Chapter XXI
Civilian Personnel

Introduction and Background

ADMINISTRATION of the civilian personnel of the Naval Establishment was one of the Navy Department's major tasks during World War II. By the end of the war, the Navy Department was the largest single employer of industrial labor in the world, with, on June 30, 1945, close to 753,000 people on its payrolls. of this number, about 20,000 were employed in Washington in the Navy Department itself.1 The largest part of those employed in the field were production workers in the continental Navy Yards, ordnance plants, aviation, and supply establishments, and in several thousand other smaller production activities operated by the Navy Department.

Until almost the end of the 19th century, a civilian, in order to obtain a job with the Federal Government, had to have some form of political backing. Employment under the Navy Department, whether in the field or in Washington, was no exception to the rule. Political connections with the party in power became a particularly potent factor in obtaining and holding a Government job during the Jacksonville era, when the so-called spoils system for filling government positions was in vogue. At about the middle of the century, men in private life interested in government reform, supported by many upper-level officials in the Executive branch of the government and even by some in the Legislative branch began to press for the adoption of a merit system for the appointment, promotion, setting of wages and salaries, of government employees and for protecting them against arbitrary discharge and other forms of unfair treatment.

When Gideon Welles became secretary of the Navy in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet in 1861, he made an attack on the system, presumably as he had had experience with political influence and interference in the


appointment and handling of civilian personnel when he was Chief of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing from 1846 to 1849. He made little progress, but did succeed in getting Congress to pass a law (12 Stat. 587-34 USC 505) in July, 1862, providing "That the hours of labor and the rate of wages of the employees in the navy yards shall conform as nearly as is consistent with the public interest with those of private establishments in the immediate vicinity of the respective yards, to be determined by the commandants of the navy yards subject to the approval and revision of the Secretary of the Navy."

This was probably the easiest first step to take in personnel reform because it met with little opposition from those currently employed at the navy yards, and did not affect the patronage of the politicians. It remained the basic law for determining the wages of civilian employees of the Naval Establishment in the artisan and labor categories through the years, but was placed in abeyance by Congress during the depression of the 1930's. During World War II, it was modified by the President under his war powers to fit in with the policies adopted by the War Labor Board and other agencies for handling such matters.

Civil Service reform became a plank in the platforms of both political parties after the Civil War. President Hayes was a militant civil service reformer, but could do little to further the cause during his own administration. The Pendleton Civil Service Act establishing the Civil Service Commission was, however, passed on 1883 during the administration of President Arthur, partly as a result of the indignation aroused over the assassination of President Garfield by a disappointed office seeker; but its scope was very limited at first. Its initial coverage for all departments was only 13,900 employees, about 10% of the total employed. In the case of the Navy Department, it covered only white collar employees receiving salaries of more than $720.00 per annum. Other white collar positions were gradually placed under Civil Service. On May 6, 1896, President Cleveland extended civil service to all civilian white collar employees of the Naval Establishment.

Civilians employed in the Naval Establishment are classified under two categories: So-called "White collar Workers" and "Blue collar Workers." The White collar category consists principally of Executives, engineering and Scientific personnel, Draftsmen, Stenographers and Typists, File CLerks, Guards, and similar occupations paid on a per annum basis. The merit system was at first applied only to white collar workers by placing the classification of positions, the determination of the eligibility of applicants, the establishment of eligible registers, and changes in their status under the Civil Service Commission.

Blue collar workers are those who, broadly speaking, produce with


their hands. They are known as Ungraded or Per Diem employees. For many years before and during World War II, they were classified under four groups, and continue to be so grouped: Group I, Laborers and others engaged upon manual work, which requires no mechanical skill or other trade knowledge; Group II, helpers and others engaged upon work which requires some mechanical skill or trade knowledge; Group III, artisans; and Group IVa, supervisors of Group I, Group II, and Group III employees.

No serious attempt was made to extend the merit system to blue collar workers until Benjamin F. Tracy became Secretary of the Navy in 1889, in the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1893). In his annual report for the year 1891, Tracy had this to say:

"How shall the Navy Department get good foremen and good workmen in its building and repair yards? ... Everybody knows, and it is of no use to evade the fact, that the navy yards have heretofore been used largely for purposes of political patronage. The system which I found in existence placed the power of the appointment of workmen in the hands of the foremen, and the foremen were generally political appointees. With such a system it was impossible that the test of fitness for employment at the yard should be the skill of the applicant. ..."2

In April 1891, he took the drastic step of declaring vacant all upper level supervisory positions in the navy yards. Boards of officers were appointed to examine candidates for the positions. The incumbents were allowed to compete, as well as all other navy yard employees and candidates from outside. The Navy Department appointed in every case the men recommended by the Boards. In some instances, the Boards found no candidate qualified. In such cases, a temporary appointment was made and a further examination was held. By this method, qualified foremen were obtained, and even more importantly, the appointee was no longer beholden to a political sponsor. From then on, all supervisory positions of that kind were filled only after written examination of candidates and appraisal of their past experience and records.

Secretary Tracy's next step was taken, in applying merit as the basis for the employment of blue collar workers, in an Order of September 1, 1891, setting up Labor Boards at navy yards and other activities employing large numbers of such workers. The Labor Board consisted of officers and civilians representing the various labor-employing departments of the activity, with a permanent civilian recorder as its full-time working member.

The pattern of Labor Board procedures was much the same as that of the Civil Service Commission in applying the merit system to the


employment of white collar personnel. The Labor Boards prepared registers by trades, helpers, and laborers, of applicants for jobs. Before placing a name on the register, such steps as practicable were taken to ascertain what experience the applicant had actually had in the employment requested. From the registers of eligibles, names in the order of their place on the lists were certified to fill the requisitions for Group I, II, and III personnel submitted by the working departments of the activity. The procedure was not, however, so simple as it sound, because preference of various kinds and degrees had to be given to veterans, former naval personnel, former navy yards employees, etc, in determining their place on the lists, in accordance with laws passed by Congress form time to time; but Labor Boards stood the test of time up to World War II, when some modifications in their personnel and procedures were made. The Civil Service Commission took over general supervision of Labor Boards in 1911, but left them with considerable autonomy in carrying out their functions.

Thus, the principal steps had been taken buy the turn of the century to substitute the merit system for political and other external influences in the employment, promotion, and payment of civilian personnel. Little had, however, been done to centralize in one place in the Navy Department, the administration of civilian employees. The Navy Regulations placed civilian personnel under the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, but the bureaus necessarily had crucial interest in the employment and management of such personnel, as civilians were their working forces in the field, and were paid from their appropriations. These were particularly important considerations in the case of the technical bureaus.

One of the objectives of Truman Newberry, during his short tenure as Secretary of the Navy terminating in 1909, was to bring about better organization and management of the nay yards. One facet of this program was more effective centralized administration of civilian personnel in the Navy Department itself. With the appointment of George von L. Meyer as Secretary of the Navy on March 4, 1909, the Newberry reforms were largely discarded, and the Aide System was adopted, to advise the Secretary in all matters of Navy Department administration, including the shore establishments. Josephus Daniels, the next Secretary of the Navy, allowed the system to lapse, with the result that no significant change was made in civilian personnel administration until a Director of Navy Yards was added to the Assistant Secretary's organization in 1921.

Navy Yards Division

The policies and procedures that had been developed for the employment of civilian personnel in the field through the Labor Boards were


basically sound, so that no particular difficulty was experienced in coping with the problem during World War II. That war was not a long one for the United States, and did not, in any case, strain the industrial manpower of the nation excessively. In 1916, after the war had been in progress in Europe for two years, there were fewer than 1000 civilian employees in the Navy Department in Washington, with about 36,000 in the shore establishment as a whole. When a shortage in white collar employees in the Navy Department began to make itself felt, it was largely relieved by the enrollment of Naval reservists, both men and women, to the number of about 4,000. At the peak, civilian employment in the Naval Establishment rose to about 130,000 in June 1818.3

However, World War I underlined the need for centralized administration in the Navy Department of shore establishments and their civilian personnel. Edwin Denby succeeded Josephus Daniels as Secretary of the Navy in March 1921, and was promptly briefed on this segment of Navy Department organization and administration. He issued General Order No. 68 under date of September 6, 1921, establishing a Navy Yard Division under the immediate supervision of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

On June 4, 1934, the title was broadened to Shore Establishment Division (SOSED). Its functions, listed under ten headings, were repeated in General Order No. 13 of May 13, 1935, and covered principally the physical aspects of the development and management of the shore establishments, as described in the chapter on "Shore Establishment." Only one of the ten headings made mention of personnel, as follows: "Civilian Personnel and Labor and all matters pertaining thereto, including the maintenance of high morale."

That the development and overall administration of the facilities of the shore establishments and their users were, early in 1940, still considered SOSED's paramount functions is indicated by the length of the testimony given on that subject before the House Naval Affairs Committee by Captain C.W. Fisher, the Director, at that time, of SOSED. Only a few pages in his lengthy testimony are devoted to civilian personnel; the rest to the physical aspects and uses of the shore establishments. But the emphasis was shifting rapidly to personnel when extensive expansion of civilian forces became imperative. The creation of the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management (PS&M) by the Secretary on December 6, 1938, to be described presently, accelerated the transition, as SOSED had to share certain responsibilities for civilian personnel in the field with PS&M.


Thus, when the President declared a National Emergency due to the outbreak of World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, the Navy Department had a fairly complete organization for administering civilian personnel, but much was lacking to implement the required procedures for expansion in the Navy Department itself and in the field. Normally, lessons to be learned from World War II are in this work pointed out with the recital of the pertinent experiences, or in the summary at the end of specific chapters. But it is appropriate, in the case of civilian personnel, to begin with a recital of a few of the obstacles that lay in the path of easy expansion of civilian personnel, as some of them contain valuable lessons for future guidance.

