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The standing of watches was systematized and made rigid. In other words, the men were able to tell at least two weeks ahead of time when they would have auxiliary watch. The auxiliaries, such as ice machines and evaporators, were given their special details. These details were never changed and, it may be said that properly supervised, of course, they ran their own watches.
The men of the engineer's force knew that all vacancies of higher ratings would be filled on board ship. This further enhanced the values of the marks given each watch, and it was but a short while when the men fully realized it. It further increased the interest the men took in their work.
The office avoided as far as possible work out of working hours. The men were made to realize that so long as they worked during working hours their time off would not be disturbed.
Officers were on their stations during working hours, in port or at sea; and in addition to merely being around, they answered questions, they guided the men in their work, and were of genuine value. This reduced the time required to do things. In connection with cutting down time required, the telephone system was kept up and used. The senior assistant was always available and the men were made welcome in telephoning him for advice, reports or information desired. The desire to do things in the easiest and quickest way seemed to prevail and a real genuine “ bound to win ” spirit developed.
THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: ITS
FOREWORD The following paper was prepared several months prior to the outbreak of the present war, but it has been impracticable to print it until now.
The fact has become apparent that in the past the navy and the coast guard have not gotten sufficiently close together, but it is thought that from the beneficial results attending present association, each service will have appreciated the worth of the officers of the other, to the mutual advantage of the two services and the public interests.
Since mobilization, the enlisted personnel of the coast guard has increased until it now numbers about 6000 men–2000 more than on a peace basis-and many changes have transpired as to the disposition of the entire personnel, which is now scattered among coast guard ships, naval vessels, at air stations, in Washington, and in the several naval districts, and the need for experienced officers has been urgent.
It is suggested that now is the psychological moment to make a mental survey of conditions, to take a look at them from a fair, unbiased viewpoint, and thus to realize the errors of the past, brought about as they have been by misunderstandings and a lack of knowledge of facts.
THE AUTHOR This paper has been written with the single idea of presenting to the officers of the navy and coast guard tentative suggestions for increasing the military efficiency of the latter service, which, if adopted, would be in the best interests of the navy and the
coast guard, when the relations that must exist between them in time of war are considered, or that should prevail in preparation for the same. They are not one-man ideas, but result from an experience of 29 years in the late revenue cutter service (now the coast guard) and from discussion of conditions with officers of the coast guard and of the navy, many of whom are warm advocates of the ideas advanced. If this paper serves no other end than to arouse an interest and general discussion that may be productive of results, the aim of the writer will have been accomplished.
The arm of the public service which is now the coast guard was originally established in 1790. As it increased in size, there was added a life-saving branch, which, in the course of years, became disassociated with the then revenue cutter service and was created a separate organization; but officers of the revenue cutter service continued to be detailed as inspecting officers of the life-saving service and elevated it to a high state of efficiency.
On January 28, 1915, the President signed the act of Congress creating the “United States Coast Guard,” which unified the then existing revenue cutter and life-saving services. By the terms of the act, the coast guard “shall constitute a part of the military forces of the United States and shall operate under the Treasury Department in time of peace and shall operate as a part of the navy, subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war, or when the President shall so direct." Thus the status of the coast guard is clearly defined and its officers and men are regulars in the same sense as are those of the army, navy, or marine corps ; a fact that must not be lost sight of in following the subject matter of this paper. It is necessary for a clear understanding that we inquire into both the personnel and matériel of the coast guard to consider the strong and weak points of each and then to take immediate advantage of the former and rectify the latter without delay.
THE PERSONNEL If we consider the coast guard with respect to the numerical value of its personnel, the service may not be deemed a large one, although 4000 men are practically the equivalent of the crews of four capital ships. We must differentiate, however, as between
mere “numbers ” and “ force" and realize that in the coast guard there lies the potentialities for the latter and advantage taken of that fact. We may here regard the words of a noted military writer as aptly applying: “The stronger each unit is in peace, the more efficient will it become for war; hence, the vital importance of aiming at quality and not numbers." We seek to increase the value of the coast guard as a “force," therefore it will become our duty to inquire as to ways and means.
The total personnel of the coast guard, as at present organized, consists of approximately 259 commissioned officers, line and staff, and about 4000 warrant officers and enlisted men. There are also 13 district superintendents who were transferred from the late life-saving service, and hold relative rank with certain grades in the commissioned rank. They are not sea-going officers.
In addition to the personnel above noted, there are at the Coast Guard Academy, Fort Trumbull, New London, three classes of cadets and cadet engineers. All of the line officers of the coast guard and practically every member of the two junior grades of engineers are graduates of that institution, while the senior grades of engineers are largely composed of graduates of colleges or technical schools where marine engineering is specialized in. The three-year course at the academy is a rigorous one, and upon graduation the cadets go forth exceptionally well equipped educationally for the profession they have chosen. That there are few bilgers ” may be attributed to the fact that the entrance examination is difficult and strictly competitive. It is also intended to assure that the successful candidate has the necessary groundwork to warrant his graduation, providing he applies himself to his studies.
It can be confidently stated that the Coast Guard Academy is yearly graduating young men who are as competent all-round officers as are to be found in any branch of the regular service.
Due to the excellent results that have eventuated from assigning junior line officers to engineering duty and junior engineers to line duty, the commandant of the coast guard has advocated the amalgamation of the engineer corps with the line, a project much to be desired, providing it can be accomplished with harmony to the best interest of the service.
While ballistics is included in the course in ordnance and gunnery, and Alger is completed, it is unfortunate that the cadets are