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Z-Gram #99; dated 18 August 1971

Officer Swords

R 181705Z AUG 71
FM CNO (Z-99)

TO NAVOP

UNCLAS//N01020//
OFFICER SWORDS

A. U.S. NAVY UNIFORM REGULATIONS, 1969

1. THE NAVAL OFFICER SWORD HAS BEEN AN ITEM OF UNIFORM SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF THE NAVY, AND EXCEPT DURING WORLD WAR II AND A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD THEREAFTER, HAS STOOD AS A VISIBLE MANIFESTATION OF THE RICH HERITAGE IN VALOR, HONOR AND TRADITION ASSOCIATED WITH THE NAVAL SERVICE.

2. SEVERAL RETENTION STUDY GROUPS HAVE POINTED OUT THAT MANY JUNIOR OFFICERS HAVE LITTLE NEED FOR A SWORD AND FOR NON-CAREER OFFICERS THE COST IS DISPROPORTIONATE TO USE. WHILE I BELIEVE THE SWORD IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR OF PRESTIGE AND TRADITION, I ALSO RECOGNIZE THE LOGIC OF THE ARGUMENT PRESENTED BY THE RETENTION STUDY GROUPS. THEREFORE, THE REQUIREMENT FOR LIEUTENANTS AND BELOW TO PURCHASE THIS ITEM AS A PERSONAL ARTICLE OF UNIFORM IS OPTIONAL UPON RECEIPT OF THIS MESSAGE.

3. THIS PROVISION WILL BE INCORPORATED IN THE NEXT CHANGE TO REF A. E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADM, U.S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.

BT

[END]
Published:Tue Oct 25 06:40:59 EDT 2016