Expansion Problems

A basic administrative problem of the Navy Department practically throughout World War II was the enormous expansion in civilian personnel that had to be made to carry the work load of its shore establishments. If the expansion had been confined only to the navy yards and other peacetime activities in existence at the outbreak of the war the task would not have been too difficult, as Labor Boards operated by competent officers, permanent recorders, and civilian staff were, together with other mechanisms for handling civilian personnel, going parts of navy yard organizations. But, these mechanisms were lacking the new activities employing Navy Department civilian personnel. The number of activities in the Navy's shore establishment had to be increased about ten-fold. Many of these were, of course, small. But, the new ones especially suffered from the lack of written instructions for their guidance in building up and managing their working forces.4

The Navy Department had prepared no Manual of Instructions to fill this need. Some 8000 uncodified letters of instruction and information on civilian personnel matters ad been issued by the Navy Department going back to about 1910. These were not available for distribution to the new activities, and would not have been helpful if they had been furnished, as they were not organized into a manual and indexed as to contents. The lack of directives was a serious obstacle to the adoption of effective expansion procedures.


Rear Admiral Frederick G Crisp
Rear Admiral Frederick G. Crisp
Director of Division of Shore Establishment and Civilian Personnel, Feb. 1944-Sept. 1945.

Some critics of the Navy Department's administration of civilian personnel during the war allege a second serious obstacle to effective expansion. They speak of the inexperience and ineptitude of the line officer Commandants of Navy Yards and Commanders of other activities in handling labor-management problems as a serious handicap to effective civilian personnel administration. It is true that during World War II, line officers exercised these functions and had the last word in passing on labor-management matters in the field, subject of course always to review by higher authority.

The critics aver that those in civilian life who make a specialty of


Mr. Arthur S. Flemming
Mr. Arthur S. Flemming
Civil Service Commissioner, July 1939-Aug. 1948.

labor-management, relations were better qualified than naval officers for such work. Actually, even at the outbreak of World War II, no line officer of flag rank was completely lacking in experience in dealing with civilian personnel, and many had had considerable experience along such lines. Nevertheless, there is a difference in the point of view of the career naval officer and the civilian specialist, which should not be overlooked, in their respective approaches to labor-management disputes and other similar problems.

Briefly, the career naval officer views the work of the naval shore establishments as a public service having for its objective the creation and support of the operating forces of the Navy in the defense of the


country. He considers that the interests of the entire nation are involved in the quality and output of the Navy's shore establishments. The point of view is part of his concept of duty and loyalty as a dedicated public servant. On the other han d, the labor-management relations expert, fresh from civilian life, has had to give consideration on the management side only to the interests of the owners of the enterprise, at the most, the interests of a few hundred thousand stockholders in the case of the largest private companies. The specialist from civilian life, when employed in the Navy Department or in the field, therefore, always needed a period of indoctrination to acquaint him with the career naval officer's point of view and concept of his job in labor-management matters.

In the naval officer's concept there were, of course, included the fullest regard for the human and social rights of labor, safe and sanitary working conditions, assistance in getting to and from work, and a myriad of other factors that contribute to the contentment of the working forces. Career naval officers were, for example, pioneers in the movement for safer working conditions for all employees.5

As the war progressed, civilian personnel specialists were employed in considerable numbers in the Navy Department and in the shore establishment, many of them as Reserve Officers.6 Those employed in the Navy Department cam form the upper level of the profession in civilian life, but that did not insure unanimity of professional opinion among them.

In fact, one of the obstacles encountered by the Navy Department was the difference in opinion among civilian personnel specialists themselves, when called on to help develop effective Navy Department policies and procedures. These differences related to fundamental issues such as responsibility for the formulation, interpretation, and application of policies; the degree of central review of policy; and what controls constitute


unreasonable interference with the responsibility of local management. Generally, civilians advocated a degree of central authority beyond that implied in the naval tradition that the top-level command tells subordinate echelons only what to accomplish, not how to do it. The differences underlined the fact that labor-management relations cannot be reduced to an exact science even though Frederick W. Taylor and his associates in the early part of the 20th Century revolutionized the thinking on the subject by advocating "Scientific Management" as the answer to labor-management problems.

One of the greatest obstacles to the standardization of policies and practices was the continuous reorganization and warring between the emergency agencies created to regulate and coordinate the nation's war production and civilian manpower problems. The tremendous competition for the limited industrial manpower available lay at the bottom of the struggle. The agencies constantly questioned the Navy's expressed needs, and often issued conflicting recommendations with little consideration for actual conditions. The Navy's splendid working relations with the Civil Service Commission in Washington and at the regional level in the field were heartening exceptions to this rule, and were due mainly to the broadmindedness of Civil Service Commissioner, Arthur S. Flemming, and to his willingness to introduce flexibility into Civil Service policies and practices to meet war emergency situations. He was adept in finding solution s to knotty problems and tireless in striving for better mutual understanding of special problems and of the routine relationships between Civil Service and the Navy. He was a Civil Service Commissioner from July 1939 to August 1948. But his influence in Civilian Personnel matters extended beyond Civil Service, as he was also a member of the War Manpower Commission from 1942 to 1945, as well as of the Navy Department Manpower Survey Board in 1943 and 1944.

Administrative Responsibilities

Every bureau and office in the Navy Department and every shore activity in the field employed some civilians. In the case of most of them, many more civilians were on the rolls than personnel in uniform. As a consequence, all bureaus shared in the responsibility for the administration of civilian personnel. But, what was everybody's business in overall administration was nobody's specific responsibility.

As already mentioned, ten functions comprised the duties assigned to the Navy Yard Division by the General Order establishing the division, later called the Shore Establishment Division, but only one mentioned civilian personnel. The Shore Establishment Division did not reliever the


bureaus of their responsibilities for carrying out their missions. They were responsible for performing the work assigned to them by law, regulations, and custom, and needed civilian personnel for doing the work. Moreover, they paid the wages and salaries of civilian personnel from appropriations under their cognizance.

The Chief of Naval Operations felt that he also should have some authority in this connection because he was responsible for the readiness of the operating forces for war. He was furthermore involved in the matter because the commandants of the Naval Districts reported to him and they were charged with the military command, and up almost to the end of the war, with the management control of the industrial shore establishments in their districts.

Thus there were many officers in the Navy Department that had responsibilities connected with civilian personnel, but there was no single office that exercised general supervision and control over this large sector of the Navy Department's administrative activities. The Assistant Secretary provided coordination of a sort by requiring all appointments and promotions of white collar workers in both the Navy Department and the shore establishments to clear through the Chief Clerk's organization, but this was, in many ways, a handicap rather than a help to good administration. No white collar worker in the Navy Department or in the field could be added to the rolls or have his classification changed without the express authority of the Secretary's Office. his policy did, however, prevent shore establishments doing similar work in different parts of the country from getting out of line completely as to grades and numbers of white collar personnel employed. But it slowed down the expansion of these forces when the need arose, and contributed nothing toward establishing helpful policies for dealing with civilian personnel problems in general. Such improvements as were made were usually initiated in the bureaus.

Oddly enough, in the employment and change in status of blue collar workers, the shore establishments had a completely free hand. The numbers and trades employed were left to each activity. Increases and reductions in force were made on the basis of the work load on hand and the availability of funds for doing the work.

Other departments of the Federal Government were presumably also suffering from unsatisfactory personnel administration. This resulted in the issuance by the President of Executive Order No. 7916 of June 24, 1938. It stipulated under Section 6 that "The HEads of the Executive Departments ... shall establish in their respective department ... a Division of Personnel Supervision and Management, at the head of which shall be appointed a Director of Personnel, qualified by training and experience ...


for such appointment." The order went into considerable detail with regard to the functions of the office, and its relationships with the Civil Service Commission. In conformity with the order, the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management (PS&M) was established by the Secretary of the Navy on December 6, 1938, with Mr. Charles Piozet, an employee with many years of experience in dealing with personnel matters in the Navy Department, as Director of Personnel.

The establishment of PS&M did not, however, provide solutions for most of the Navy Department's personnel problems. In the survey of Navy Department organization made for Secretary Knox by the management consultant firm of Booz, Fry, Allen and Hamilton in their report of August 15, 1941, the Office of PS&M came in for sharp criticism.

The adverse comments were introduced by the following observations: "We have had ore criticism by the bureaus of the Central Personnel Division than of any other factor in the entire Department. Some of this comment is, of course, unjustified. But the distrust and derogatory comment regarding this Division is not entirely without foundation. We believe that the Department has a long way to go before it will have a Personnel Division of which it can be proud. ... Mr. Piozet is a master diplomat and has a ready answer for every person and situation. He cooperates orally very well, but his cooperation resolves itself into action very slowly. While he, himself, gives the casual observers a feeling that the Personnel Division is streamlined and operating smoothly, this is not true when you get past him into his immediate staff. The unsatisfactory weak personnel with which he has surrounded himself is a reflection on Mr. Piozet."

Early in 1940, during the last months of the term of Charles Edison as Secretary of the Navy, he attempted to strengthen the powers of the Shore Establishments Division, which shared responsibility with PS&M for the administration of civilian personnel. He proposed to Congress a redistribution of duties in the Navy Department with a view to placing the administration of the shore establishment and the supervision of civilian personnel under an Office of Shore Activities, to be headed by a naval officer with the rank of Vice Admiral. The concept behind the proposed plan was to place the producer logistics and other non-military functions of the Navy Department under a Chief having authority in such matters, similar to those of the Chief of Naval Operations for the operation of the Fleet and the preparation and readiness of plans for its use in war.

The hearings before the House Naval Affairs Committee on the proposed law brought out testimony from the Director of SOSED, Captain C.W. Fisher, USN (later Rear Admiral), giving his concept of the


functions of SOSED and PS&M.7 Captain Fisher was an officer of the Construction Corps of the Navy with long experience in civilian personnel management.

In the matter of civilian personnel, Captain Fisher stated that SOSED "exercised departmental supervision" over white collar employees of Group IVb in collaboration with the Director of Personnel." He stated also that "another function of the Shore Establishment Division is usually described as labor relations. It is in constant touch all the time with complaints, recommendations, and remarks of labor unions and the individual employees in the various field establishments." All matters relating to civilian employees, involving retirements, re-rating, transfers, travel, interpretation of leave laws, sick leave laws, and etc., came under the cognizance of SOSED. In general, however, the role of that office was advisory, especially in regard to labor management matters; and the views of that office might or might not be adopted in the field by individual Commanding Officers. Captain Fisher stressed the importance of granting statutory authority to SOSED for the performance of its functions. However, the reorganization proposed by Charles Edison was not acted upon favorably. The inference can be drawn from questions asked by its members that the Naval Affairs Committee believed SOSED to have adequate authority to carry out its mission.

