Washington, March 17, 1869.
[Sea Service of Officers to be Three Years]
The sea-service of officers hereafter will be for a period of three years, counting from the day they receive their orders until they are detached on the return of their vessel to the United States.
Commanding officers of squadrons will be careful not to detain vessels on a station longer than the period stated in this order, but must send them home in time to enable the officers and crew to reach their domiciles within the three years.
Officers who have been three years at sea will, on their return, be allowed three years at a shore station.
To make it fair for all, officers will have to take their turns on the different stations.
Those officers now on the Mediterranean station will not be ordered there until they have performed duty on the coasts of Brazil, China, Pacific, and home squadrons, which will be the line of duty.
Secretary of the Navy.