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NOTES ON THE NAVY DEPARTMENT'S PRO-
POSED PERSONNEL BILL

H. O. DUNN
Captain, U.S. Navy

The bill, which is printed in full in this number of THE NAVY, has gone through with the preliminary hearings before the present Naval Committee and the Department will continue to urge upon Congress the importance of this necessary legislation.

In the first place, it must be recognized that the bill is based on "selection out," and all arguments which take "selection up" as a text have no bearing on the subject. The vast majority of the service does not want "selection up," for the one and sufficient reason favoritism.

It is contended that this bill is a reasonable and scientific settlement of a vast and important subject. The question of battleships, even, is not more pressing than personnel. No ship is better than her captain; she cannot fight without the directing mind. And let me tell the readers of THE NAVY that a Captain of a modern Dreadnought must be vigorous of body and alert of mind, besides possessing the necessary experience to command. The crux of the question is to get the captain on the bridge at the proper age and with the necessary training. The bill will do it. And not only that: it will furnish a proper captain to take flag rank and give him sufficient time in the flag grade to thoroughly master his job. It even eliminates him, if he cannot make good as a flag officer. Here is the point where, if we are to win our future battles, we must have time for the survival of the fittest. All money and time and ships will be wasted, if we do not seek this desirable end. The law of evolution and survival obtains in the navy as well as in nature.

The tremendous responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the Commander-in-Chief, leading his fleet into battle, cannot be lightly assumed nor easily attained. He must have time to go through his paces, rear-admiral in command of a division, vice-admiral in command of a squadron, admiral in command of the fleet. The fate of the nation may turn on this point. Is it worth the attention of the people and of Congress?

Even if the proposed bill would cost the country more than the present law, it would be worth while; but, as a matter of fact, the comparative cost is less, owing to the grade retirements. The tax-payer will get more for his money if the new organization is put in force.

Perhaps the most startling feature of the bill to the iay mind is amalgamation.

This question has been carefully studied by experienced officers and a satisfactory solution arrived at. The great gain is flexibility. All officers on board, except the doctor and the chaplain, will be combatant, or line, officers, ready for and capable of doing any naval duty.

No violent change will take place. The present constructors and pay officers will continue to do their present duties, and any who wish to qualify for the line will have ample opportunity. The new officers coming in will specialize in these two new fields.

At present, line officers specialize in ordnance, ammunition, engineering, electricity, wireless, mines, and torpedoes; two more specialties will be added.

It is not the intention for all officers to specialize in everything; on the contrary, no one is required to specialize in anything except the duties of a naval officer.

Officers will specialize according to their individual

taste.

The new bill requires all to graduate from the Naval Academy, except those that come up from the ranks. The curriculum of the Academy will turn out good average ensigns; and after three years at sea, those that specialize will take up the post-graduate courses now established by the Department.

The amalgamation of the old engineers has proved successful; there can be no reasonable doubt concerning the new amalgamation.

Apart from flexibility, there will be the enormous gain of team work: all hands will be line officers working for the good of the navy and not for their own corps. Friction will disappear and results will ensue.

The question that the service must answer is, "Will the new bill increase the efficiency of the navy?" not, "How will it affect me?"

The navy is not run for the benefit of the individual; its raison d'etre is to win battles. All else is secondary. Those eliminated must loyally consider the good of the country and step aside.

The navy is a business proposition, and in business there is no sentiment, nor is there very much regard for the individual.

THE NAVY is a champion of reforms and scans with discriminating eyes all changes and innovations in the service. Its voice has always been for progress and efficiency. It now has a chance to use its powerful influence to forward a measure quite as important as the question of material.