Not having succeeded in interesting Congress in an Office of Shore Activities, Charles Edison, a few months later, urged the addition of an Under Secretary of the Navy to the civilian hierarchy of the Navy Department, to specialize on the procurement and production of war material. The position was authorized by Congress, but did not change the situation with respect to civilian personnel administration, as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy retained responsibility for that function.

War Plans

SOSED, as described in some detail in the chapter on the "Shore Establishment," had extensive responsibilities for the development and improvement of exiting shore establishments and the creation of additional stations and facilities considered necessary to carry out the Navy's


Fig. 34-- Organization of Shore Establishment Division (SOSED) (1 July 1941)
Fig. 34--Organization of Shore Establishment Division (SOSED) (1 July 1941)


mission. The last mentioned of the ten SOSED functions listed in General Order No. 13, mentioned above, was "coordinating the above activities and functions with War Plans ad Fleet Operating Schedules."

To carry out this directive, Section SOSED-7, as shown on Figure 34, dated 1 July 1941, was established to assist CNO, Op-30 (Office of Naval Districts), in making the plans. The basic plan, after being carried to a certain point, was then turned back to SOSED by Op-30 for the preparation of more detailed instructions.

An over-all Civilian Personnel War Plan was approved in 1939, but did not define the respective responsibilities of SOSED, the Bureaus, the District Commandants, and Commanding Officers in the field, for implementation of the plan. But it did require the Naval District organizations to develop local plans, based on the departmental plan.

District Civilian Personnel Officers (DCPO) were added to the Naval District organizations to assist Commandants in carrying out the War Plans, among other duties. The Department War Plan required the naval districts to supply SOSED with estimates of their civilian personnel needs in the event of war. One of the duties of the DCPO's was to gather and to summarize the estimates for transmission to SOSED. Other duties involved the planning of employee welfare, transportation, housing, and draft deferments. The tasks were stated in the War Plan, but not how to perform them. THeir performance required improvisation at the field level. Steps were taken to initiate a program for vocational training in Navy Yards, which will be discussed below under Training Programs for the draft deferment of skilled employees and for recruitment were outlined, but required further elaboration. No War Plan could, however, foresee the nature of the many new Federal, State, and Local War Agencies that were created to deal with war manpower problems, nor foresee the need for such instruments of control as Production Urgency and Labor Priorities Committees.

ALthough the War Plan placed upon SOSED responsibility for its implementation, no directives had been issued to the District Civilian Personnel Offices (DCPO) with reference thereto before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Instructions given to them were limited to those found in the War Plan. The DCPO's, therefore, had to develop their own programs and methods of operation.

The Shore Establishments Division also maintained, under the designation SOSED-4, an office charged with the administration of the civilian personnel of the Navy Department and field services in all matters pertaining to carrying out the rules and regulation of the Civil Service Commission. In doing this, its functions were to include recruiting, placement, classification, efficiency rating, employee relations, training and statistics.


This section was headed by a civilian, Mr. Charles Piozet, already mentioned as the Director of Personnel who headed the division of PS&M, and, as such, came directly under the Assistant Secretary. Thus, his relations with Rear Admiral Fisher, Director of Shore Establishments, were actually coordinate rather than subordinate as the head of a division in SOSED.

Section SOSED-1A dealt with labor relations, liaison with the Department of Labor, matters pertaining to labor unions, strikes and controversies, labor legislation and policies, and training at Navy yards and private plants.8

As the threat of war increased, the dividing zone in SOSED between advisory functions and responsibility for administrative supervision, became narrower. Despite DOSED's contention that it both supervised civilian personnel activities and collaborated with the Division of Personnel SUpervision and Management in civilian personnel administration in the Department as well as the field, its major efforts in these respects concerned the field, especially the Navy Yards. In actual practice, most of the responsibility for white collar civilian personnel administration rested with PS&M.

By 1943, it was apparent that SOSED was losing its struggle for a larger part n the administration of the shore establishments. On 15 March 1943, Admiral King, Cominch-CNO, wrote to Admiral Fisher, stating his belief that the title Director of Shore Establishments should be changed to include Industrial Relations, and thus more properly reflect that the functions of the SHore Establishments Division be transferred to Op-39, Office of Naval Districts; but the transfer was not approved. In the meantime, bureau pressure on the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to improve the handling of civilian personnel increased steadily.

Division of Personnel Supervision and Management (PS&M)

A further look at the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management is in order. When this Division was established, the advantages of placing it within the Shore Establishments Division, rather than making it a separate part of the Assistant Secretary's Office, were discussed, but this would not have complied literally with the Executive Order No. 7916.

Originally, the Director of PS&M advocated centralized personnel control as opposed to decentralization to the bureaus, because he considered the bureaus inadequately staffed, also because decentralization would have caused dispersal of records and duplication of effort. By 1941, PS&M was maintaining records on all Group IVb civilian employees in the Navy


Department, and processed all personnel transactions, appointments, promotions, transfers, separations, and efficiency ratings. Some of these functions were duplicated in the Shore Establishments Division, but joint meetings of the personnel of corresponding sections in the two Divisions provided for collaboration and agreement on policies. About the only clear demarcation between the two Divisions was that PS&M had nothing to do with safety engineering, and SOSED had nothing to do with white collar position classification in the Navy Department itself.

As the work in the Navy Department expanded during the period of emergency immediately preceding the war, the bureaus became more and more impatient of the delays in the PS&M and began dealing directly with the Civil Service Commission in matters of recruitment, and also attempted to by-pass PS&M in classification matters. PS&M sanctioned some decentralization early in 1942, but there was no uniformity in this regard as between bureaus.

On October 5, 1942, Lieutenant Commander Samuel H. Ordway, Jr., USNR (later Captain), previously mentioned, began a survey of the Division of Personnel SUpervision and Management, and in his first report stress four points:

The report made nineteen specific recommendations for improving PS&M's operation. Assistant Secretary Ralph A Bard took immediate steps to put many of these into effect, particularly in the area of bureau relationships with PS≈M. A Departmental Personnel Council of Bureau Civilian Personnel Officers was established in February of 1943, and the development of Bureau Personnel Offices was stressed.

Although improvements were made in the operation of PS&M, it was evident that a merger of that DIvision with SOSED was essential if the Navy Department' administration of civilian personnel was to be placed on a sound basis. Butt the two offices limped along separately for another ten months.

Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP)

In September 1943, the Assistant Secretary ordered a Committee to study the subject. The Committee recommended the merger of SOSED and PS&M to form a Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian


Personnel (SECP). The new Division was established under date of January 20, 1944, with Rear Admiral Frederick G. Crisp, USN, as its Director, and Captain Emmett Sprung, USN, as his principal assistant. Both were career officers of the former Construction Corps, with long Navy Yard experience in handling civilian personnel.

In order to give Rear Admiral Crisp a free hand, the Assistant Secretary assigned Rear Admiral Fisher and Mr. Charles Piozet, the former heads of SOSED and PS&M, respectively, to other duty. An important position was vacant on the Navy Manpower Survey Board, of which Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews, USN, was the senior member. Fisher was assigned to fill the vacancy. The Board undertook a survey of the military and civilian personnel situation of the whole Naval Establishment, with a view to determining whether more effective use could be made of available manpower.

Mr. Piozet was appointed "Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary and Adviser on Civilian Personnel Administration." His duties included liaison with Congress and Budget authorities. He also served as the Navy Department representative on various committees dealing with manpower and civilian personnel problems.

After a survey of the existing organizations and the task that lay ahead, Rear Admiral Crisp set up, under date of February 10, 1944, the tentative organization shown on Fig. 35. Most of the personnel of the two former offices were retained, and redistributed to the new organization, but additional specialists were recruited from time to time as necessary, to fill the needs of the new office. any came from civilian life and were commissioned in the Naval Reserve. Crisp decided immediately that the SECP would be an out-and-out policy-forming and advisory staff office and that operating responsibility would be left in the bureaus and the shore activities.

One of the first and most important tasks undertaken by the new office was the collection, indexing, and reissuance, in a single volume, of about 3000 instructions still applicable to the current civilian personnel situation.9 There was great need for such a manual, as some 8000 uncodified, unindexed pieces of correspondence on civilian personnel matters had been issued going back to about 1910. New activities were especially in need of such a manual. This resulted eventually in the preparation and circulation of "Navy Civilian Personnel Instructions" to all activities in the Naval Establishment employing civilian personnel.

Another forward step of great importance was taken early by


Fig. 35--Organization of Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP) (10 Feb. 1944)
Fig. 35--Organization of Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP)
(10 Feb. 1944)


decentralizing the employment of civilian white collar workers along lines such that there was practically no more delay in employing a needed individual in the field in this category than there was in employing a blue collar worker.

The Bureaus and Civilian Personnel before SECP

When PS&M was originally established, no clear-cut statement of its functions and authority was issued to the naval service, but, under date of May 16, 1939, its Director stated "The administration of civilian personnel of the Navy Department ... is centralized in PS&M. There are no separate sections in the bureaus and offices of the Department to handle specifically personnel matters, such matters being handled by the personnel of the various Chief Clerks' offices in addition to their other duties. ... All personnel actions affecting employees in the departmental service ... whose positions are under classification ... are taken in PS&M."10 This statement was not helpful to the bureaus in planning personnel expansion. The organization and procedures followed by the respective bureaus in such matters are described in the several chapters covering their histories, but will be reviewed briefly in this place.

