular with his superiors and colleagues, is of a higher order. The naval officer, especially in the higher echelons, is constantly faced with expressing dissenting views.


It will indeed be a sad day for national security when dissent and differences of opinion between military men themselves or between them and civilians are frowned upon and classed as undesirable traits of character.

It would, however, be an exaggeration to say that the requirements of the form of integrity motivate all naval officers under all circumstances. The career naval officer is a human being and has all of the potential frailties of human beings. For one thing, like all large and complex organizations, the Navy has its share of those who just coast along and get even, an individual unworthy by the high standards of the Navy reaches flag rank, but such instances are rare.

At the secondary level after the adoption of the Bureau system, naval officers began to occupy most of the key technical positions in the Navy Department and its shore stations. Such officers until the turn of the century were mostly specialists belonging to the various staff corps of the Navy. Ordnance was, however, always a specialty of the line. In 1911 the practise was started of assigning junior line officers to duty as assistants in the Hull and Machinery Divisions of Navy Yards on the kind of work previously performed exclusively by officers of the Construction Corps and those limited to engineering duty. This became part of the policy of stressing versatility as a requirement for the promotion of officers in the command branch of the Navy. Such officers were not expected to become experts in technical matters to the same extent as officers of the staff corps, and those restricted to engineering duty, but the experience gained did give them greater insight into the logistic problems of the Navy, and helped them to improve ship maintenance practises afloat.

Civilian Personnel. Thus, career naval officers were until World War II the principal naval, technical, and administrative advisers and assistants of the Secretary of the Navy. Nevertheless, civilian personnel played an important role in technical and administrative matters. This subject will be covered in some detail in the chapter on "Civilian Personnel" but it appropriate to mention certain of its aspects in this place, particularly the employment of high caliber civilians by the Navy Department on a temporary basis during World War II.

Few naval officers had at any time been lacking in appreciation of the contribution that competent civilian employees could and did make in carrying on the work of the Navy Department. Due to low salaries the problem had always been how to attract competent engineers, technicians, and administrative personnel to authorized positions. The matter of salaries was largely in the hands of Congress. The traditional civil service policy of overpaying the lowest grades and underpaying the highest grades, as compared to


salaries in business and industry, had also operated to make the Navy Department an unattractive career to ambitious civilians.

However, with the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the status of civilians in the Navy Department began to change. Both Frank Knox and James Forrestal, appointed Secretary, and Under Secretary of the Navy respectively in the summer of 1940, were capable and successful businessmen who approached the problems of Navy Department administration from the point of view of businessmen. They came to the conclusion that civilians must play a more responsible role than formerly in the administration of the Navy Department because civilians had skills, knowledge, and experience in certain fields that, for various reasons, had not been given sufficient prominence by the Navy Department in the past. They felt that the ability of the Navy Department to meet the challenge of the enormous expansion that lay ahead would benefit greatly by strengthening particularly some of its business practises.

In the beginning, the interest of Knox and Forrestal lay entirely in obtaining the temporary services of high caliber civilians to assist in handling the Navy Department's war production load. Most of these men were willing to give their services without much regard for the compensation they received from the Government. Knox and Forrestal realized that the tenure of their services was temporary and saw that in order to attract and hold competent civilians in such places after the war, salary ceilings would have to be raised considerably. During and right after the war, hundreds of civilian positions were accordingly created in the Navy Department at salaries corresponding to those paid for similar work in civilian life and in many cases higher than the salaries of the men in uniform carrying the main responsibility for their work. Besides covering a great variety of technical positions, they included administrative and executive jobs, many of which had not even been thought of before the war. THey covered refinements and intensification of fiscal controls, budgeting procedures, accounting, statistics, public relations, comptroller functions, coordinating functions, review of programs, and many others.