THE NAVY PERSONNEL BILL

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: That from and after the passage of this act, the numbers of the personnel of the United States Navy on the active list shall be based on the total displacement tonnage, as contained in the official annual Navy Register, of the battleships and cruisers of the navy that have been authorized by law within twenty-five years; and the personnel for any fiscal year shall be based on such total tonnage existing on January first next preceding said fiscal year: Provided, That hereafter the annual estimates for the naval establishment shall contain a list of the battleships and cruisers of the Navy as herein defined, with the displacement tonnage and date of authorization of each of them, together with the total of such tonnage; also, a list with the numbers of the enlisted personnel and officers of the Navy and Marine Corps at full strength based on such total tonnage; and until such full strength shall be reached said list shall contain the corresponding estimated numbers for the year in question under the operation of this act, said estimated numbers in no case to exceed the full numbers based on the tonnage; and the numbers as enacted into law shall be the authorized numbers for the next ensuing fiscal year.

SEC. 2. That the full strength of the enlisted personnel of the Navy on the active list shall be fixed hereafter on July first of each year at seventy men for every one thousand tons, and fractions in proportion, of the battleships and cruisers of the Navy as ascertained in section I preceding. The authorized numbers for any fiscal year shall be distributed in such ratings as the Secretary of the Navy shall determine, with the approval of the President: Provided, That the authorized numbers of such personnel for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, shall be fifty-two thousand five hundred.

SEC. 3. That the full strength of the commissioned line officers of the Navy on the active list, excluding officers borne on the Navy list as additional numbers and excluding commissioned warrant officers, shall be fixed hereafter on July first of each year at three such officers for every one thousand tons, and fractions in proportion, of the battleships and cruisers of the Navy as ascertained in section one of this act: Provided, That the total authorized number of such commissioned officers shall not hereby be increased more than ten per centum nor decreased more than five per centum in any fiscal year.

SEC. 4. That the total resulting strength of the commissioned line officers of the Navy on the active list on the passage of this act shall be distributed in the several grades in the proportion of one flag officer, four captains, five commanders, thirteen lieutenant commanders, and fifty-five lieutenants, lieutenants (junior grade), and ensigns; and the same proportional distribution shall be followed hereafter in the data for the annual estimates required by section one of this act: Provided, That the resulting strength of any of said grades on the passage of this act, and before such proportional distribution, shall not hereby be reduced: Provided further, That the authorized strength of the several grades of the line on the active list, exclusive of the Admiral of the Navy, and exclusive of additional numbers, on the passage of this act and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, shall not exceed one admiral, five vice admirals, twenty rear admirals, one hundred captains, one hundred and thirty-five commanders, three hundred and fifty lieutenant commanders, and such total number of lieutenants, lieutenants (junior grade), and ensigns as may qualify for said grades under existing law and the provisions of this act.

SEC. 5. That the total number of flag officers, as determined

by the provisions of section 4 preceding, shall be distributed in grades in the proportion of one admiral, three vice admirals, and twelve rear admirals. Rear admirals in the upper half of said grade shall receive the pay and allowances now prescribed by law for rear admirals, first nine; and rear admirals in the lower half of said grade shall receive the pay and allowances now prescribed by law for rear admirals, second nine. The President shall appoint the vice admirals, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from rear admirals on the active list who have or shall have served creditably as such in command of a fleet, squadron, or division. Similarly, he shall appoint the admirals, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from vice admirals on the active list who shall have served creditably as such in command of a fleet, squadron, or division.

SEC. 6. That the annual pay of admirals shall be thirteen thousand five hundred dollars; of vice admirals, eleven thousand dollars. The Admiral of the Navy shall be entitled to quarters of twelve rooms; admirals, eleven rooms; and vice admirals, ten rooms; or in each case commutation therefor at the rate of twelve dollars per room per month, the heat and light allowance to correspond to the allowance of quarters. Admirals and vice admirals shall, on reaching the age of sixty-five years, be retired with three-fourths the pay of their grade. Admirals and vice admirals availing themselves of the privilege of voluntary retirement pursuant to law shall receive the retirement pay of the next lower grade only.

SEC. 7. That after June 30,1913, there shall be allowed at the Naval Academy one midshipman for each Senator, Representative, and Delegate in Congress, one for Porto Rico, one for the District of Columbia, and forty at large. The time of admitting successors to the midshipmen at the Naval Academy shall be such as may be established by law from time to time, with the object of maintaining the personnel of officers at full strength as provided in this act, and the annual estimates shall recommend, when necessary, such time as may be suitable; Provided, That after June 30, 1913, successors to midshipmen shall be admitted when said midshipmen shall have served two years at the Naval Academy, or, in case of a vacancy in either of said years, then with the next entering class.

SEC. 8. That hereafter midshipmen shall be between the ages of fifteen years and eighteen years on July first of the calendar year of entry. In putting in effect the new ages of entry, the change from the present age limits shall be made as follows: For the current calendar year there shall be no change; subsequently, the limits for the first year thereafter shall be fifteen years and nineteen years, and for the second and subsequent years, fifteen years and eighteen years, as required by this act.

SEC. 9. That midshipmen on graduation may be assigned by the Secretary of the Navy to fill vacancies in the lowest commissioned grades of the Corps of Civil Engineers and the Marine Corps: Provided, That ensigns may, with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, be so assigned to said corps on their own application. Graduate midshipmen and ensigns hereafter assigned to the Corps of Civil Engineers shall take rank and precedence in said corps in accordance with the official order of precedence of officers, which order shall not be changed. Graduate midshipmen hereafter assigned to the Marine Corps shall take rank in said corps in accordance with the date of their commission therein; and ensigns hereafter assigned to the Marine Corps shall take rank in said corps in accordance with the date of commission as ensign of officers of the line of the Navy of the same precedence as said ensigns.

SEC. 10. That ensigns shall serve three years after the completion of the four years' course at the Naval Acadmy, and shall

thereafter be promoted in the order of seniority, subject to the examination required by law, to the next higher grade after seven years' total service, counting from July first of the calendar year of precedence date. Thereafter officers below flag rank may be promoted at any time, in the order of seniority, to fill a vacancy in the next higher grade; and shall be promoted in such order, subject to the examination required by law, after completing periods of total service, counting from July first of the calendar year of precedence date, as herewith enumerated: Lieutenants (junior grade), ten years; lieutenants, eighteen years; lieutenant commanders, twenty-four years; commanders, twenty-nine years; captains, thirty-seven years; Provided, That such promotions shall not cause at the time an excess in the grade of rear admiral of more than fifteen per centum of the authorized number of rear admirals, or, in the grades of captain, commander, and lieutenant commander for the first ten years after the passage of this act, an excess at the time of more than ten per centum of the authorized numbers of said respective grades; nor, after ten years, an excess at the time of more than fifteen per centum in any of said grades; and said excess in any grade shall be reduced immediately by retirements from the whole grade, as provided in sections 12 and 13 of this act.

SEC. II. That the promotions of officers for total length of service, as required by section 10 preceding, shall begin on July first following the passage of this act, and shall continue on the first day of each fiscal year thereafter.

SEC. 12. That when in June of any year there is a prospect that on the ensuing July first there will be a greater number of captains of thirty-seven or more years' total service, counting from July first of the calendar year of precedence date, than will be required to fill the authorized number of flag officers, the Secretary of the Navy shall convene a board of five of the highest ranking available flag officers, and shall place at its disposal the service and medical records on file in the Navy Department of rear admirals and of captains due by such length of service for promotion to. the grade of rear admiral. Said board shall then, as soon as practicable on or after said July first, after the promotions and voluntary retirements due on that date shall have been made, select for retirement a sufficient number of rear admirals to reduce the total number of flag officers on said July first to the authorized number of flag officers. Each member of said board shall swear, or affirm, that he will, without prejudice or partiality, and having in view solely the special fitness of officers and the efficiency of the naval service, perform the duties imposed upon him by this act. The finding of the board, which shall be in writing, signed by all the members, not less than four governing and no member to vote on the name of any officer his senior, shall be transmitted to the President, who shall thereupon, by order, make the transfers of such officers to the retired list as are selected by said board; and said retirements shall date as of July first. The redivision of the rear admirals into upper and lower half shall not take place until said retirements shall have been made. Rear admirals so retired shall receive three fourths the pay of their grade.

SEC. 13. That when in June of any year there is a prospect that the numbers of captains, commanders, or lieutenant commanders that will result after the ensuing July first promotions will exceed the authorized numbers of their respective grades, the Secretary of the Navy shall convene a board of five rear admirals, and shall place at its disposal the service and medical records on file in the Navy Department of all the officers in the grades of captain, commander, and lieutenant commander, or due by length of service for promotion to the grade of lieutenant commander. Said board shall then, as soon as practicable on

or after said July first, select for retirement a sufficient number of said officers in each grade as it will exist on said July first, after the promotions and voluntary retirements due on that date shall have been made, to reduce the total number of captains, commanders, and lieutenant commanders, on said July first, to the authorized numbers of said respective grades. The same procedure in regard to oaths (or affirmation) shall be followed as prescribed in section 12 of this act. The finding of said board, which shall be in writing, signed by all the members, not less than four governing, shall be transmitted to the President, who shall thereupon, by order, make the transfers of such officers to the retired list as are selected by said board; and said retirements shall date as of July first; Provided, That officers so retired shall be entitled to a graded rate of pay in accordance with their rank and length of service, as established in section twenty-three of this act for officers retiring voluntarily on their own application, such retirement pay in any case to be not less than the lowest pay there provided for an officer of the same rank of eighteen years' service: Provided further, That should the medical record of any officer so retired show evidence of incapacity incident to the service, or physical disability incurred in the line of duty, he shall, if said incapacity or disability be confirmed by a retiring board, and if the recommendation of said board be approved by the President, be retired in accordance with the provisions of sections fourteen hundred and fiftythree and fifteen hundred and eighty-eight, Revised Statutes.

SEC. 14. That the officers constituting the Pay Corps and the Construction Corps of the United States Navy be, and are hereby, transferred to the line of the Navy, and shall be commissioned accordingly.

SEC. 15. That said transfer to the line shall be made in the official order of precedence of officers at date of passage of this act, with rank according to such precedence in the line, or, in case loss of grade, or loss of rank in grade, would result, then to the grade in the line corresponding to such grade, or rank in grade, previous to said transfer, but in any case without change in the official order of precedence: Provided, That officers of said corps transferred to the line shall continue to rank with other officers of like grade or rank in the line or in any staff corps in accordance with the official order of precedence, in the same manner as before such transfer: Provided, however, That should any officer so transferred to the line have lost precedence on original appointment to the corps from which transferred, he shall, in future, while retaining his grade and present precedence, be entitled to the rank, pay, and allowances of line officers of his original precedence.

SEC. 16. That any officer of the former Pay Corps or the former Construction Corps, after such transfer to the line, may, upon his own application at any time thereafter, be assigned temporarily to the general duties of the line, and if so assigned shall be given a reasonable opportunity to acquire the necessary experience in such line duties up to and including the duties of the grade he then holds, at the conclusion of which he shall be permanently available for such assignment if he pass the examination provided by law as preliminary to promotion to such grade, failure to pass not to displace such officer from the status for duty occupied by him prior to such temporary assignment: Provided, That should any officer so transferred to the line, and who shall have subsequently qualified for the general duties of th line, have lost precedence on original appointment to the corps from which transferred, he shall, after such qualification, resume his former order of precedence, with its corresponding grade and rank, subject to the examination required by law in case of promotion thereby to a higher grade.