In the case of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, in 1939 civilian personnel came under the Paymaster General's Civilian Assistant, whose functions were merged with those of the Chief Clerk in July 1941. In 1939, the Bureau's entire civilian personnel consisted of about 600 people, of whom 61 ere engaged on personnel employment and management work. By the end of 1941, the numbers had risen to 309 on the latter work, with a total of 1,727 on the bureau payroll. The total number rose rapidly, reaching 4,000 eventually, but PS&M would not authorize an increase in the numbers engaged pn civilian personnel staff work. BuSandA thereupon appointed Reserve Officers with experience and training in personnel administration to fill its needs.

The Chief Clerk of the Bureau of Ordnance was responsible for civilian personnel employment and management in the Bureau. In the fall of 1940, the work was segregated under a newly created Civilian Personnel Section headed by the Chief Clerk. This section was eventually transferred from the Chief Clerk's Office to the Administrative Division. Beginning in 1942, much of the responsibility for civilian personnel matters was placed under the various division and section heads, thus further decentralizing these functions.

In the Bureau of Ships, civilian personnel administration was handled during the short-of-war period, as in former times, by the Chief Clerk, and


by the Chief Draftsman; but, in 1941, when the Booz Management Survey pointed out wherein the current procedures were a bottleneck, a Reserve Officer with personnel management experience was appointed to head a new Civilian Personnel Section. From June 1940 to June 1945, civilian personnel employed in BuShips increased from 990 to 3,810, while those engaged on civilian personnel procurement and management in the Bureau itself rose from 25 to 96. The Bureau of Ships was one of the first to receive authority from PS&M to handle the employment, classification, and management of such personnel; this largely because the work was being done with a minimum of overhead and with marked efficiency. However, many of the technical positions in the Bureau were being filled by specially qualified and selected Reserve Officers.

The Bureau of Aeronautics Civilian Personnel Procurement Office consisted, through 1940, of three clerks in the Chief CLerk's Office, supplemented by policy-making boards dealing with such matters, the most noteworthy being the Civilian Personnel Board. Plans for reorganizing the Chief CLerk's Office were undertaken in May 1941, as a result of Booz Survey recommendations. This marked the beginning of BuAer's centralized personnel procedures. That Bureau also filled most of its technical positions with specially selected Reserver Officers.

Civilian personnel was handled similarly in the other bureaus. All were eventually given permission by PS&M to deal directly with the Civil Service Commission and to take charge when the need arose of their own recruiting and selection programs. However, by April 1942, expansion of civilian personnel in the Bureaus seemed to be getting out of hand, with the result that Assistant Secretary of the Navy Bard stopped all additions to such forces in the bureaus for 75 days, after which increases were again permitted.

As bureau personnel offices became more adept and better staffed to perform their functions, further delegation of authority was put into effect and additional mechanisms were set up to handle specific problems. Such were the establishment of the Employees Counseling Program on January 19, 1943; the Bureau Council for Personnel Administration on February 17, 1943; partial decentralization of classification authority to the Bureaus on September 1, 1943; and authority to classify all Group IVb personnel (white collar, classified civilians) on January 5, 1944; decentralization of Field Personnel Jackets on March 11, 1944; delegation of placement authority on April 5, 1944; the formal establishment of Bureau Civilian Personnel Offices (long after most were established) on June 16, 1944.

The above was broadly the situation inherited by Rear Admiral Crisp when SECP was established on January 20, 1044.


Fig 36--Organization of Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP) (7 June 1945)
Fig. 36--Organization of Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP)
(7 June 1945)


Departmental Services Unit

With the adoption of the tentative SECP organization on February 10, 1944, shown on Figure 35, the policy-making and personnel processing tasks were distributed among five functional branches of the SECP. These were headed by former SOSED section heads, accustomed to dealing with field activities. They urged setting up a special group with appropriate sections to handle the administration of departmental civilian personnel, as distinguished form the personnel in the field, as their problems were usually quite different.

Pursuant to a SECP letter of July 14, 1944, a group of ten sections, known as the Departmental Services Unit, was established on August 1, 1944. A chart dated June 7, 1945, on file in the Navy Department but not reproduced in this work, gives the details of the functions of this group. However, the organization of the group is given on Figure 36 of the same date. While the sections dealt mostly with departmental personnel problems, such as recruitment, training, counselling, selection and assignments, allocations, records and recreation, it had a section also for liaison with Selective Service and for handling occupational deferments of personnel in the field.

The unit immediately brought about a great improvement in inter-bureau and Bureau-SECP relations. However, as soon as the bureaus achieved virtual autonomy in their civilian personnel operations, they resisted guidance from the central office. In order to give it more authority, the Departmental Services Unit was transferred to the Administrative Office of EXOS on September 1, 1945.

Expansion and Ceilings

Early in 1943, the Bureau of the Budget, under authority of Public Law 821, 77th Congress, limited the Navy's white-collar force to 19,400 in Washington, and 125,000 in the field. Fearing that this would be too small a number to fill the Navy's ever-growing needs, Congress was persuaded to pass the white-collar War Overtime Pay Act of 1943 (Public Law 49), authorizing, for the first time, overtime pay for IVb per annum employees. But to guard against abuses, Congress gave to the Bureau of the Budget drastic control over the size of such forces and overtime that could be paid.

The ceiling program for the Navy was, at first, administered in PS&M, but had to be delegated to the bureaus when the reporting machinery of PS&M, needed to send quarterly estimates to the Bureau of the Budget, proved inadequate. However, decentralization of the ceiling program to


the bureaus, also proved unsatisfactory, and it was turned over to the Employment Branch of SOSED late in 1943.

At times in 1944, the Navy Department faced the loss of power to pay overtime as it appeared in danger of exceeding its ceilings. Improved record-keeping and reporting procedures overcame this threat. With increased proficiency of Bureau Personnel Officers, and in line with the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel's decentralization policy, ceiling controls for individual above activities were again returned to the bureaus. The SECP decided which bureaus had the predominant interest in the respective activities, and assigned responsibility for civilian personnel complements to that bureau.

There was no law similar to Public Law 49 to regulate the size of the blue collar working forces in the Navy's industrial shore establishments. Wages of such employees were already based on the wages paid in private industry in the vicinity, as required by the law of 1862 previously mentioned. In 1943, Congress, the Bureau of the Budget, the War Manpower Commission, and the Navy Department became concerned over allegations that manpower was being wasted in the Navy's shore activities. This led to the labor utilization studies, referred to later in this chapter.

The SOSED recognized in this connection the importance of making estimates of anticipated future needs for civilian personnel at Navy Yards and stations in order to plan realistic recruitment and training programs. In the absence of precise knowledge of future work loads, the Employment Branch of SECP, the successor of SOSED, made such estimates, based on information received from the DCPO's. The Civil Service Commission and the War Manpower Commission were furnished the estimates for use in planning inter-regional recruitment programs. The Navy Department took the preparation of these estimates very seriously so as to be able to stand behind them in order to avoid time-consuming labor utilization surveys. Beginning March 12, 1945, to insure uniformity, all shore activities anticipating increases in working forces had to request them through the Under Secretary of the Navy, via the cognizant Bureau and SECP. This procedure remained in effect until the end of the war.

DCPO's in Naval District Organizations

As already mentioned, the War Plan, approve din 1939, placed the responsibility for the preparation of civilian personnel procurement and training programs in SOSED, but did not go into the details of the relationships that would have to be developed between SOSED, the bureaus, and the District Commandants, in order to carry out the programs


effectively. Provision was, however, made in the plan for the addition of a District Civilian Personnel Officer (DCPO) to the Commandant's staff, to work out the implementation and operation of the plant at the naval district level.

The Navy Regulations (Articles 1481-1485 of the 1920 edition, with changes up to date) were explicit as to the Commandant's responsibility and complete authority in all matters affecting district activities, and that he was the direct representative of the Navy Department, including its bureaus and offices. But the Regulations provided also that he was not to interfere with the management of the establishments in his district having commanding officers, unless unusual circumstances made this necessary, nor was he to be responsible for the technical work being done by any of the various organizations. These were Navy policies of long standing and made it difficult at first for the newly created DCPO functions to obtain a foothold and to render the services contemplated for the position. Some commanding officers of shore activities did not welcome what they considered to be unnecessary intrusions into their management responsibilities and authority by a member of the Commandant's Staff. Depending in a large measure on personalities, some DCPO's therefore had difficulty in obtaining information about civilian personnel needs and practices in the several activities. DCPO's sometimes had first to inform commanding officers of shore stations of their existence, and then had to convince them that they had something of value to contribute to the solution of personnel problems.

One of their early important contributions was in the field of deferment of Navy employees from the draft. Letters prepared by the DCPO's informed naval activities in the District how records should be kept and how deferment forms should be filled out. DCPO's provided this same service to Navy contractors in the District. The first of these DCPO's letters of advice elicited little response form the recipients, but as the draft began to take its toll, DCPO's began to receive requests for assistance in making out cases for individual deferments.

On September 22, 1942, the Shore Establishments Division issued its first directive for District Civilian Personnel Officers; subject: "Field Organization for Industrial Manpower." Sn Industrial Manpower Section had been set up in SOSED to deal with the DCPO's on the handling o f the personnel problems of naval suppliers. However no section was created to instruct DCPO's with respect to handling similar problems in the Navy's own activities. The Division of Personnel SUpervision and Management did not call upon dCPO's for any services in the field, and the Shore Establishments Division addressed most of its letters with reference to personnel in Navy Yards and shore stations directly to their


Commanding Officers. A letter dated September 26, 1942, from the Chief of Procurement and Material informed Naval Inspectors that the DCPO was the official in the District Commandant's organization concerned with labor supply problems.

Each of the Naval Districts covered a number o States and the need for larger DCPO staff and for branch offices soon became pressing. As time went on, many DCPO's found themselves overburdened with work, but limited in authority for handling the civilian personnel problems coming up for solution.

Several efforts were made by the Shore Establishments Division to consolidate all District personnel activities under the direction of the District Civilian Personnel Officer. After the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel was organized, the consolidation was ordered on April 6, 1944. District Civilian Personnel Officers became District Civilian Personnel Directors (DCPD), and all Vocational Training, Labor Relations, Safety, and Position Classification Officers attached to the District reported thereafter to the DCPD.

