Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, Inter-Office Order



7 March 1918.                

     1.   The definite adoption of a method of administrative procedure which will most effectively care for the great expansion which has taken place in the activities and problems of the Office of Naval Operations has become necessary. It is essential that the Chief of Naval Operations devote his time to broad questions of naval policy, preparation and operation, entrusting the carrying on of the details of adopted policies and plans to the heads of the divisions of the Office of Naval Operations.

     2.   The divisions of the Office of Naval Operations are as follows:

                    1. Operations Division.

                    2. Materiel Division.

                    3. Intelligence Division.

                    4. Communication Division.

               5. Gunnery Exercises and

                         Engineering Performances Division.

               6. Naval Districts Division.

               7. Aviation Division.

     3.   The heads of these divisions of the Office are hereby authorized to administer the details of their respective divisions by direction of the Chief of Naval Operations.

     4.   This delegated authority covers only the administration of approved policies and plans. The heads of division shall lay before the Chief of Naval Operations in concise form, for his consideration and approval, all questions involving change of policy or plans.

     5.   For administrative purposes the officer in charge of the Operations Division shall hold the same relation to the other heads of divisions as the executive officer of a ship holds to the other heads of departments on board ship.

     6.   In all matters in line with policies already approved involving more than one division, it is the duty of the heads of divisions to confer with the head of the Operations Division, with a view to coordinating and expediting action. Where a change in policy is involved joint conference with the Chief of Naval Operations shall be arranged.

     7.  Heads of divisions must consult freely with the Chief of Naval Operations, but no question shall be made the subject of a conference until thoroughly studied and a constructive suggestion prepared.

     8.  The above divisions of the Office of Naval Operations exist to attain effective administration. The unavoidable physical separation of certain of the divisions must not be allowed to obscure the fact that the final responsibility rests upon the Chief of Naval Operations, who desires and must have at all times a comprehensive knowledge of the activities of the several divisions.

     9.  Heads of divisions will submit, at regular intervals, or from time to time, as may be found most effective, such condensed statements as will most readily enable the Chief of Naval Operations to keep intimately in touch with their activities, plans and progress. Such information shall be merely supplemental to frequent conferences with division heads.

     10.  In order to conserve time conferences should be arranged in advance through Lieutenant-Commander Carter, or Lieutenant R. S. Russell.1

W. S. BENSON.      

Source Note: D, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Lt. Cmdr. Andrew F. Carter, Aide to the Chief of Naval Operations, and Lt. Richard S. Russell.