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Rear Admiral Leigh C. Palmer, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, to Recruiting Officers





September 19, 1918.

From:     Bureau of Navigation, Recruiting Division, Navy Department.

To:       All Recruiting Officers.

Subject:  General Outline of Plan of Organization for Mobilization of Man Power for the Navy.

     1.   An Act of Congress entitled “An Act Amending the Act entitled ‘An Act to Authorize the President to increase temporarily the Military Establishment of the United States’ approved May eighteenth, nineteen hundred and seventeen” - - approved August 31, 1918, provides in section 4.1 “That all men rendered available for induction into the Military service of the United States through registration or draft heretofore or hereafter made pursuant to law, shall be liable to service in the Army or the Navy, or the Marine Corps and shall be allotted to Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps under Regulations prescribed by the President:2 Provided, that all persons drafted and allotted to the Navy or Marine Corps in pursuance hereof shall, from the date of allotment, be subject to the laws and regulations governing the Navy and Marine Corps respectively.”

     2.   In pursuance of the above act, in a conference of the representatives of the War and Navy Departments, it was agreed that there will be an average monthly allotment to the Navy of 15,000 Class 1-A men,3 with certain additions hereinafter specified.

     3.   It was agreed that, of these 15,000 men to be received monthly, 6,500 are to be obtained by individual induction into the Navy, and that the remaining 8,500 men are to be obtained from the run of the draft, in accordance with Regulations, now existing, for the Army.

     4.   In addition to the above 15,000 men the Navy will obtain men in unlimited numbers from the deferred classes, by individual induction. Men so obtained for the messman branch will be inducted by Local Boards as Mess Attendant third class.

     5.   The Navy will use, where practicable, limited service men, but the induction of these men is not to count against the quota of 15,000 men. Mobilization officers will request the individual induction of these men only upon request for them by proper authority, to fill specific vacancies.

     6.   In addition, when an emergency arises, the Bureau of Navigation will make a requisition on the Provost Marshal General’s office for a specified number of men, with special qualifications, which will be charged to the allotment of 15,000, but not to the 6,500.

     7.   No calls for the “run of the draft” will be made before the November delivery, except in cases of emergency. No calls for skilled men, excepting the monthly 6,500, will be made until December 1st, except in cases of emergency.

     8.   From month to month the Navy will sort out the specialists from those obtained in the “run of the draft” and the ones assigned to Trade Schools of the Navy will be charged against the 6,500 of the month succeeding the assignment.

     9.   The minimum notice of calls required by the Provost Marshal General is 15 days, and the Navy Department will give as much more notice as practicable.

     10.  In selecting men under call for the Navy, Local Boards will not induct any registrant who cannot read, write, and speak the English language, or who is not a full citizen of the United States, or who is a “conscientious objector”.

     11.  Men forwarded by the Local Boards will take to the Navy Mobilization Stations clothing as prescribed by the Selective Service Regulations for the draftees of the Army.

     12.  In making requisition for skilled men the Navy Department will use, as far as possible, the code numbers shown in the Adjutant General’s Trade Specification Book.

     13.  Local Boards will not forward men above 74” in height nor those afflicted with the following defects: venereal disease, color blindness, transmissible skin diseases, and with vision in either eye of less than 15/20, without glasses. . . .

     15.  Should the Mobilization Service fail to secure, in any one month, its allowed quota of 6,500 individually inducted men, the deficit for any month may be made up in any of the following months. The remaining 6,500 men, or such portion as may be designated by the Bureau, will be inducted by the Local Boards, by the same method used by the Army, by order of the Provost Marshal General, and will be sent by such Local Boards to the Navy Mobilization Stations of their respective Mobilization Districts. The Provost Marshal General will be responsible for the inducted men up to the time of their delivery to the Mobilization Stations.

     16.  The Mobilization Stations will be notified, by the Local Boards, of the time of arrival and the number of men to be sent.

     17.  Local Boards will use the Army forms for meals, lodging, and transportation, stamping same with the word “Navy”. The War Department will arrange with the railroads to turn over such requests direct to the “Transportation Section, Mobilization Division, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.” for settlement.

     18.  The Navy Department will use the mobilization forms of the Provost Marshal General, but the mobilization officer will use the same forms with exceptions to meet the new conditions, and carry out the same paper work as was in practice in the Recruiting Service, forwarding all records as heretofore, until otherwise directed.