To answer the need for some uniformity in DCPD organization, in July of 1944, SECP issued "Instructions for Operations to District Civilian Personnel Directors" that set forth the mission, task, functions, and operational services of the DCPD. These instructions were issued as a guide, since DCPD's were not branch offices of SECP, but staff offices of the Commandants of the respective District. This guide called for decentralization of the District functions to the branch offices, and for each area to provide Navy representation on the new decentralized Area Manpower Priorities Committees.

There was still no office in SECP which had exclusive responsibility for issuing directives to the DCPD's. This looseness of organization left the DCPD considerable freedom to develop his own methods of carrying out the mission in his own way, but it also deprived hi of direction from a central source of information and authority. As their staffs grew, management of their own offices became one of the important tasks of the DCPD's.

District Civilian Personnel Directors also had internal problems involving their relationship with the Commandants of their Districts. It was intended that the DCPD act as a staff adviser to the Commandant, but in some District, the DIstrict Personnel Officer (Military) (DCPO) was made responsible for th DCPD. However, a SecNav directive of April 6, 1944, provided that the DCPD "shall be subordinate to no other District staff function but shall be directly responsible to the Chief of Staff and to the District Commandant."

The final step in the evolution of the DCPD's came in 1945 when


the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel authorized them, whether invited or not, to visit all naval activities within their Districts and to survey and submit reports on civilian personnel matters in each activity.

Personnel Relations Officer (PRO)

The DCPO's served in a staff capacity in the organizations of the Commandants of the Naval Districts. But some mechanism was needed in addition in the industrial activities of the shore establishments, such as the Navy Yards, Ordnance Plants, large supply depots, and etc., to implement the civilian personnel policies of the Navy Department, as transmitted through the DCPO's. Early in 1942, Secretary Knox had a survey made at the Navy Yards, Boston, New York and Puget Sound, by a firm of personnel management specialists (Industrial Relations Counsellors, Inc.), to obtain their advice on handling such matters. Pursuant to recommendations made in their report, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in a letter of September 10, 1942, authorized the assignment of a Personnel Relations Officer at all of the larger industrial activities of the Navy.

Some Navy Yards took to the idea more quickly than others. The need was also greater in some places than in others. When SECP was established in the Navy Department in January 1944, all Navy industrial activities that did not already have a Personnel Relations Division were urged to set one up. The typical Personnel Relations Division of the Navy Yards and other similar establishments consisted of six sections: Labor Board, Labor Relations Section, Employment Section, Training Section, Safety Section, Employee Welfare, and Service Section. Under the last mentioned came such activities as the management of restaurants, recreation facilities, etc.

Employee Group Relations

Relations with organized employee groups, labor unions, and other nationwide groups such as veterans' organizations, had been the subject of much thought over the years in the Navy Department, as well as in the Navy yards and other shore activities. An organized employee group is defined as a group of civilian Navy employees who have formed an organization for consultation with management with a view to promoting the general welfare of its members. Such groups differ from labor unions, in that most of their interests and aims are local in character whereas labor unions, veterans' organizations, brotherhoods, and the like are more interested in policies and practices that have nationwide application. Many civilian employees of the Government belong to both types of


organizations. The handling of the relations with such groups became one of the important functions of the Division of Personnel Relations, and were of such importance that they received much personal attention from the uppermost management echelons.

The labor relations policies of the Navy Department have always recognized the principle that Navy civilian employees have the right to join or refrain from joining organized employee groups and labor unions. The Navy Department holds that communication between management and employees develops respect and creates good will, that employees express themselves more freely through organized groups than as individuals, and that discussion between representatives of the various groups and Navy management officials is generally of mutual advantage.

Group dealings, as practised by the Navy, is however, no collective bargaining, as defined and practised in industry. Government employees, for example, may not participate in strikes or assert the right to strike against the Government. This principle was finally incorporated in law in order to curb unreasonable labor union demands.11

Organized employee groups, as well as labor unions, have the right of personal representation in their dealings with management. If the representatives themselves are not Navy employees, they are not permitted access to naval activities during working hours for the purpose of conferring with individual groups or group leaders. The rule is not, however, so inelastic as to prevent discussions and getting together of interested parties.

In the interest of decentralization, promoting good relations, and saving time, all questions concerning working conditions are, whenever possible, settled at the lowest level of management. With the creation of the Division of Personnel Relations at Navy Yards and similar activities, such details and the time of meetings, frequency of meetings, the preparation of agendas of matters to be discussed, numbers of representatives, etc., were made part of the duties of the Personnel Relations Officer and his staff.

Authorization of Employee's Councils by the Navy Department, if expressly requested by the employees, was another step in making it possible for employees to bring their points of view, grievances, and objectives to the attention of management. No employee is, however, denied the opportunity of choice between Employee's Councils and other forms of employee representation. Employee's Councils evolved from the earlier Ship Committees, in the handling of certain aspects of labor-management relations. Ship Committees, Employee Councils, and similar mechanisms,


were not popular with the labor unions, because the accomplished many of the objectives of the unions in private industry.12

Wages and Salaries

By far the largest number of the Navy's civilian employees are blue collar workers paid on an hourly basis. Mention has already been made of the Act of July 16, 1862, whereunder the Secretary of the Navy is required to fix the wages of Navy Yard employees on the basis of wages prevailing in private industry in the vicinity. This was the method for determining wages until 1930, when the law was temporarily suspended by Congress, largely at the request of organized labor, because wages in industry, due to the Depression, had fallen below those paid in the naval shore establishments. By 1940, however, the wages in industry had again risen to the point where it was thought that they might be higher than those paid in Navy Yards. The Wage Board procedure was therefore again put into effect, in accordance with SecNav's letter of January 8, 1940.

The usual Wage Board of Review was convened in the Navy Department during that summer to review the recommendations made by the local Wage Board. New schedules of wages were put into effect, based on the recommendations of the 1940 Wage Board of Review, but the procedure was again placed in abeyance when the wage-fixing procedure under the "Shipbuilding Stabilization Committee" was adopted. This did not, however, solve the question of wages in Ordnance Plants, Air Stations, and other naval activities employing civilian personnel. The Navy Department was represented in such matters by the Wage Administration Section of the Division of Personnel SUpervision and Management, which made studies of individual wage adjustments found necessary, and made suitable recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy to cover individual cases.

The National War Labor board, established on January 12, 1942, became a factor in the establishment of wages in 1942, but delegated much of its authority in the case of the shore activities of the Navy to the Secretary of the Navy, who in turn placed the work under PS&M, as just mentioned. When the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel was created in January 1944, wage matters were placed under the Wage Administration and Classification Branch of SECP.

The broad policy envisioned by the Wages Act of 1862 was followed, wherever possible, but when there were no directly comparable trades


employed by industry in the vicinity, local commands were called on to make investigations and submit recommendations as to wages that would be appropriate. PS&M and later, SECP, from September 1943 to June 1945, authorized wage adjustments for 292 trades and established some 2,950 wage rates. All requested wage adjustments by shore establishments were first cleared with the cognizant bureau before being put into effect.

Classified Employees. It will be noted from the above that the Navy Department had practically complete authority during peacetime, and to a great extent during the war, in fixing the wages of blue collar workers, but its authority to determine the wages of white collar workers (Group IVb) much more circumscribed. Until 1884, salary rates for such positions were fixed for the various kinds of positions in the annual appropriation acts of Congress. This system prevailed for positions such as Chief Clerks of the bureaus, until right up to World War II.

In 1910, the Navy Department, for the first time, was given a considerable voice in determining pay rates for its Group IVb workers. These salaries were fixed on a single, uniform, nationwide scale, and this system was not altered when the Classification Act of 1923 established a statutory system of classes and pay for the government's white collar workers in Washington. The 1923 Act established definite occupational groupings designated as "services", and provided for the recognition of "classes" of positions with a service. The Act also established "grades" within each class, requiring that all positions of like difficulty within the class be assigned to the same grade. range of pay rates was provided for each grade within each class.

Recognizing that precise definitions could not be written into the basic statute, a central administrative board was provided to draw detailed class specifications by which the various departments could be guided. This central agency, the Personnel Classification Board, was also given authority to review assignments (allocations) of individual positions to their appropriate classes and grades as made by the various federal agencies, assuring conformity with central standards.

In 1930, the Brookhart Amendment to the 1923 Classification Act extended this classification system to the field, and the Navy Department was required to apply the system to all of its Group IVb employees.

The Navy's first attempt to classify its white collar positions in Washington was the result of an Executive Order in 1921. When the Classification Act was passed in 1923, these position descriptions were brought up to date. In 1924, a Departmental Classification Board was formed to allocate the Navy's 2500 positions existing in Washington, for final review by the Personnel Classification Board.

The first effort at field classification occurred in 19278, and the Brookhart Salary Act of 1930 required systematic field classification.


In 1932, the Personnel Classification Board's staff and functions were transferred to the Civil Service Commission as the Personnel Classification Division.

In 1941, the Departmental Classification Board was abolished and a Classification Section established in the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management. This section made final classification of Group IVb positions in the field, and initially classified departmental positions before submission to the Civil Service Commission for final review and approval.

Standards for Navy positions were hazily defined, and for many, clearly stated standards were lacking altogether. In October 1942, SecNav ordered a survey of the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management, including a specific study of the classification system then in effect at the departmental and field levels. Navy classifiers were found to be unaggressive and the field program unrealistic. The survey report recommended drastic changes in organization and procedure, including a return to centralized control by the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management over field classification. This centralization over field classification was eventually effected, but the bureaus blocked the Division of personnel Supervision and Management's attempt to centralize departmental classification, because they lacked confidence in the people who would do the work. Following the report of the survey, the Navy's classifiers developed a faster, more accurate, and on-the-spot classification program in the field. On 22 September 1943, Assistant Secretary Bard approved the establishment of five regional and twenty field offices (actually no regional offices and but 10 field offices were created) to direct the decentralized field classification program under the control of the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management.

