Washington, March 17, 1869.
[Forbidding Applications for Duty Through Persons of Influence]
The attention of officers is called to the regulations of the Navy forbidding applications for duty through persons of influence. All such applications must be made direct to the Secretary of the Navy, who is supposed to be the best judge of what duty an officer is entitled to, and if made in any other manner will not be attended to.
It is very apparent that an officer who can obtain service through influential friends must have a great advantage over all others, and the least deserving may get the most important duties. Duty will be assigned according to the requirements of the Navy, and those officers will be assigned to service who are known to be most competent to perform it.
Secretary of the Navy.