Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger, President, General Board, to Senator Frederick Hale of Maine, Chairman of the Subcommittee of the Committee on Naval Affairs.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, GENERAL BOARD,
Washington, May 11, 1920.
Senator Frederick Hale,
Chairman Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Naval Affairs.
MY DEAR SENATOR HALE: I am in receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, requesting me to furnish the subcommittee of which you are chairman suggestions in regard to changes that may be advantageously made in the organization of the Navy Department.
2. After giving careful consideration to the subject I feel that I am not prepared to make any suggestions for a reorganization of the Navy Department that would be of value to the committee or to the service. I have not given it the detailed study which its importance merits.
3. The present organization of the Navy Department is based upon a bureau system, with a civilian Secretary of the Navy at its head, originally adopted in 1842 and extended and modified in succeeding years as progress in the Navy has rendered advisable. Through many trials, and at times against much opposition within the service, it has maintained itself because upon broad investigation nothing better suited to our methods of business and form of Government has as yet found to replace it.
4. It adjusted itself efficiently to the demands of the World War. Without substantial modification it stood the strain of enormous expansion and subsequently of speedy and orderly contraction to normal conditions with the minimum of friction or confusion. This fact should cause suggestions for any radical change to be examined with thoroughness and conservatism.
Very sincerely, yours,
CHAS. J. BADGER,1
Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Retired).
Source Note: TCy, Naval Investigation, 2:2396
Footnote 1: RAdm. Charles J. Badger (1853-1932) was the son of Commo. Oscar C. Badger (1823-1899). His own son, Adm. Oscar C. Badger II (1890-1958), was a Medal of Honor recipient and served in the Pacific during WWII. See: “Badger III (DE-1071),” DANFS.