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The enactment of this legislation will not involve any additional expenditure of public funds.
The War Department has previously reported unfavorably upon legislation of the character involved in the proposed amendment. However, upon further consideration, it is felt that to deny advancement to World War rank to class B retired officers may give the impression that removal from the active list by class B procedure is being used as a means of punishment, which is not the case. The purpose of classification is to provide a means by which officers who, for one reason or another, are not deemed suitable for the military profession may be retired or discharged. Where, as in the case of the officers who would benefit by this amendment, removal from the active list has been under circumstances which are entirely honorable, the working of the process of classification should not be allowed to detract from any distinctions which the officers concerned may have gained in their previous service.
In view of the foregoing, the War Department recommends that S. 593 be enacted into law. Sincerely yours,
GEO. H. DERN, Secretary of War. Report of the Secretary of War, dated January 30, 1935, on the present bill, S. 927, follows:
JANUARY 30, 1935. Hon. MORRIS SHEPPARD,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR SHEPPARD: Careful consideration has been given to the bill, S. 927, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, to amend the act of June 21, 1930, by eliminating the restriction now placed on the advancement of class B retired officers to World War rank, which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 16, 1935, with a request for information and the views of the Department relative thereto.
Similar bills, S. 461 and H. R. 222, Seventy-second Congress, and S. 593, Seventy-third Congress, were reported on favorably by the War Department in letters to the Committees on Military Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives, under dates of December 30, 1931, and March 30, 1933, respectively for the reasons hereinafter set forth.
The pertinent provisions of existing law on this subject are contained in section 1 of the act of June 21, 1930 (46 Stat. 793) which reads in part as follows (italic inserted): “That all commissioned officers who served in the Army
of the United States during the World War, and who have been or may be hereafter retired according to law, except those retired under the provisions of section 246 of the Act of June 4, 1920, shall, on the date of the approval of this Act or upon retirement in the case of those now on the active list of the Army,
be advanced in rank on the retired list to the highest grade held by them during the Wor War
The purpose of the proposed amendment is to strike out the words which are in italic in the above quotation, thus extending the privilege of advancement to World War rank to those officers of the Army who have been or may be placed on the retired list as a result of class B procedure. The amendment would have no effect upon retired officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, as the provisions of section 24b of the act of June 4, 1920 are not applicable in those services.
The proposed legislation would immediately benefit those class B retired officers who
(a) Had 10 years or more of commissioned service prior to retirement.
(6) Were not placed in class B for reasons due to neglect, misconduct, or avoidable habits.
(c) Held World War rank higher than the rank with which they were retired.
The records of the War Department indicate that 26 retired officers fulfill these conditions at the present time, one less than at the time the War Depart
ment submitted its report of March 30, 1933, to your committee on S. 593. They are distributed as follows:
It is not possible to predict with accuracy the number of officers who will be retired in the future by class B procedure with rank lower than that held in the World War, but the number will probably be small.
The enactment of this legislation will not involve any additional expenditure of public funds.
The War Department originally did not favor legislation of the character involved in the proposed amendment, but upon further consideration, it is felt that to deny advancement to World War rank to class B retired officers may give the impression that removal from the active list by Class B procedure is being used as a means of punishment, which is not the case. The purpose of classification is to provide a means by which officers who for one reason or another are not deemed suitable for the military profession may be retired or discharged. Where, as in the case of the officers who would benefit by this amendment, removal from the active list has been under circumstances which are entirely honorable, the working of the process of classification should not be allowed to detract from any distinctions which the officers concerned may have gained in their previous service.
For the reasons set forth above it is recommended that S. 927 be enacted into law. Sincerely yours,
Geo. H. DERN, Secretary of War. Special attention is called to the following extract from the above report:
The records of the War Department indicate that 26 retired officers fulfill these conditions at the present time, one less than at the time the War Department submitted its report of March 30, 1933, to your committee on S. 593.
FEBRUARY 15 (calendar day, FEBRUARY 19), 1935.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. RUSSELL, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany S. 1082]
The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1082) for the reinstatement of John Carmichael Williams in the United States Navy, having given careful consideration to the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass.
John Carmichael Williams was formerly a lieutenant in the United States Navy, having been appointed a midshipman from the first district of Texas in June 1914 and commissioned a regular ensign as of June 7, 1918. After that date he received several promotions, finally reaching the grade of lieutenant on June 3, 1922. He resigned from the Navy as of May 23, 1931, and now desires to be recommissioned in the Navy.