     19.  Upon request of the Adjutant General of the State the Mobilization Officer will detail a petty officer to accompany the draft from the Local Board to the Mobilization Station. During this period a man who deserts will be known as a Navy deserter, but will be apprehended by the Army and delivered to the Navy.

     20.  In a draft of less than 100 the Local Board will select men of the draft to assume responsible charge.

     21.  The Mobilization Officer will make provision for the subsistence and lodging of the men of the draft, when necessary. Upon the arrival of these men at the Mobilization Station the Mobilization Officer will forward a receipt for them to their respective Local Boards.

     22.  The men of the draft will be examined, physically, in accordance with directions issued by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Men not qualifying will be discharged for physical defects not received in the line of duty, by the same method now used for men in the Naval Service. Until further orders no requests for waivers will be considered.

     23.  Those accepted will be required to take the oath of allegiance, and the usual papers made out and forwarded to such stations or Naval Districts as the Bureau of Navigation may direct.

     24.  All men refusing to take the oath of allegiance will be discharged by the Mobilization Officer, as undesirable, and all other men, deemed unfit for the Naval Service by the Mobilization Officer, will be discharged for inaptitude.

     25.  The method of paying off discharged men will be specified by the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

     26.  Any man discharged by the Mobilization Station will be replaced by the Local Board from which the man was sent. The Local Board should be notified of all discharges on regular forms, so that replacements may be forwarded.

     27.  The serial numbers will be entered by the Mobilization Officer in accordance with the block of numbers assigned to each Mobilization Station and instructions to be issued by the Bureau of Navigation.

     28.  The former Recruiting Service will now be known as the Naval Mobilization Service, and will be under the supervision of an officer designated by the Bureau of Navigation who will be known as the Mobilization Director, acting under the Division of Enlisted Personnel. Mobilization Stations will be established by the Bureau of Navigation with Mobilization Officers in charge. These Officers will be under the supervision and command of the Mobilization Inspectors. The former Recruiting Inspectors will now be known as the Navy Mobilization Inspectors. . . .

     30.  All commissioned officers attached to Mobilization Stations, including the Medical Officers, will be authorized to administer the oath of allegiance to the inducted men.

     31.  In addition to the allotments of men as above noted, the Navy has been authorized to induct 12,000 undergraduate students, between the ages of 18 and 21 inclusive, now at various educational institutions throughout the country. Special instructions have been issued as to the method of procedure in such inductions. These men will be enrolled as Apprentice Seamen, will receive active duty pay, and an allowance for subsistence no to exceed two dollars pay, and an allowance for subsistence not to exceed two dollars per day; but such an allowance will conform to the amount as now specified by contract between the Army and the institution concerned.

     32.  If a man of industrial or agricultural classification applies for induction, a request for his induction may be made on P.M.G.O. Form 2006-B. The Provost Marshal General will then issue a competent order for his induction, subject to the following conditions: A board of three men will be appointed by the Local Board to see if the reason for the man’s exemption has ceased. If not, they will have three days in which to dissuade him. If at the end of that period he still insists on induction, his Local Board will have to induct him.

     33.  All matters pertaining to induction of men into the Navy will be conducted by the Mobilization Service, acting under the Bureau of Navigation.

     34.  Enrollments of women for Naval District needs will be made by direction of the Commandant of the Naval District in which the enrollment is made. In this connection women needed for duty at Mobilization Stations will be obtained by request upon Commandants.

     35.  All Mobilization Officers will be Enrolling Officers and will enroll women designated by the Bureau of Navigation for transfer to other Naval Districts.

     36.  Enlistments of previous service men will be made in accordance with the Act of Congress entitled: “An Act to authorize the President to increase temporarily the Military Establishment of the United States” which provides “That men who have served in the Navy of the United States shall, upon their own application, be permitted to re-enlist in the Naval or Marine Service of the United States with and by the approval of the Secretary of the Navy.”

     37.  For purposes of administration, the United States will be divided into four Mobilization Divisions, which in turn will be divided into Mobilization Districts; each District to have one Mobilization Office. All inducted men will be forwarded to the Mobilization Offices for examination and final acceptance in the Navy. The Mobilization Offices, then, will distribute the men to the various Naval Districts, as directed by the Bureau of Navigation. . . .

     38.  It is realized that the above instructions are incomplete as they were drawn up in great haste, in order to furnish the Mobilization Service with sufficient instructions to enable them to commence active operations under the new system on or about October 1st. Complete instructions will follow shortly.

L. C. PALMER.           

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 678. Document reference: “N-67-Mc.”

Footnote 2: President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 3: 1-A men were considered available for military service.