In August 1944, field and departmental classification were separated; responsibility for the latter was transferred to the Departmental Services Unit of the Division of SECP, as already mentioned, while the Wage and Classification Branch of SECP handled the field program. Although other section s of SECP were to function in an advisory capacity, classification was on operating undertaking which sent its own classifiers into the field; their allocations of field positions were mandatory and final. The field program was characterized by uniform central control and direction throughout the rest of the war, while departmental classification control remained hazy, with each Bureau developing its own procedures and dealing directly with the Civil Service Commission. However, bureau classifiers were eventually required to pas qualifying tests and be certified by Departmental Services before they could take authoritative action.

A final change in the field program took place on 6 April 1944 when SecNav directed that all functions and officers of the Division of Shore


Establishments and Civilian Personnel's 19 Position Field Classification Offices be transferred to the cognizance of the District Civilian Personnel Director (DCPD) in the Naval District in which located. The Position Field Classification Officer (PFCO) was still responsible to the Wage and Classification Branch of SECP, for carrying out classification policy and allocation of positions, but for purposes of laying out their work programs and for military discipline, the PFCO's were responsible to the DCPD's.

In summary, it can be said that the Navy's field classification was brought from a chaotic state in 1942 to an effective tool of personnel management by the end of the war.


One of the most difficult factors in recruiting civilian manpower for the Navy in wartime is the problem of obtaining even reasonably accurate estimates of the number of persons possessing various skills that may be needed at any given time. Work loads involved in repairing battle damage are not foreseeable. The amount and kind of war production that may be called for is also subject to change without much notice The best source of information as to probable requirements was the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, but there, also, the estiamtes ahd to be largely guesses.

On the shole, the estimates, early in the war, oif manpower needed, made by the Shore Establishments themselves, as correlated by the DCPO's and by the bureaus, were iunder, rather than over, what proved necessary. War plans generally underestimated the labor shortage that would develop and the extent of the expansion that would be found necessary.

The Navy started its expansion period earlh in 1940 with a total of some 125,000 civilians employed at all stations. Art the peak of employment in August 1945, the total number on board in the Department of the Navy was over 750,000. The total number hired during that period approximated two million.

The Civil Service Commission was also unprepared, and it was apparent at the outset that the Commission would not long be able to supply the workers needed by following peacetime procedures. The Commission was forced to propose a special program, resulting in Executive Orders No. 9063 and 9067 (20 Feb 1942), which suspendded permanent Civil Service apointments for the duration and permitted the Commission to issue War Service Regulations calling for temporary appointments to positions in the public service limited to the duration of the war and six months thereafter. Under these regulations, the


Commission was authorized to suspend its standards and to accept the best talent available regardless of qualifications.

Navy liaison with the Civil Service Commission was generally most satisfactory except when central recruitment under the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management proved unworkable and each bureau sought its own contact with the Commission. Gradually, as the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management decentralized authority to the bureaus, the conducted special recruitment programs of their own under War Service Regulations, which were issued on 30 March 1942 by the Civil Service Commission. By June 1942, the bureau had expanded their recruiting staffs and were getting good results.

Most of the mechanical workers and unskilled labor required by the Navy's shore establishments had for years been employed through the Labor Boards, whose operations were broadly supervised by the Civil Service Commission. There was a Labor Board at every Navy Yard, Naval Ordnance plant, ad at some of the supply depots. The Boards also served all smaller naval activities within their geographical area.

The Civil Service Commission and the War Manpower Commission approved inter-regional recruiting for shore activities when sufficient applicants could not be obtained by local recruitment. Mare Island was the first Navy Yard to undertake a recruiting campaign outside of the West Coast region, and the program was reasonably successful, prompting other Yards to follow suit. This recruiting was conducted with clearance from the War Manpower Commission Regional Directors and the Civil Service Commission District Officers. The total number of recruiters at the peak of the program in 1945 exceeded 200. The total number recruited during 1944 and 1945 was 106,593.

Selective Service

Until September 22, 1942, no one office in the Navy Department had the specific responsibility for handling the deferment from Selective Service of vital civilian employees of the Naval Establishment. The Bureau of Naval Personnel assigned an officer as the Secretary's representative at Selective Service Headquarters to protect the Navy's voluntary recruitment program from absorption by Selective Service. When the Navy was forced to accept draftees, it became the business of the Navy representative to see that the Navy received its quota of acceptable men. In addition, a naval officer was assigned to the staff of each State Director of Selective Service to provide informational liaison, but his duties did not cover the deferment of civilian personnel employed by the Navy.

The District Civilian Personnel Officers were among the first to feel


the need for clear cut statements on the Navy Department's deferment policies. This led to the setting up, in September 1942, in SOSED, of a Selective Service Section, which provided a much needed central office for handling all deferment matters.

The Selective Service system was, from the beginning, administered by Army Officers on a fully decentralized basis. Local boards made the decisions on the induction of individual registrants. On November 1, 1941, Selective Service headquarters issued to local boards, as a guide for deciding on deferments, a list of key occupations that would be difficult to replace.

In February 1942, the President appointed a special committee to study and recommend a uniform policy for deferments. It was decided that only heads of certain departments and agencies could request deferments for government workers. The Secretary of the Navy delegated his authority to request deferments to Chiefs of Bureaus, to heads of other offices in the Navy Department, to the Commandants of Naval Districts and to Commanding Officers of certain shore stations.

In July, 1942, the War Manpower Commission established a Committee on Essential Activities and Occupations, which was to prepare a list of shortage areas requiring preferential consideration for deferments. This list also served as a guide to local boards. The head of SOSED's Selective Service Section became the Navy's representative on the Essential Activities Committee. On September 24, 1942, this section became the official liaison between the Navy and Selective Service headquarters in all matters of deferment policy and worked out the details of the Navy's several deferment programs.

The first major innovation in the deferment program came in the fall of 1942, when the War Manpower Commission announced a "Manning Table and Replacement Schedule" program by which producers could negotiate a schedule for orderly inductions with State Directors of Selective Service. This replacement schedule procedure was later adopted by all naval shore activities. The District Civilian Personnel Officer did the negotiating. The system proved highly satisfactory.

On March 13, 9143, SecNav created the Navy Committee on Deferment of Government Employees.

Induction of skilled workers began to slow down the production of certain plants engage din vital war work. The Navy arranged to have skilled workers released from the Army for periods up to six months when justifiable, to help solve this problem. The Navy Deferment Program continued despite strong Congressional criticism that the Navy Department was a haven for draft-dodgers. To meet this charge, the Assistant Secretary, on October 20, 1943, established an elaborate reporting system


pursuant to the findings of a Presidential group. The system required listing the names, occupations, and local boards of all employees for whom deferments had been requested. As a result of this list, all employees who had been deferred without request were inducted. This reporting system eliminated a great deal of the criticism.

The end of the Selective Service deferment road was reached on February 19, 1945, when a new plan placed into effect to draft 70 percent of the fit young men still deferred. Since only 30 percent of draft eligibles could be retained by industry, and since all were occupationally vital to production, it made no difference now to Selective Service which 70 percent were taken and which 30 percent deferred. By August 1, 1945, the deferment percentage was reduced to 15 percent.


As a result of the steps taken in 1940 and 1942 to put civilian training at Navy Yards and stations in full operation, thirty-seven vocational training instructors were available when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Training programs had already been started at most of the Navy Yards and Naval Air Stations and in some other activities.

In December, 1941, the number of civilian employees in the eight continental Navy Yards was approximately 150,000. This represented an increase of about 100 percent in two years. Twenty-eight thousand Navy Yard employees were in training at this time. During the eighteen months ending July 1, 1942, about 100,000 civilians employed by naval activities started training, and about 80 percent completed their training.

Apprentice trining was continued during the war despite difficulties in operating Navy yard apprentice schools. The number of apprentices gradually increased to approximately ten thousand in 1943.

Trade training was completed by 133,989 from January 1, 1941 to June 30, 1943; instructor training was completed by 7,364 for the same period; supervisor training in the same period reached 12,098 men; other training programs for clerical, technical and scientific workers and inspectors, were also successfully undertaken.

These training programs were sponsored and generally developed by the PS&M Training Division; later by the Civilian Personnel Training Branch of SOSED.

During 1944 and 1945, the principal project undertaken by the SECP's Training Branch was development of Work Improvement Program at the Navy Yards. This required participation by all workers who wished to advance. The purpose was to increase the efficiency of shop management, supervision, and operations. The inauguration of the Work Improvement


Program was one of the outstanding technical accomplishments of SECP. For the first time, the Navy Yards were training for advancement nearly all of its industrial workers, and doing it is an organized way.


Planned action to obtain the fullest utilization of available industrial manpower became a necessity when the supply of skilled workers proved insufficient to meet the wartime needs of industry and government. Threatened shortages of indispensable skills early in the war led many employees to take on more workers than they needed in anticipation of the day when such skills would not be available at all. The Civil Service Commission and the U.S. Employment Service as well as Congress were disturbed over reports of labor hoarding and loafing in war plants.

On March 4, 1942, a SecNav letter stated that loafers were to be suspended, supervisors were to strive for improved morale and an officer was to make recommendations to the Commandant on personnel problems. Utilization of women, older persons, and the physically handicapped was recommended by the Civil Service Commission.

On February 10, 1943, the Department's concern over utilization was expressed by Assistant Secretary Bard, who declared, "We must turn out more work with the employees we have; per capita output must be increased." Departmental pressure was increasing, but so far there had been no specific instructions as to how available manpower could be more fully utilized.

In the spring of 1943, the War Manpower Commission (WMC) established its Manpower Utilization Division, which authorized in-plant surveys to determine the level of effectiveness and to make recommendations for better utilization of labor. The Navy saw grave danger to the morale of management and employees if visiting engineers were permitted to enter and survey Navy Yards and industrial establishments with which they had no familiarity at all. The problems of security also left some doubts as to the wisdom of such surveys. The Navy Department decided that, if it had to be investigated in this manner, it preferred to have the survey made by the Civil Service Commission rather than by the War Manpower Commission. After many conferences in Washington, an agreement was worked out by which the Civil Service Commission served as the operating staff of the WMC for surveys of naval activities. However, the WMC still suspected the Navy of hoarding and not utilizing labor fully.