There is nothing mysterious about such specialties. They have developed in the industrial and business world as an inevitable response to the growing complexities of modern life. The thinking processes required are not beyond the capacity of the career naval officer, but the specialization that is necessary lies in most cases outside of his normal professional field. Some of the jobs were deliberately set up for civilians in order to ensure freedom from possible naval officer bias. Some were filled by civilians because civilians ensure a greater degree of continuity than would be provided by the rotation of naval officers. On the other hand, many of the positions that were set up for civilians would benefit from the rotation of the incumbents.


It is human for the ambitious, competent, and industrious civilians who were attracted to these positions as permanent careers during and after World War II to strive for the authority and the prestige they consider essential to the performance of their work. In m,any places naval officers had necessarily to be subordinated to civilians in order to give full effect to the new policy. Thus, the policy of broadening the base of civilian participation in the administration of the Navy Department opened up areas of friction and conflict between career naval officers and civilians that had not existed before.13

Against the gains that may be expected from high level civilian participation in the administration of the Navy Department, there must be expected also the delays that result form reviews, additional justification studies, re-appraisal of objectives and programs, and increased refinement in fiscal controls. These have inevitably slowed down administrative procedures by increasing paperwork and adding to red tape. In material procurement, for example, the time from the decision to procure something that cannot be taken directly from the shelf to the first move that can be made by the mechanic to produce the article has more than doubled.

It would be even more serious if, as a result of this change in policy, the talents and experience of the men in uniform were not fully utilized in the administration of the naval establishment. Shore duty at regular intervals must in any case be provided for the seagoing elements of the Navy because it is a social and psychological necessity. Men in this category will continue to be automatically available for supplying the sea experience that the Navy Department needs to provide the nation with an efficient Navy. It is a function that cannot be performed by civilians without sea experience. To acquire such experience they would have to be given military status, be placed under military discipline, and be given alternating sea and shore duty assignments. This would be the beginning of a cycle through which the Navy Department has already passed, resulting in the present system.

It will be remembered that originally the Navy Department was administered exclusively by civilians. After 25 years some naval officer participation was introduced by way of the Navy Commissioner system. Such participation increased gradually in two ways: first, by giving more and more of the civilian element in the Navy Department officer status through the Bureau system and,


secondly, by the adoption of the policy of assigning officers to shore duty after tours of sea duty instead of placing them in an unemployed status as was the custom in the British Navy.

In recent times the problems of naval administration have become so complex and varied that they now require more than ever teamwork of the highest order. The teams must necessarily be made up of naval officers and civilians, working side by side, in order that the special skills and experience of each may be brought to bear on the many problems encountered. One of the major preoccupations of a Secretary of the Navy must, therefore, always be to bring about maximum cooperation of the two elements that comprise these teams, and to delegate authority to them commensurate with their competence and responsibilities. As an administrative problem, it transcends all others in importance, and also in difficulty. From the beginning, it was so recognized by Frank Knox and James Forrestal. One of the purposes of this history is to relate the progress made in the solution of this problem during World War II.

Statistical Summary

A few statistics comparing the Navy at the beginning and at the end of World War II will serve to round out this overall survey. The data are given as of 1 July 1940 and 1945, respectively, and mark the approximate beginning in the summer of 1940 of the huge national defense program and the surrender of Japan in August 1945.14

Personnel 1 July 1940 1 July 1945
Personnel in uniform on active duty
        (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard)
203,127 4,031,097
Civilian personnel in the Naval Establishment 124,498 752,886
Naval Ships    
Major combatant ships 383 1,171
Displacement 1.3 million tons 4.4 million tons
Total number naval ships 1,099 50,759
Displacement 1.9 million tons 13.5 million tons
Total number, tactical and training 1,709 40,392
Approximate expenditures during preceding fiscal year $1.8 billion $30 billion


Personnel in the Navy Department, Washington, D.C. 1 July 1940 1 July 1945
CIvilian Personnel 3,787 18,833
Officers 722 13,279
Enlisted Personnel     277   19,446
Total Personnel 4,786 51,558


