Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske (Retired) to Senator Frederick Hale of Maine, Chairman of the Subcommittee of the Committee on Naval Affairs.
NEW YORK CITY, May 11, 1920.
MY DEAR SENATOR HALE: In reply to your letter of May 9, 1920, my only suggestions are:
1. That the provision establishing the Office of Chief of Naval Operations that was recommended unanimously by the House Naval Committee in January and February 1915, be enacted into law. If this be done the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations can then map out the details needed to carry it into effect, and modify them from time to time as needed. If the attempt be made by Navy officers and Congressmen not familiar with the duties of the Chief of Naval Operations to arrange details in advance, I fear that important mistakes may be made. If such mistakes are prescribed by law, great injury may be done.
2. That the selection of an officer to fill the Office of Chief of Naval Operations be made in accordance with the recommendation of a board of flag officers, as is now done in making regular promotions. Of this board the retiring Chief of Naval Operations it would seem should be the chairman. Clearly it is as wrong to vest the appointment of a Chief of Naval Operation in an official not professionally qualified to select the best man as it would be to so vest the selection of officers for ordinary promotion.
Bradley A. Fiske,
Rear Admiral, United States Navy, Retired.
Source Note: TCy, Naval Investigation: 2:3410-1.