In view of the fact that this young man while in the service appears to have had an outstandingly excellent record and finally became an outstanding aviator in the Navy, according to his fitness reports, and as the committee feels that men of such record are of great service to the Navy and to their country, the committee favor passage of this bill.
Following are a few excerpts from his fitness reports while in the Navy: November 1921: Cool, collected, and efficient.
* Enthusiastic, zealous, and ambitious. He will make good in any department on board ship. July 1921: Excellent grades. Designated as gunnery officer
because of experience and aptitude shown
has handled job with tact and ability. His request for ordnance class approved.
April 1924: Completed course of United States Naval War College. Performed duties in highly satisfactory manner. Enthusiastic in his work and possesses cheerful disposition.
May 1925: Capable and experienced pilot. July 1925: Skillful and very experienced seaplane pilot. He has accomplished very important fleet work in Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific. Has worked faithfully and conscientiously.
April 1926: Duty commanding a plane and leader of a division performed quite satisfactorily. Pleasing personality. Good shipmate.
May 1926: As commanding officer of a seaplane and as material officer of unit which instructed midshipmen at Naval Academy
performed his duty in a highly creditable, zealous, and efficient manner. Gained valuable experience in bombing and torpedo dropping. His division made a record in advanced bombing practice.
July 1926: Performed all duties in reliable and satisfactory manner. He is one of the most experienced pilots in the Navy in fleet aircraft operation and well qualified for executive officer of an aircraft squadron.
September 1926: Jovial, energetic, good mixer, and excellent seaplane pilot. April 1927: Undertakes very enthusiastically and whole-heartedly any duty to which he may be assigned. Excellent organizer-excellent shipmate—an officer with whom it is a pleasure to be associated.
Letter of commendation for averting, as officer in charge of fire and rescue party, probable destruction of a power barge-also the U. S. S. Baltimore and six other boats moored alongside
* typifies highest ideals of the service and is highly commendable. September 1927: Letter of commendation, record endurance flight of F-5-L type seaplane.
December 1927: Great enthusiasm-pleasing personality-well liked by subordinates and associates.
February 1928: Most loyal and efficient executive officer.
His aviation knowledge and experience should be utilized in aviation whether he actually flies or not
* Has been of considerable assistance in administrative matters.
July 1930: Attached to aviation unit of ship. His work and duty performed in highly satisfactory manner.
March 1931: Excellent leader. Very forceful and enthusiastic Personal and military character excellent-fitted for promotion. Has resigned.
The Navy Department usually recommends against the reinstatement in the Navy of officers who voluntarily resign therefrom, believing it inadvisable and that if it became a matter of common practice it would be detrimental to the efficiency of the naval service. Your committee, however, believes that this case is one of the exceptions which should be made to such rule. The letter of the Navy Department is as follows:
Washington, February 1, 1994. The CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,
United States Senate. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Replying further to the committee's communication of January 17, 1934, transmitting the bill (S. 2134) for the reinstatement of John Carmichael Williams in the United States Navy, and requesting to be furnished with the views of the Navy Department relative to this measure, I have the honor to inform the committee as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to restore John Carmichael Williams to the active list of the Navy with the rank and precedence which he held on May 22, 1931, provided that such former officer establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Navy his physical, mental, moral, and professional fitness to perform the duties thereof, and that he shall be carried as an additional number in the grade to which he may be restored or at any time thereafter promoted, and shall not be entitled to receive pay or allowances for the period during which he was not in the active service.
The records of the Navy Department show that John Carmichael Williams was appointed a midshipman from the first district of Texas on June 10, 1914; commissioned regular ensign from June 7, 1918; temporarily promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) from September 21, 1918; commissioned regular a lieutenant (junior grade) from July 1, 1920; commissioned regular a lieutenant from June 3, 1922, and his resignation was accepted under honorable conditions, effective May 23, 1931.
The Navy Department has consistently held that the reinstatement in the Navy of officers who voluntarily resign therefrom is inadvisable and if it became
a matter of common practice would be greatly to the detriment of the efficiency of the naval service.
This bill, if enacted into law, would result in an initial additional cost to the Government of approximately $4,275 per annum (minus the reduction under the economy act), which amount would increase as Mr. Williams accumulates service and is promoted. The Navy Department recommends against the enactment of the bill S. 2134. Sincerely yours,
W. H. STANDLEY, Acting. A similar bill passed the Senate June 13, 1934.