Liaison with the War Manpower Commission in the field was the responsibility of the District Civilian Personnel Director. The Navy


Department took steps of its own to analyze its organization, and in November, 1943, the first instructions on utilization practices were issued by the Assistant Secretary. This remained the basic directive on utilization for the rest of the war. The directive called for the use of shore station Personnel Relations Officers in executing local utilization programs and as of November 12, 1943, announced the establishment, within the Executive Office of the Secretary, of a Navy Manpower Survey Board. This Board was the result of the Nary's determination to conduct its own surveys of personnel in the shore establishment to determine whether they were overmanned or undermanned and whether manpower was being used to the best advantage.

Navy Manpower Survey Board

This Board, with Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews, USN, as its senior member, was appointed by Secretary Knox on November 12, 1943, and was directed to make "surveys of all naval shore establishments in all naval districts for the purpose of determining whether they are overmanned or undermanned and whether the Navy's manpower is being utilized to best advantage. Such surveys shall cover officers and enlisted men in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and all civilians of the Navy shore establishments."

The surveys were made by hundreds of survey committees and groups in the naval districts, each composed of selected regular and reserve naval officers and of prominent civilians experienced in business management and personnel administration. The survey covered 84,000 officers, 519,000 enlisted personnel, and 677,500 civilians.

In its summary, the Board recommended that some 85,000 enlisted men and officers be detached from billets in the naval districts, and thus made available for duty in combat areas or in other billets where their services would be more valuable to the war effort. I also recommended that some 34,500 additional male and 27,000 female civilians be employed to fill the billets and that some be left unfilled. About 11,000 male civilians were recommended for separation from government employment. The Board further recommended that, in order to achieve maximum efficiency, civilian personnel be increased in certain specified areas.

To implement its recommendations, the Board in most cases prepared orders for the Secretary's signature, directing Commanding Officers to carry out at the earliest practicable date the recommendations that were made. Approximately 60 percent of the recommendations were carried out in the course of the next ten months.

The making of routine periodic overall surveys to determine effectiveness in the utilization of manpower, both civilian and in uniform, in the


shore establishments became a function of the Naval Inspector General toward the end of the war.

Industrial Survey Division

The Industrial Survey Division, created on 20 June 1944, reported directly to the Assistant Secretary. The Division reported surveys at eleven of the larger Navy Yards and stations, and its recommendations were directed primarily toward improving the performance of Personnel Relations Officer duties. The personnel section of each report was forwarded to SECP, which, in turn, sent them with comment and recommendations to the Secretary. If the Secretary approved, he directed the cognizant bureaus to see that the recommendations were carried out.

The Navy Management Program began in August 1943, and further attacked the problem of manpower utilization. The program was a self-study along the lines of authority and responsibility and definition of tasks and standards of performance. It is extremely difficult to evaluate this program in terms of better utilization accomplished during the war in view of the varying attention given to it in different places and at different times. The Office of the Management Engineer made an analysis of the use of the program in wartime, and recommended that its use as a tool of personnel management be continued.

In addition to these surveys, District Civilian Personnel Officers conducted local utilization analyses, the value of which varied with the competence of the individual officer as analysts and expositors.

All of these efforts, however, did not preclude Congress from joining in the manpower survey and inspection field. The net result of Congressional investigation was negligible, except perhaps that the constant threat of visits from the legislative branch of the Government kept management on the alert.

Civilian Personnel at Overseas Bases

Civilian personnel in large numbers were employed at many of the Navy's overseas bases. Federal personnel laws seldom made special provision for the employment of civilians by the Navy Department abroad, and there was little reference to such employment in Navy Regulations and other departmental instructions.

Other than for Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, and the Canal Zone, neither SOSED nor PS&M had given much thought to civilian personnel problems that might arise during war at off-shore stations. it was assumed that, in any case, personnel in uniform would, to a large extent, replace civilian in the war areas and that such as remained would be


Tokyo Bay. Mount Fiji, Japan, as viewed form the Battleship South Dakota
Tokyo Bay. Mount Fuji, Japan, as viewed from the Battleship South Dakota.


administered through the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. This included native labor when employed by the Navy.

It seemed advisable, therefore, for the Assistant Secretary's office to keep its hands off civilian personnel administration in combat areas. In June of 1945, SECP proposed to CNO that qualified officers be sent on a fact-finding tour of advanced areas to survey the situations.

In September 194t5, a tour was made of Atlantic bases, and the report of the trip, dated 29 October 1945 described conditions found. Briefly, the general conclusions reached by the survey team ere:

  1. The Office of Industrial Relations provided clear-cut policy for received insufficient consideration.

  2. Too much dependence was being placed on uniformed personnel for routine clerical and mechanical work.

  3. United States government obligations for participation in the retirement system of employees were being overlooked.

  4. Among top echelons there existed a strong preference for personnel in uniform.

  5. The United States was held in low esteem in some places because of the lack of consideration shown local people by naval personnel in general.

  6. There was a lack of centralization of responsibility for civilian personnel at many bases.

The same survey team was then sent to the Pacific area bases, and submitted its report on 21 February 1946. The report's conclusions and recommendations were generally similar to those submitted for the Atlantic area, and may be summarized as follows:

  1. The Office of Industrial Relations provided clear-cut policy for recruiting, transporting, housing, messing, training, and otherwise arranging for civilians employed at Pacific bases.

  2. The Office of Industrial Relations should procure and train a corps of civilian personnel administrators, for duty in the Pacific area.

  3. Future periodic visits should be made buy OIR representatives in order to review programs and assist in solving problems.

  4. OIR and CNO should arrange for better liaison in relating the civilian personnel function to over-all long-range strategic planning.

Inspecting groups made it clear that there had been little coordination between overseas civilian personnel practices and policies sponsored by the Shore Establishments Division, the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management, the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel, and the Office of Industrial Relations during the war and shortly thereafter.


Organization of SECP in June 1945

The final wartime organization of the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel is shown on Figure 36 and consisted of five branches. The largest was the Employment Branch, with three main sections. The Recruitment Station, the Selective Service Section, and the Placement Section. Nest came the Training Branch, which formulated all the civilian training policies of the Department. The Wage Administration and Classification Branch planned and administered the wage adjustment program for unclassified employees and the classification program for white collar workers. The Employment Relations Branch was responsible for policy determination involving the handling of grievances and discipline, the Beneficial Suggestions Program and manifold Employee Services for civilians Following V-J Day, the Employee Relations Branch was consolidated with the Employment Branch. The Safety Branch was responsible for safety policies and methods in the field. The Labor Relations Branch, which had been responsible for directing the Navy's effort to reduce the number and length of strikes at plants of essential naval suppliers throughout the war, was transferred to the Office of Procurement and Material early in 1945 and was not part of the final organization of SECP. The Administrative Services Branch performed the housekeeping functions for SECP. This branch was responsible for statistics, and its Instructions Coordinating Section was responsible for the preparation and editing of the Navy Civilian Personnel Instructions. The Departmental Services Unit, with its sections on Employment, Training, Classification, Counsel, and Recreation for civilian employees of the Bureau and Offices in Washington, was transferred to the Administrative Office of the Executive Office of the Secretary in August of 1945.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Bard, in a memorandum of May 15, 1945, summarized the state of development of SECP and its objectives for the future. He pointed out the great progress that had bee made, but that there was need for even greater attention in the future to this vital sector of Navy Department administration. He wished the Navy Department to acquire a reputation as a progressive, fair, and efficient employer.

The key to improved employee relations lay, he said, in the application of the personnel policies that had emerged form the crucible of war, but that policies, no matter how sound, are not automatic assurance that sound employee relations will result therefrom. Assuming the adoption of adequate personnel policies, satisfactory employer-employee relationships must still depend on the proper attitude of the lower levels of management toward labor and their ability to handle people.

The Navy's personnel policy problems differed from those of private enterprise because policies were circumscribed by law, Executive Orders,


and the need for conformity with the procedures of certain outside agencies such as the Civil Service Commission. But this he considered no excuse for adhering blindly to such controls without making an effort to change them when this was deemed necessary.

An important policy, reaffirmed when SECP was established, was that the Navy Department would not take over the operation of the civilian personnel machinery either in the Navy Department or in the field, but that its functions would be coordinative, advisory, and policy-making. Within the framework of policy established by the Navy Department. Bureau Chiefs were held responsible for the adequacy of personnel administration within their respective bureaus, and at the shore establishments under their jurisdiction. He pointed out that the task of applying established personnel policies firmly, equitably and with good judgment, tested squarely with operating management. The Division of SECP acted for him in establishing civilian personnel policy, and in recommending important changes. He looked to SECP to advise and assist the bureaus and the shore establishments on all civilian personnel matters, and to coordinate the Navy Department's programs to insure the maintenance of high and uniform standards, but not to issue orders telling them how to do their jobs.

Investigation by House of Representatives Subcommittee

A House of Representatives Naval Affairs Subcommittee early in the summer of 1945 held hearings on the Navy Department's handling of civilian personnel in its shore establishments. The subcommittee in its report challenged some of the Navy's philosophy in administering this large sector of its activities.13 The principal criticisms of the subcommittee were that the Director of SECP

"does not make any formal surveys to determine the effectiveness of the operation of civilian personnel programs. ... It will not interfere with the internal operation of an establishment unless its advice is requested. ... The question is raised at this point as to the means of methods employed in the Navy Department in implementing the Executive Order (7916) of 1938 that directed that a division be established in each Government Department which 'shall supervise the functions of appointment, assignment, service rating, and training of employees. ... and shall initiate and supervise such programs.' ... In none of these functions does the Division supervise the operation of the programs developed buy it. In fact, the Director disclaims any intention to intervene in the operation of any program in the field establishment. ...


It seems that the reason some organization in the Under Secretary's Office does not supervise the operation of personnel programs is because the effectiveness of civilian personnel operations rests with the Chiefs of Bureaus and Commanding Officers of shore establishments.' However the responsibility to supervise the operation of civilian personnel programs at the Departmental level cannot be abdicated because further operational responsibility exists at the Bureau and Establishment level."

"... The Division has not developed procedures in all its Branches for systematic surveys of and reports from industrial shore establishments. Without organized and coordinated factual data gathered at the source it is difficult to see how the Under Secretary can be adequately informed when changes in Policy are necessary. ... After basic directives or regulations have been issued the Division moves into action only upon solicitation of a Bureau or establishment and does not put itself in a position either to determine how a program is operating or to issue a warning in anticipation of problems. ... The Division is the actor and not merely the adviser of industrial shore establishments in the fields of Selective Service, Wage Administration, and Classification of Group IVb employees. The reluctance to assume, or the disclaimer of vitality in other areas of civilian personnel administration appears to have no justification. There is little to defend the failure by the Division of its duty to supervise the civilian personnel program of the Navy even though there is a responsibility at lower levels of management for the execution of such programs."

The Committee made three broad recommendations, stating first that the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel should "have and exercise power to ... require compliance with basic programs originated by such organization."

This was in indictment of the entire wartime handling of civilian personnel. The Committee placed its finger on the real anomaly when it pointed out that SECP did act on the details of wage determination and classification, but this was actually quite a different matter from participating in the day-by-day management of civilian personnel in the Navy's far-flung shore establishments.

The philosophy of line responsibility adopted by SECP was in full accord with modern administrative thinking. Such inadequacy as existed in the program was not due to any false premise concerning responsibility, but perhaps was due to the absence of organized and coordinated fact finding for use in advising those ultimately responsible for operations.

Properly limiting itself to the exercise of a staff function, SECP at the same time avoided responsibility for making surveys and recommendations without invitation. It believed that uninvited survey constitutes an


assumption of line authority, whereas it is an essential staff tool for gaining required information on which to base sound recommendations.

This philosophy survived the Johnson Committee criticisms, and continues to be the accepted philosophy of the Navy and of Federal personnel administrators generally.

The Committee was hypercritical and did not have before it the full record of the extended activities of each branch of the Navy Department. The report presented an incomplete picture of the operation, and many of its specific criticisms were based upon misconception of the scope of the task of the sections criticized. The Johnson report also overlooked the fact that the House Naval Affairs Committee had disapproved the recommendations of Secretary Edison and Rear Admiral Fisher in 1940 for the establishment of an all-powerful Director of shore industrial activities. Finally, the report gave no recognition to the fact that civilian personnel policies and practices of the Navy were in a chaotic state when sECP was established, and did not credit them with any of the enormous accomplishments of SECP in the brief time it had existed. [Hyperwar tried, but can't refrain from commenting: Admiral Furer, along with the Bureau chiefs, District and Yard Commandants, and all the other petty fiefdoms of the Navy seem a little hazy on the concept of civilian control. From Furer's own account, the chaos he mentions appears to have been the direct result of the Navy's (ie. SECP's predecessor agencies) somewhat lax response to a Congressional demand for improved personnel management. It would have been a dereliction of duty for the Committee's report to have let the Navy off the hook because it took them so long to implement improvements. Rather than respond to the report with such defensiveness, the historian might have expressed relief that no courts martial resulted from this failure!]

On August 17, 1945, Under Secretary of the Navy Artemus L. Gates made a formal reply to Mr. Vinson, Chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee with reference to the Johnson report. Of the Report's three recommendations, the Navy was in accord with the last two, namely, that an improved cost accounting system be set up in all naval shore establishments, (actually cost accounting at navy yards goes back to the first decade of the century), and that the Bureau system of control under which all shore activities be modified to assign management control to a single bureau--the bureau chosen being the one with paramount interests in the activity. The Navy placed both of these recommendations in effect, but took no action on the first recommendation for the reasons given above. [Not, technically, a "refusal to obey a direct order", but definitely not the humble acceptance of civilian authority that is given so much lip service. --HyperWar]

Office of Industrial Relations

With the crystallization of thinking, base on war experience, in respect to all aspects of civilian employment and management, it was decided in September 1945 to change the name of the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel (SECP) to the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR), as more nearly descriptive of the functions of the office. In summarizing its functions, objectives and missions, at a later date, it was stated that "The Office of Industrial Relations acts in a staff capacity for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in all matters concerning naval civilian employees. OIR's technical and advisory functions do not in any sense encroach on the line management responsibilities of the Bureaus and Offices of the Navy Department for the proper administration of the


Navy's Industrial Relations program in the Naval Shore Establishment.

a. Objective--Under direct supervision of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Personnel and Reserve Forces), the primary objective of the Office of Industrial Relations is established as follows:

To establish a fair and effective civilian personnel administration throughout the Naval Establishment which will contribute both to job satisfaction on the part of officers and employees and to efficient public service.

b. Missions--The following major missions are prescribed in order that the established objective may be attained:

  1. The development of the Navy's industrial relations program for civilian employees.

  2. The development of policies governing that program.

  3. Advising and assisting bureaus, offices and field activities in the operation of the program.


The steps paid off that were taken during the immediate prewar period, to start training the shipbuilding trades that would be in short supply in the event of war. So also did the enrollment somewhat later as reserve officers of specialists in the labor training and labor management fields.

Organizationally, the most important step in civilian personnel administration was the merger of the Shore Establishments Division and the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management to form the Division of Shore Establishment and Civilian Personnel with a competent and experienced career naval officer at its head. This move should have been made earlier in the war.

Clarification of the basic policy that SECP was primarily a staff organization and not an operating activity was one of the early fruits of the merger. For too long, those concerned with Navy Department civilian personnel management had vacillated between the operating and the staff concepts of their duties, with the result that neither the bureaus nor the commanding officers of shore stations had a clear idea as to where they stood.

The Navy already had cordial and highly cooperative relations with the Civil Service Commission, which were heightened by the war, but there was a definite lack of mutual confidence between the Navy and the War Manpower Commission.

The success of the Navy in winning the confidence and cooperation of the Selective Service organization and the important contribution made by


SECP to the development of Selective Service deferment techniques is significant in this connection.

The requirement that Personnel Relations Divisions be established in all major shore stations was one of the outstanding forward steps taken in labor-management relations. It was initiated by the Shore Establishments Division and developed further by its successor the SECP. Without this tool of management, the tremendous expansion of civilian personnel at the larger navy yards and other stations would have been well nigh impossible.

The inauguration of the Work Improvement Program as a means of improving the supervisory practices of the lower management echelons was a worthwhile forward step.

Bringing together in codified, well-indexed and clearly phrased form the many and diverse instructions of the Navy Department on the subject of civilian personnel was a herculean task, but began to pay dividends rapidly in better understanding and improved practices in the bureaus and in the field. By the end of the war, some 2,000 pages of instructions under the name of Navy Civilian Personnel Instructions (NCPI) had been issued and have been under constant scrutiny and revision to keep them in step with changing conditions.


Table of Contents
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1. SecNav Annual Report, fiscal year of 1945.

2. SecNav Annual Report for 1891, page 52.

3. Management of the Naval Shore Establishment. Report of Sub-committee, Committee of Naval Affairs, No. 85, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1945.

4. Accurate figures as to the number of shore activities employing Navy Department civilian personnel during World War II are not available. A "Catalogue of Activities of the Navy" was published for the first time in March 1945, and lists a total of 4,722 activities, of which 515 were overseas. Presumably, practically all of these employed some civilian labor. In July 1938, the Public Works of the Navy Data Book listed 485 activities, but again, there is no clear line of demarcation between those that were manned exclusively by personnel in uniform and those that employed at least some civilians.

5. Included in the reorganization of the Naval Districts at the end of the war was the assignment of management control of each of the shore activities to some one of the bureaus. The commandants, as in the past, exercise military control of the districts, but take no part in the management of the industrial and similar activities in their districts. Shipyard commanders (formerly called Commandants of Navy Yards), for example, are drawn from the ranks of career officers limited to engineering duty, and have the last word in civilian personnel matters, subject of course always to final review by the Navy department. Most of these officers throughout their careers, with the exception of a few tours of sea or other duty, are employed on work involving the management of civilian personnel. In that way, many of them acquire broader and more extensive practical experience in labor-management work than many of the specialists in this field in civilian life.

It is significant that Assistant Secretary of the Navy Ralph Bard, after four years of experience in dealing with the civilian personnel sector of Navy Department administration, selected Rear Admiral F.G. Crisp, USN, with Captain E.E. Sprung, USN as his principal assistant, and not civilian specialists, to head the new Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian Personnel. Both were career naval officers with long experience in dealing with civilian personnel.

6. Among the civilians brought into the Navy Department during the war, who made outstanding contributions to the administration of civilian personnel, were Samuel H. Ordway, Jr., Charles R. Peck, H. Lee White, and A.C. Wolfe. ll were commissioned in the Naval Reserve.

7. Hearings in the House of Representatives--Sundry Naval Legislation--76th Congress, 2nd and 3rd Sessions, 1939-1940, H.R. No. 313 (Revised). These hearings contain a wealth of information furnished by officers on duty in the bureaus and other officers of the Navy Department, on the administration of the Navy Department during that period. The testimony of Captain Fisher is particularly illuminating in differentiating between the military and non-military functions of the Navy Department and its shore establishments as viewed by many naval officers and civilians, and on the changes Charles Edison considered necessary to make it possible for the Secretary of the Navy to carry out his shore establishment responsibilities more effectively.

8. See figure 34 for the duties of other subdivisions of SOSED.

9. Lt. Comdr. Charles R. Peck, USNR, was the brain and driving force behind this herculean task.

10. Report of Survey of Current and Proposed Personnel Activity in Navy Department, 16 May 1939, by Charles Piozet, Director of Personnel.

11. Section 1 of Public Law 330, 84th Congress, passed August 9, 1955.

12. Those interested in further details of the Navy's handling of employee group relations will find the procedures described in "Navy Civilian Personnel Instructions" issued by the Office of Industrial Relations from time to time.

13. Management of the Naval Shore Establishment. A Report of the Johnson* Subcommittee of the Committee on Naval Affairs, House of Representatives, 79th Congress, 1st session (Washington: GPO, 1945). The letter of transmittal of the report is without date, and hearings themselves undated.
* Lyndon B. Johnson, Congressman [later President! --HyperWar] from Texas.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation