Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

(In this table are included the 4,336 men of the Hospital Corps and the 25 officers and 815 men of the Porto Rico Provisional Regiment, leaving the strength of the Regular Army 3,253 officers and 76,084 enlisted men.

In addition there are also in the Philippines 172 volunteer surgeons, appointed under section 18 of the act of February 2, 1901, and 98 officers and 4,973 native scouts.)

The recruitment of the new organizations and the maintenance of the old have been accomplished without difficulty, and the material obtained appears by the reports to be of the best quality. About three-fourths of the total number of applicants were rejected and about one-fourth accepted. Of those accepted about 90 per cent were native born and about 10 per cent naturalized citizens. The requirements that the applicant should be in perfect health, of good character, and able to read and write have been rigidly enforced.

The reorganization provided for by the act required the selection and appointment of 298 officers of staff corps and departments, and of 837 first and second lieutenants of the line. The staff positions have been filled, in most cases by the appointment of deserving officers who had held staff positions in the volunteer force, and as to the remaining positions, by the appointment of officers who had rendered specially meritorious service in the field.

The surgeons and chaplains constitute an exception to this statement, having been selected partly from civil life.

Vacancies in the offices of first and second lieutenants of the line existing after promotions had been made, and after the graduating class at the Military Academy had been provided for, as required by the statute, have been filled under the following provisions of section 28 of the act:

Persons not over 40 years of age who shall have at any time served as volunteers subsequent to April 21, 1898, may be ordered before boards of officers for such examination as may be prescribed by the Secretary of War, and those who establishı

their fitness before these examining boardis may be appointed to the grades of first or second lieutenant in the Regular Army.

Enlisted men of the Regular Army and volunteers may be appointed second lieutenants in the Regular Army to vacancies created by this act, provided that they shall have served one year under the same conditions now authorized by law for enlisted men of the Regular Army.

In executing these provisions it seemed necessary to prescribe a uniform standard of examination, and that which has long been followed in testing the fitness of candidates for appointment from the ranks was prescribed. At the same time it was not deemed just to either officers or men who were actually in the field, or who had but recently terminated their active volunteer service, to treat them precisely the same as applicants are treated who have had abundant time and opportunity to prepare for examination, and accordingly the following order was made:


Washington, April 16, 1901. In view of the long period during which volunteer officers recently serving in the Philippines have been without access to books with which they could prepare for examination, and the fact that a special test of fitness is furnished by each officer's military record, the Secretary of War directs that as to all such officers who are ordered to be examined for appointment to the Regular Army, and are physically qualified, the examining boards, instead of recommending appointment or rejection upon the mental examination alone, shall transmit the examination papers in each case to the War Department, with their marks or ratings, both specific and general, and with an expression of the board's estimate of the candidate's general intelligence and capacity. The question whether, upon such report and the military record taken together, the candidate's fitness has been established will then be determined by the appointing power.

In view of the fact that enlisted men who have been serving in the Philippines have also been without opportunities to prepare for examination, the Secretary of War directs that as to any of them who fail to pass the mental examination for promotion, if the examining board is of the opinion that the candidate has sufficient intelligence and capacity to readily fit himself for such an examination, and that he has failed through lack of opportunity for preparation, the board shall transmit the papers to the Department with their certificate to that effect; and thereupon, if the case seems to warrant such action, the candidate may have a further examination after reasonable opportunity to prepare therefor.

Elihu Root,

Secretary of War. To pass upon the papers reported under the foregoing order, and the military records of the applicants in connection therewith, a board

of review was organized in Washington with Brig. Gen. James M. Bell, U. S. V. (now brigadier-general, U. S. A., retired), as president. To this board of review were referred the papers of all applicants, both officers and enlisted men, who failed to reach the required standard before the local examining boards, and the board of review reported as to the volunteer officers whether upon their military records, taken together with their examinations, their fitness was or was not established, and as to enlisted men whether they were or were not entitled to further examination. In all cases soldierly qualities and capacity to command as exhibited in service have been treated as the most important considerations.

I am satisfied that these duties have been performed with impartiality, fairness, and without fear or favor. Five hundred and five enlisted men have been examined, and 214 have been passed, declared qualified, and commissioned as second lieutenants. Eight hundred and thirty-nine volunteer officers have been ordered for examination, of whom 104 declined, 97 have been found not qualified, 157 remain with their cases undetermined, and 481 have been accepted and commissioned. There remain 1+2 original vacancies to be filled under the statute, and there are on file 10,362 applications.

In selecting the officers to be ordered for examination, every practicable precaution to secure good men has been taken, although, as the applications have been so numerous and the labor of examining the enormous mass of papers relating to them has been so great, many deserving applicants have doubtless been passed over. The commanding officers of all the 25 volunteer regiments which served in the Philippines under the act of March 2, 1899, were called upon to furnish lists of the officers of their command, whom they considered qualified for commissions in the Regular Army, and all of the officers whom they recommended were ordered for examination, with the exception of possibly half a dozen, against whom specific objections existed not known to the commanding officer. As to all the volunteer forces coming within the scope of the act of February 2, the rule has been rigidly followed to order no one for examination except upon military evidence of his fitness from the officers under whom he had served. Some mistakes, of course, have been made, but it is believed that in the main we have secured a very excellent body of officers, who will do credit to the service. It is expecially gratifying to find so great a

number of enlisted men who are able to demonstrate their fitness to receive commissions.

The selection and appointment of the new officers has very nearly kept pace with the vacancies, for the act prohibited the increase of officers of the artillery any more rapidly than the number of enlisted men of that branch was increased. In order to comply with this provision of the statute, as the increase of the artillery was practically equivalent to 6 additional regiments, with 6 full sets of officers, directions were given that the business of increasing the artillery should be treated in 6 separate stages, and that as each successive one-sixth part of the additional enlisted men was obtained, one-sixth part of the additional officers should be appointed by promotion or upon examination.

The last increment of enlisted men was completed on September 23, and the last vacancies of first and second lieutenants in the artillery were not open for appointment until that date. The postponement in the promotion of officers of the artillery, required by this provision of the statute, has resulted in giving the greater part of the officers of artillery, commissions bearing later dates than those of the officers of cavalry and infantry, who were promoted to the extent provided for by the law immediately upon the passage of the act. Accordingly, the officers promoted from the cavalry and infantry all bear commissions dated February 2, 1901, while the officers promoted in the artillery bear commissions dated, respectively, February 2, 1901; May 8, 1901; July 1, 1901; August 1, 1901; August 22, 1901, and September 23, 1901.

I recommend action by Congress to remedy this inequality by making all the commissions bear the same date.

The chief of artillery, provided for by the act, has been appointed. The sixth section of the act required the Secretary of War to prescribe the duties of the new officer. In execution of that statute, the following regulation was made by the Secretary:


Washington, April 9, 1901. Pursuant to section 6 of the act of February 2, 1901, entitled "An act to increase the efficiency of the permanent military establishment of the United States,” the duties of the chief of artillery are hereby prescribed:

1. He shall keep the Commanding General of the Army, and through him the Secretary of War, advised at all times of the efficiency of the personnel and material of the artillery, and make such recommendations in reference thereto as shall in his judgment tend to promote efficiency.

2. He shall annually and as frequently as circumstances shall require inspect the coast and field artillery, and he shall from time to time and as frequently as once in each year report to the Commanding General, and through him to the Secretary of War, as to each coast-defense fortification, whether the same is in all respects ready for use in case of attack, and if not, in what respects the preparations are defective.

3. He shall from time to time, and as frequently as conditions require, confer directly with the Chief of Ordnance, and advise him of all matters relating to the character and preparation of artillery material which the experience and observation of the artillery arm of the service show to be of practical importance.

4. He shall have general supervision of the instruction of artillery officers and men and of examinations for promotion and for appointments and transfers of officers to the artillery arm, and shall recommend such examinations and such courses and methods of instruction in the artillery schools and otherwise as he shall deem requisite to secure a thoroughly trained and educated force.

5. He shall recommend officers for duty in coast or field artillery according to special aptitude and fitness, and is charged generally with the recommendation of officers of artillery for special duty.

6. Before any money is expended or any land is acquired for any seacoast fortification hereafter he shall advise the Secretary of War through the Commanding General whether the project under which the expenditure is to be made includes adequate provision for all the different elements of a complete coast-defense establishment, including fortification, armament, and accommodations for the use of troops; whether the land which it is proposed to acquire will be sufficient for all the purposes mentioned, and how far the appropriations available provide for the entire work. For that purpose all projects and plans for coast-defense fortifications shall upon coming into the office of the Secretary of War be referred, as of course in the first instance, to the Chief of Artillery for his report thereon.

7. He shall be a member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification.

8. The records pertaining to the performance of the duties of the Chief of Artillery will be kept in the office of the Adjutant-General of the Army, through whom all communications relating to personnel, discipline, efficiency, transfers, and assignments should be made in accordance with existing regulations.

9. Nothing in these regulations shall be deemed to relieve the commanders of the several military departments of the duties of inspection and command, or of responsibility for the condition and efficiency of the matériel and personnel of the artillery in their several departments as now provided by regulations.

Elin Root,

Secretary of War. In pursuance of the provision of the act of February 2, 1901, which charges the coast artillery with the care and use of the fixed and movable elements of land and coast fortifications, including the submarine mine and torpedo defense, the Torpedo School at Willets Point has been transferred from the care of the engineers to the artillery, by whom it will be conducted hereafter and the Engineer School has been removed to Washington Barracks.

« AnteriorContinuar »