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Memorandum of Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations



Washington, D.C.,

September 26, 1917.

From:     Chief of Naval Operations.

To:       Commandants, Naval Districts,

Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet,1

Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet,2

Commanders of Forces,

Comdr. Division Two, Pacific Fleet,3

Bureaus and Offices of the Department.

     SUBJECT:-Rank of officers of the Navy and Coast Guard.

     1.   Article 1012 Navy Regulations has been changed to read as follows, and is published for information of those concerned in advance of a "Change in Regulation” circular:

 1012. (1) The relative rank between officers of the Navy and Marine Corps, whether on the active or on the retired list, and officers of the Coast Guard, shall be as follows:

     (a) Captain commandant with captain.

     (b) Senior captain and engineer-in-Chief with commander.

(c) Captain, and captain of engineers, with lieutenant commander.

(d) First lieutenant, and first lieutenant of engineers, with lieutenant.

(e) Second lieutenant, and second lieutenant of engineers, with lieutenant (junior grade).

(f) Third lieutenant, and third lieutenant of engineers, with ensign.

Whenever the personnel of the Coast Guard, or any part thereof, is operating with the personnel of the Navy in accordance with law, precedence between commissioned officers of corresponding grades in the two services shall be determined by the date of commissions in those grades.

(2) The Coast Guard constitutes a part of the military forces of the United States operating under the Treasury Department in time of peace, and 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. (Act January 28, 1915). Whenever the whole or any part of the personnel of the Coast Guard is operating with the personnel of the navy, officers and men of each service shall have the same authority and control over officers and men of the other service as that to which their rank or rating entitles them in their respective services.

(3) Whenever in time of war the Coast Guard operates as part of the Navy, the personnel of that service shall be subject to the laws prescribed for the government of the Navy.”

W. S. BENSON.     

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers “No. 29762-115/Op-26)” appear in the upper-left corner.

Footnote 1: Adm. Henry T. Mayo.

Footnote 2: Adm. William B. Caperton.

Footnote 3: RAdm. William F. Fullam.

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