SEC. 17. That officers of the Pay Corps and the Construction Corps transferred to the line in accordance with this act, who shall not qualify for the general duties of the line in accordance with the preceding section, shall preserve their present status for duty, and shall have all necessary authority over officers and enlisted men for performing said duty: Provided, That assistant naval constructors of the rank of lieutenant (junior grade) so transferred shall be available for the general duties of the line. SEC. 18. That so far as may be consistent with the efficiency of the service the number of selections for retirement, under the requirements of sections twelve and thirteen of this act, from officers of the former Pay Corps and the former Construction Corps who shall not have qualified for the general duties of the line shall be in any grade in proportion to the number of such officers in that grade.

SEC. 19. That after the passage of this act the duties now performed by officers of the Pay Corps and the Construction Corps of the Navy shall be performed by officers of the line who may be detailed for such duties: Provided, That no such detail be made of any officer of the present line who may be above the rank of lieutenant at the date of passage of this act, except temporarily in cases of emergency: Provided further, That sections 1383, 1384, and 1385 of the Revised Statutes be, and are hereby, repealed

SEC. 20. That the Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts shall be appointed from the list of line officers of the Navy not below the grade of commander, or, in case of officers of the former Construction Corps or the former Pay Corps, not below the grade of lieutenant commander, and shall be skilled in the duties under cognizance of said respective bureaus.

SEC. 21. That temporarily and until the total length of service of the senior captains shall have been first reduced below thirtyseven years, counting from July first of the calendar year of precedence date, captains of more than thirty-seven years' service, and due by such service for promotion to the grade of rear admiral, if retired on the recommendation of the board as provided in section thirteen of this act, shall be retired with the rank and three-fourths the pay of rear admirals of the lower half; and likewise said captains shall at any time during said temporary restriction, in the discretion and upon the approval of the President, have the privilege of voluntary retirement on their own application in the same manner as if they had been retired on the recommendation of said board.

SEC. 22. That officers of the Navy of the rank of lieutenant commander and above, in the line or in any staff corps, or officers of the Marine corps of the rank of captain and above, who may be borne on the list of the Navy and Marine Corps as additional numbers, shall, whenever the best interests of the service require, be subject to retirement on the recommendation of the boards provided in this act, in addition to the numbers recommended in accordance with the requirements thereof; but the average yearly proportion of such retirements shall not exceed the average yearly proportion of retirements of other officers of the same rank and grade who shall be retired on the recommendation of said boards; and said officers shall be retired in all respects in the same manner as other officers of the same rank and grade as provided in this act.

SEC. 23. That when the interest of the service shall permit it, and in the discretion and upon the approval of the President, any officer of the Navy or Marine Corps of more than eighteen years' total service, including service in the Regular or Volunteer Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, may, upon his own application, be retired at a graded rate of pay based on rank and

length of service. Such graded pay shall be, for each completed year of such service, a percentage of his pay at date of retirement, as herewith enumerated: Eighteen years, thirty-three per centum; nineteen years, thirty-six per centum; twenty years, thirty-nine per centum; twenty-one years, forty-two per centum; twenty-two years, forty-five per centum; twenty-three years, forty-eight per centum; twenty-four years, fifty-one per centum; twenty-five years, fifty-four per centum; twenty-six years, fiftyeight per centum; twenty-seven years, sixty-two per centum; twenty-eight years, sixty-six per centum, twenty-nine years, seventy per centum; thirty or more years, seventy-five per centum: Provided, That in determining the service necessary for retirement and the retirement pay, under this section, of officers who have heretofore been appointed or commissioned in the Navy from civil life the credit of five years' service, as prescribed by the act of March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, to reorganize and increase the efficiency of the personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States, shall be duly counted in determining the total service of said officers for the purposes of this section; and in determining the service necessary for retirement and the retirement pay, under this section, of officers of the Navy hereafter to be commissioned, and of officers of the Marine Corps heretofore commissioned from civil life or from the ranks, or of officers of said corps hereafter to be commissioned, the total service of said officers shall be determined as in sections 27 and 28, respectively, of this act; and provided further that so much of the act of June 10, 1896, under Pay of the Navy, reading, "and provided further that hereafter no payment shall be made from appropriations made by Congress to any officer of the Navy or Marine Corps on the active or retired list while such officer is employed, after June 30, 1897, by any person or company furnishing naval supplies or war material to the Government and such payment is hereby made unlawful after such date," is hereby repealed.

SEC. 24. That section 1481, Revised Statutes, be, and the same hereby is, amended to read:

"SEC. 1481. Staff officers of the Navy of Marine Corps who shall have served faithfully for forty-five years, shall, when retired, have the rank of commodore or brigadier general; and any of said officers who shall be retired at the age of sixty-two years or sixty-four years, before having served for forty-five years, but who shall have served faithfully until retired, shall, on the completion of forty years from their entry into the service, have the rank of commodore or brigadier general: Provided, That said staff officers may, for the purposes of this section, count their service from their date of precedence, or in the case of marine officers, may include such credit of service for retirement as is authorizd by law: And provided further, That nothing in this section shall operate to create any claim for back pay or allowances."

SEC. 25. That hereafter officers of the Navy and Marine Corps before being promoted to the next higher rank, shall be examined for promotion under such rules as shall be prescribed by the President. Any such officer who may be ordered before an examining board, or a retiring board, and in the opinion of said board is not qualified for promotion by reason of professional or mental unfitness, or by reason of incapacity not incident to the service, may, subject to the restriction in the case of officers below the rank of commander or lieutenant colonel of section 1505, Revised Statutes, as herein amended, on the recommendation of said board, if approved by the President, be retired in his rank at a rate of pay in accordance with his record and length of service, such rate of pay to be stated in the recommendation, but in no case to exceed the graded rate of pay based on rank and

length of service as provided in section twenty-three of this act for officers who may retire voluntarily on their own application; or he may be retired on furlough pay, or wholly retired with one year's pay, according to the provisions of section 1454, Revised Statutes: Provided, That if unfit to perform the duties of the place to which it is proposed to promote him, by reason of drunkenness, persistent failure to pay debts, or from any other cause arising from his own misconduct he shall, in accordance with the provisions of the act of August 5, 1882, as hereby amended, be discharged with not more than one year's pay; and this provision shall apply to, and is hereby extended to include, officers of the Marine corps: Provided further, That section 1505, Revised Statutes, be, and hereby is, amended to read:

"SEC. 1505. Any officer of the Navy or Marine Corps on the active list below the rank of commander or lieutenant colonel, who, upon original examination is found not professionally qualified, shall be suspended from promotion for a period of six months from the date of approval of said examination, and shall suffer a loss of numbers equal to the average six months' rate of promotion to the grade for which said officer is undergoing examination during the five fiscal years next preceding the date of the approval of said examination, and upon the termination of said suspension from promotion he shall be reexamined, and in case of his failure upon such reexamination he shall be dropped from the service with not more than one year's pay, unless otherwise recommended by the examining board pursuant to law.

SEC. 26. That section 8 and 9 of the act of March 3, 1899, to reorganize and increase the efficiency of the personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States (personnel act), be, and hereby are, repealed from the date of passage of this act.

SEC. 27. That the precedence service and service for computation of pay of all officers of the Navy hereafter commissioned in their first commission shall be the same as that of graduates of the Naval Academy reaching at the same time the same rank as that of said first commission: Provided, That the precedence service and service for computation of pay of commissioned warrant officers and warrant officers shall not hereby be reduced, now or hereafter: And provided further, That nothing in this section shall be so construed as to change in any way the precedence service or service for computation of pay of any officer in the naval service at the date of passage of this act.