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (Foreword/Intro/Preface) * Next Chapter (2)


1 Naval Policy, 1940, U.S. Navy Department Library Pam. Nal(bp) U 58, 1940.

2 Naval Warfare (NWP-10) Washington, Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1955.

3 The Naval Genius of George Washington by Commodore Dudley W.Know, U.S.N. (Ret.) Houghton, Mifflin Company, provides a particularly illuminating account of the important part that the small sea forces of the Continental Congress and the Colonies played in the American Revolution, and of the extraordinary prevision displayed by George Washington in recognizing sea power as the touchstone for achieving the independence of the Colonies.

4 Stat. 553.

5 The seven volumes of Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War Between the United States and France, February 1797 to December 1799 compiled by Commodore Dudley W. Knox, USN (Ret) and published by the Government Printing Office, 1935-36, are the best source of information on the minutiae and variety of subjects with which the Secretary of the Navy had to deal personally during that period.

6 "A Brief History of the Organization of the Navy Department" by Captain A.W. Johnson, USN, Navy Paper No. 284, 76th Congress.

7 Stat. 202.

8 These tasks were defined and described in various official pronouncements during and after World War II, and were again set forth in some detail in The United States Navy, A Description of its Functional Organization. U.S. Government Printing Office, issued officially by the Secretary of the Navy in October 1952.

9 The Board consisted of Under Secretary Artemus L. Gates, Assistant Secretary H. Struve Hensel, Admiral C.P. Snyder, USN, Admiral F.J. Horne, USN, Admiral R.S. Edwards, USN, Admiral S.M. Robinson, USN, and Captain G.L. Russell, USN, Recorder. Rear Admiral A.W. Radford, USN was appointed on the Board, 3 October 1945, but was detached before completion of the Board's report. All members had been on duty in the highest administrative positions of the Navy Department almost continuously from the beginning of the war and represented a cross section of upper level responsibility and experience.

10 Management engineers Report "The United States Navy," November 1945.

11 Figure No. 4 was prepared originally to illustrate the official publication "The United States Navy: Its Present Organization," July 1945.

12 The phantom of possible naval officer control of the Navy Department and of naval policy was banished by the National Security Act of 1947. By that Act the National Security Council was created to define national policy and to synchronize and integrate military policy and defense preparations with national policy. The Act provides that the policy-making structure of the National Security Council shall be manned entirely by civilians under the personal chairmanship of the President. No naval officer or other military officer appears anywhere in the organization that formulates and determines naval policy, although naval officers may be heard before the Council, the Congress, and the President. Thus, at the highest level the alleged contest-for-control preoccupation becomes becomes meaningless, because the President, the National Security Council, and Congress are purely civilian and reign supreme in the field covered by the Act. Civilian control is spelled out still further in Section 2 of the National Security Act amendment of 1949 where, in speaking of the armed services, it say: ". . . to provide for their authoritative coordination and unified direction under the civilian control of the Secretary of Defense . . ."

With the mushrooming of the Defense Department, administration of the Navy Department has, however, become so enmeshed in the civilian machinery consisting of many Assistant Secretaries, boards, committees, etc., set up to ensure civilian control and to carry out the functions of the Department of Defense, all with power to say, "No," that considerable doubt has been expressed by competent observers as to whether the organization will be able to cope successfully with a national emergency and with actual war.

13 Whatever view is held with respect to civilian versus career naval officer competence in the broad fields of management and engineering, it should be remembered that the policy over the years of using professional naval officers in practically all key positions in the Navy Department and its shore activities produced ships, aircraft, and weapons, with which the nation's wars were won. It is significant also that after World War II American in industry and business employed retired career naval officers in large numbers. It may be mentioned also that British naval officers in the upper brackets of the command branch invariably speak with admiration of the service rendered by the technical officers in the United States Navy, when comparing them with their own civilian construction corps and civilian-managed dock yards.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation