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US Navy General Order No. 74 of 27 June 1908

Establishing Ship Post Offices

GENERAL ORDER
No. 74
NAVY DEPARTMENT            
WASHINGTON
, June 27, 1908

    1.  The following act of Congress, approved May 27, 1908, is published for the information and guidance of the naval service:

That enlisted men of the United States Navy may, upon selection by the Secretary of the Navy, be designated by the Post Office Department as "navy mail clerks" and "assistant navy mail clerks," who shall be authorized to receive and open all pouches and sacks of mail, to receive matter for transmission in the mails, to receipt for registered matter (keeping an accurate record thereof), to keep and have for sale an adequate supply of postage stamps, to make up and dispatch mails, and other postal duties as may be authorized by the Postmaster-General, all in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the commanding officer of the vessel or of the squadron to which the vessel is attached.  Each mail clerk and assistant mail clerk shall take the oath of office prescribed for employees of the postal service and shall give bond to the United States in the sum of one thousand dollars for the faithful performance of his duties as such clerk, and shall be amenable in all respect to naval discipline, except that, as to their duties as such clerks, the commanding officers of the vessels upon which they are stationed shall require them to be governed by the postal laws and regulations of the United States.

Whenever necessity arises therefor any assistant mail clerk may be required by the commanding officer of the vessel upon which he is stationed or of the squadron to which said vessel is attached to perform the duties of mail clerk.  They shall receive as compensation for such services form the Navy Department, in addition to that paid them of the grade to which they are assigned, such sum in the case of mail clerks not to exceed five hundred dollars per annum, and in that of assistant mail clerks not to exceed three hundred dollars per annum, as may be determined and allowed by the Navy Department.

    2.  In accordance with the above act, vessels of the United States Navy having a complement of 650 or more officers and men, and receiving ships, will be allowed a navy mail clerk and an assistant navy mail clerk; vessels having a complement of 125 or more, and less than 650, officers and men will be allowed a navy mail clerk; and in a regularly organized flotilla having a total complement of 125 or more officers and men the flagboat will be allowed a navy mail clerk.

    3.  Instructions and regulations governing navy mail clerks and assistant navy mail clerks and blank forms of bonds will be issued by the Post Office Department and transmitted through the Navy Department to commanders in chief, commanders of divisions, and commanding officers of vessels.  Upon notification by the Post Office Department that he has been duly designated, each navy mail clerk and assistant navy mail clerk shall, as soon as practicable, sign a separate blank bond in the presence of two witnesses, who shall certify to the signature.  The bond shall then be forwarded to a surety company for completion and transmission to the Department for approval by the Secretary of the Navy.  Any company authorized under the act of August 13, 1894, to do business in United States matters will be acceptable to the Post Office Department as a surety on the bond in question.

    4.  Before entering upon their postal duties, navy mail clerks and assistant navy mail clerks shall take and subscribe before a magistrate or commissioned officer of the Navy and transmit to the Department the following oath, required by section 391 of the Revised Statues:

I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully perform all the duties required of me, and abstain from everything forbidden by the laws in relation to the establishment of post-offices, and post-roads within the United States; and that I will honestly and truly account for and pay over any money belonging to the said United States which may come into my possession or control.  So help me, God.

    5.  Enlisted men of the Navy designated as navy mail clerks shall receive, in addition to the monthly pay of their rating, the following compensation for their services:  On vessels having a complement of 650 or more officers and men, and on receiving ships, $25 per month; on vessels and in flotillas having a complement of 250 or more, and less than 650, officers and men, $20 per month; on vessels and in flotillas having a complement of 125 or more, and less than 250, officers and men, $15 per month.  Enlisted men of the Navy designated as assistant mail clerks shall receive for their services $15 pr month in addition to the monthly pay of their rating.

    6.  The compensation of navy mail clerks and assistant navy mail clerks, for services as such, shall begin upon the date when they take the oath of office and enter upon postal duties and close on the date of the termination of such services, and shall be paid out of the appropriation, "Pay of the Navy."  The commanding officer of the vessel, or of the fleet or division to which the vessel is attached, may direct the termination of such services at any time, reporting the fact to the Navy Department, which will inform the Post Office Department.

    7.  An assistant navy mail clerk shall assist the navy mail clerk in the performance of his duties as such clerk; and whenever the necessity arises therefor, an assistant navy mail clerk may be designated by the commanding officer of the vessel upon which he is stationed, or of the fleet or division to which the vessel is attached, to perform the duties of navy mail clerk.  On board any ship that is not allowed a navy mail clerk, or on which a navy mail clerk is not detailed, or serving as such, the mails shall be handled in accordance with the Navy Regulations.

    8.  Commanding officers shall recommend to the Secretary of the Navy competent and desirable enlisted men of the Navy under their command to render service as navy mail clerks and assistant navy mail clerks, and the names of those selected will be submitted to the Post Office Department for designation.  The Department shall be informed by letter of the date of the execution of the oath of office of each naval mail clerk and assistant navy mail clerk and of the date of termination of such service.


1 September 2009