« ПретходнаНастави »
wrong somewhere. It is contended again that the solution of the difficulty can only come through the naval committees having cognizance of coast guard appropriations.
As to the employment of the personnel and vessels of the coast guard when serving as a part of the navy, that matter will undoubtedly be attended to by the general board and, so far as the writer is aware, a tentative or complete plan for the utilization of the service may have already been completed. In a war of any magnitude, is it not possible that the personnel of the coast guard will he required for something other than mere harbor duty or the patrolling of mine-fields? Every officer of the navy has a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the part he will play in the eventualities of war, but it is not so with the coast guard officer, and, while standing ready, he can merely guess. No one seems to know why. True, the vessels will probably be utilized, but would it not be well were they to be manned by a reserve and the active crews released for other work? Who is to officer and man the auxiliary cruisers that would be brought into service? Might not that be a field for the endeavors of the coast guard? The SpanishAmerican War is not so far in the past as to have the experiences of that time entirely eradicated from the minds of the officers of the navy who were engaged therein, when there was the need for a personnel reserve—one that could stand the hardship of exposure in all weather at sea, a reserve that could be counted on for all-round efficiency and whose officers could be trusted with a deck and to command a division at sea.
In writing in the statutes that the coast guard shall, as a part of the military forces of the United States, operate as a part of the navy in time of war, or when the President shall direct, the lawmakers assumed a responsibility, as the agents of the people, to see to it that the coast guard is properly equipped and in other ways prepared to become an efficient naval unit when the occasion arises. There was also at that time a great degree of implied responsibility thrown upon the navy, to aid in every manner possible the increase of the military efficiency of the coast guard, which becomes a unit of the navy, as provided in the statute.
The extension to the coast guard of the privileges of the school of musketry at Winthrop and of those of the Aviation School at Pensacola is a step in advance. Unhappily, the former could not be utilized, because the coast guard had no money with which to send men to take the course (truly " the wolf is always scratching at the door ").
However, it is hoped that advantage will be taken of the opportunities so far presented, also that other fields for progression will be opened up; but it is realized that in this matter the coast guard must assume its share of responsibility and not neglect opportunities that are presented to it, because to do so is to neglect a responsibility thrust upon the service as a whole.
There have been presented here suggestions that would seem to point towards increasing the efficiency of the coast guard, by extending means to meet the necessities; but we must search for every method within reach to accomplish that end. Amalgamation of the coast guard with the navy has been advanced by some as one solution of the problem that confronts us. In default of that, there has been suggested that the service amalgamate with the army. It is fair to assume that conditions cannot continue as they are for long.
There is no higher honor than to hold a commission in the coast guard of the United States, a service that has never been called and found wanting, and its traditions are founded on a history, the like of which any service might well be proud. Any suggestion for amalgamation, either with the army or navy, has for its object a single purpose—the increase of military efficiency for war.
The personnel has no "axe to grind" by amalgamation with either branch of the other military forces. Should an amalgamation eventuate in the future, it must be with the navy, rather than with the army. Opposition to amalgamation will undoubtedly come and on both sides and for reasons that, it is not necessary to mention, both services know; but it is to be regretted that opposition from any source should arise to oppose an amalgamation, whether it be as a separate corps or otherwise, because it is only by so doing that the coast guard can ever hope to reach that full degree of efficiency that is not only demanded of it, but that it deserves to have placed within its reach. •
The hope of personal gain, service, jealousies, if present, reluctance towards losing a service once possessed, all should be cast aside for the one objective towards which we strive—the efficiency of the coast guard as a fighting unit. In this the navy should be vitally interested.
A military service that operates under the Navy Department in time of military emergency should operate under that department in time of peace, and to deny that statement is to disregard military efficiency. The truth is so obvious as to preclude any need for discussion and it only remains to be said that if the coast guard would not be as efficient under the Navy Department as under the Treasury Department, and if it would not continue to become more so, then the service would be a signal failure from every viewpoint.
The writer personally favors the separate corps suggestion, because the personnel would remain intact and would bring to the navy quite as efficient a corps, within the scope of its endeavors, as the navy now enjoys in that superb body—the United States Marine Corps—which always has, and always will, shed a luster upon the department under which it operates.
The navy is a conservative service and the coast guard may be regarded as being ultraconservative ; therefore, there should be a "getting together " for a meeting of the minds, to the end that each personnel may know the other.
Whether the coast guard will gain in the future the place due to it will, above all, depend on whether the personnel will resolve with open eyes to break with ideas of the past and devote itself to the tasks of the present without reserve, in all of which it must have the cordial and substantial support of the navy, which, in the belief of the writer, will be heartily accorded, whether the coast guard amalgamates with the navy or not, because the necessity for co-ordination will be realized.
The events of the immediate future can only be conjectured. Grave responsibilities may eventuate at any time and come when least expected.
The coast guard is proud of its personnel and knows that if given the opportunity it will prove its worth and mettle, because there are potentialities therein that are unknown to the outsider. The point is, when the hour for action strikes, will there be coordination or a lack of it, and if the latter, to whom, or to what group, will the responsibility be charged?
U. S. NAVAL INSTITUTE
Life, regular and associate membership, 5784.
Commander E. G. Blackeslee, U. S. N.
The annual dues ($2.50) for the year 1919 are now Dues payable.
Regular and associate members of the U. S. Naval Institute are subject to the payment of the annual dues until the date of the receipt of their resignation.
All members are urged to keep the Secretary and Address Treasurer informed of the address to zvhich Proof Ceedings are to be sent, and thus insure their receipt. Members Members and subscribers are urged to notify the Secretary and Treasurer promptly of the non-receipt of Proceedings, in order that tracers may be started. The issue is completed by the 10th of each month.
The Institute Book Department will supply any Book obtainable book, of any kind, at retail price, postDepartment age prepaid. The trouble saved the purchaser through having one source of supply for all books, should be considered. The cost will not be greater and sometimes less than when obtained from dealers.
The attention of authors of articles is called to Reprints of the fact that the cost to them of reprints other Articles than the usual number furnished, can be greatly reduced if the reprints are struck off while the article is in press. They are requested to notify the Secretary and Treasurer of the number of reprints desired when the article is submitted. Twenty copies of reprints are furnished authors free of charge.
Authors of articles submitted are urged to furIllustrations nish with their manuscript any illustrations they may have in their possession for such articles. The Institute will gladly co-operate in obtaining such illustrations as may be suggested by authors.
Original photographs of objects and events which may be of interest to our readers are also desired, and members who have opportunities to obtain such photographs are requested to secure them for the Institute.
Whole Nos. 145, 146, 147, 149, 155, 166 and 179 of Notice the Proceedings (March, 1913, June, 1913, September, 1913, January-February, 1914, January-February, 1915, and November-December, 1916, January, 1918) are exhausted; there are so many calls for single copies of these numbers that the Institute offers to pay for copies thereof returned in good condition at the rate of 25 cents per copy. Annapolis, Md., March 15, 1919.
INFORMATION INDEX Page
Advertisemknts, Index To I
Publications, U. S. Naval Institute (2)
Special Notice 712
Topics For Essays 713
List Of Prize Essays 714