SEC. 28. That the service of computation of pay of all officers of the Marine Corps hereafter commissioned in their first commission shall be the same as that of graduates of the Naval Academy reaching at the same time the same rank as that of said first commission: Provided, That the service for computation of pay of officers of the Marine Corps heretofore commissioned from civil life or from the ranks shall be considered to have been four years at date of first commission: Provided, however, That the service of any such officer shall not hereby be reduced: And provided further, That no back pay shall hereby accrue.

SEC. 29. That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to reduce the rank or grade of any commissioned, warrant, or appointed officer now on the active or retired list of the Navy or Marine Corps; nor to reduce the pay or allowances now authorized by law for any commissioned, warrant, or appointed officer remaining on the active list of the Navy or Marine Corps; nor to increase or reduce the pay or allowances of any commissioned, warrant, or appointed officer now on the retired list of the Navy or Marine Corps.

SEC. 30. That the full strength of the Medical Corps of the United States Navy on the active list, exclusive of the Dental Corps, shall be fixed hereafter on July first of each year at one

officer of said corps for each two thousand tons, and fractions in proportion, of the battleships and cruisers of the Navy as ascertained in section one of this act: Provided, That the present authorized strength of the Medical Corps shall not hereby be reduced: Provided further, That the total authorized strength of said corps shall not hereby be increased more than ten per centum nor decreased more than five per centum in any fiscal year: And provided further, That the authorized strength of the Medical Corps on the active list, exclusive of the Dental Corps, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, shall be three hundred and forty-five.

SEC. 31. That on the passage of this act the active list of the Medical Corps shall be arranged in the several grades of medical director with the rank of captain, medical inspector with the rank of commander, surgeon with the rank of lieutenant commander, passed assistant surgeon with the rank of lieutenant, and assistant surgeon with the rank of lieutenant (junior grade), in such manner that said officers of said corps shall have the same rank, so far as authorized for the Medical Corps, and as specified in this section, as line officers of the same precedence; and thereafter officers of the Medical Corps shall be promoted to the next higher of said grades when the line officer with whom or next after whom they take precedence is promoted to the corresponding grade in the line.

SEC. 32. That no person shall be appointed assistant surgeon in the Navy until he shall have been examined and found qualified by a board of medical officers, designated by the Secretary of the Navy, and under such rules as the Secretary of the Navy shall prescribe, nor who is at the time of such appointment less than twenty-two or more than thirty years of age; and assistant surgeons commissioned on the same date shall take rank in their order of merit as determined at the date of examination for said appointment.

SEC. 33. That when in June of any year there is a prospect that the numbers resulting in the several grades of the Medical Corps after the ensuing July first promotions in accordance with the provisions of sections ten and thirty-one of this act will exceed in the grade of medical director five sixty-fifths, in the grade of medical inspector five sixty-fifths, or in the grade of surgeon thirteen sixty-fifths of the full strength of the Medical Corps, excluding the Dental Corps, the Secretary of the Navy shall convene a board composed of two flag officers and the three highest ranking available medical directors, and shall place at its disposal the service and medical records on file in the Navy Department of all the officers in the grades of medical director, medical inspector, and surgeon, or due by length of service for promotion to the grade of surgeon. Said board shall then, as soon as practicable on or after said July first, select for retirement, no member to vote on the name of any officer his senior, a sufficient number of said officers in each grade as it will exist on said July first, after the promotions and voluntary retirements due on that date shall have been made, to reduce the total number of medical directors, medical inspectors, and surgeons on said July first to five sixty-fifths, five sixty-fifths, and thirteen sixty-fifths, respectively, of the full strength of the Medical Corps, excluding the Dental Corps. The same procedure in regard to oaths (or affirmation) shall be followed as prescribed in section twelve of this act, and the finding and action thereon shall be in accordance with the requirements and subject to the provisos of section 13 of this act: Provided, That the number of transfers of such officers to the retired list from any of said grades on July first of any year shall not exceed ten per centum of the actual number in such grade at the time of said transfer.

SEC. 34. That the pay and allowances of officers of the Medical

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