Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore Arent S. Crowninshield, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, to Captain William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Station

Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation

Washington, D.C. March 29th, 1898.             

Sir:-

     Commanding Officers are authorized in exceptional cases where men are specially well qualified to waive the time limit for advancements in ratings.1 Great care and judgment must be exercised in the use of this privilege.

Respectfully,               

A.S. Crowninshield,    

Chief of Bureau.       

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 37. Addressed below close: “Commander-in-Chief/North Atlantic Station.” Document reference: “No. 98364.” This order was distributed by Sampson to the commanding officers of the North Atlantic Station as “Circular No. 9” on 2 April.

Footnote 1: Before the Spanish American War the U.S. Navy had a rigid advancement system for officers and enlisted men based on seniority and length of service. This order gave commanding officers some long-sought-after leeway for promotion based on merit, specialty knowledge, and/or basic need. This was one of several changes instituted in the days leading up to the war by the Bureau of Navigation to facilitate the recruiting of mariners who were experienced and/or possessed skills the Navy needed. Spector, Admiral of the New Empire, 23. 

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