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Captain William V. Pratt, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

              CABLEGRAM RECEIVED November 16, 19181

Origin    Opnav, Washington.                    Ser. No.



1150. For Benson. While verbal understanding with Bureau of Navigations has existed a definite written policy with regard to distribution and training of personnel to meet present and future conditions has not been laid down. Bureau of Navigation and Operations have unanimously agreed to policy, main features of which are as follow, quote:

     The ultimate and immediate mission of vessels of Battleship Force Two shall be to maintain themselves in instant readiness for battle. Ultimate mission of Battleship Forces One is to fit itself for battle. To that end it shall maintain permanent nucleus battleship organization of both officers and men sufficient to keep material in constant readiness for battle and permit rapid preparation for battle when battle complement is assigned.

     The immediate mission of Battleship Force one is to train Officers and men for service on other vessels. Unquote. The entire letter is not quoted as rest is somewhat unessential.

     Owing to sudden movement of four dreadnoughts, it becomes necessary to put this policy into effect and Bureau of Navigation desires it at once. I have withheld pending receipt of letter by you, though it is believed to be sound and in accordance with your views and best practice.

     Will you cable your assent that I may release.2 Signed Pratt 09016.

Signed Benson.

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

Footnote 1: The date on this document was incorrectly typed as 1918. A later editor corrected this date to 1917.

Footnote 2: For Benson’s approval of this written policy, see: Benson to Opnav, 18 November 1917.

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