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Amend by striking out the words "of or" after the word "officers" in line 22, page 4.
Amend by striking out the words "a division, battalion, or squadron" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "an organization" in line 24, page 4.
Amend by striking out the word "commander" in line 14, page 5. Amend by inserting the word "lieutenant" after the words "rank of" in line 16, page 5.
Amend by striking out the words "a division," in line 17, page 5. Amend by striking out the words "battalion, or squadron" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "an organization" in line 18, page 5.
The purpose of this proposed legislation is to amend in certain particulars the basic law creating the Naval Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve. This basic law has been in operation for slightly over 10 years. From experience gained in administering this law it has developed that the amendments proposed in this bill are necessary to increase the efficiency and thereby promote the value of this organization as it relates to national defense.
The Naval Reserve as now constituted and organized under the provisions of the act of February 28, 1925, consists of three classes: The Fleet Naval Reserve, the Merchant Marine Naval Reserve, and the Volunteer Naval Reserve.
THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE
The Fleet Naval Reserve consists of officers and men in training or qualified for general combatant duties afloat, including aviation duties. This class of the Reserve is organized into divisions and battalions or aviation squadrons, of definite strength as to officers and men. The law contemplates not in excess of 60 drills per year for each organization, for which the members thereof receive pay, and the law requires 15 days' active training duty each year, for which also they receive pay and allowances. Upon mobilization for war each division is required to form a definitely prescribed part of the war organization of a definitely named vessel or aviation squadron, and their drilling and training is directed to this end. For this purpose there are furnished armories and armory equipment for conducting their drills, boats and, where practicable, vessels for conducting drills afloat and short weekend cruises. In connection with the preservation and upkeep of this material and these vessels and for administrative purposes, in the larger centers, a small number of officers and men are maintained on active duty the year round. For carrying on aviation training there are also furnished airplanes and aviation equipment; these are assembled at locations called Naval Reserve aviation bases where a few officers and men are maintained on duty the year round. There are now 13 such bases of which 3 are located at regular Navy air stations. and one at the Naval Aircraft Factory. Officers and men of the Marine Corps Aviation Reserve also receive training at these bases.
There are also included in the Fleet Naval Reserve as subclassifications thereof, men transferred thereto after 16 or 20 years' naval service. These transferred men are not required to perform drills or training. They do not belong to any of the actively drilling organizations, and they receive the compensation allowed them by law from the appropriation "Pay, subsistence and transportation, Navy.'
All expenses of the other classes of the Reserve are borne from the appropriation "Organizing the Naval Reserve." These transferred men having already performed from 16 to 20 years' active naval service, are considered to be sufficiently trained and do not require further training. They are to be utilized upon mobilization for further augmenting the crews of combatant and other vessels, where required. They form a valuable part of the Naval Reserve.
There are now approximately 12,000 of these transferred 16- and 20-year men in the Naval Reserve. Under the provisions of law they remain in this classification of the Reserve indefinitely, or until physically disqualified, or until their total naval and Naval Reserve service is 30 years when they are transferred to the retired list of enlisted men of the Navy.
The number of officers and enlisted men of the Fleet Naval Reserve belonging to actively drilling organizations thereof is approximately 1,050 officers and 8,700 men.
THE MERCHANT MARINE NAVAL RESERVE
The Merchant Marine Naval Reserve is made up of officers and men of the American merchant marine who join the Naval Reserve and are available in the event of war for service on naval auxiliaries or in the naval transportation service. The law provides that they shall receive annually under such regulations as the Secretary of the Navy may prescribe not to exceed 1 month's base pay of their grade, contingent upon a sufficient appropriation being made by Congress for this specific purpose. No such appropriation has thus far been made, although repeatedly requested by the Department. However, the importance of this class of the Reserve is such that the Department has not felt justified in waiting for an appropriation, but has proceeded with its organization, administration, and instruction as well as possible upon a purely volunteer basis, without funds. The law also gives to American merchant vessels of certain characteristics, with a certain minimum of reservists on board, the privilege of flying a distinctive pennant indicative of this fact.
Under the above noted conditions of purely volunteer activities, no effort has been made to enroll enlisted men in the merchant marine class of the Naval Reserve, so that this class now consists exclusively of officers totaling approximately 3,300. Somewhat above 200 American merchant vessels have been warranted to fly the Naval Reserve flag.
THE VOLUNTEER NAVAL RESERVE
The Volunteer Naval Reserve is composed of officers and men available for general detail in the event of war, according to the qualifications of the various individuals. They are not required by law to drill or to perform training duty. They may however, under the law, be permitted to perform training duty with pay if they so desire, at the discretion of administrative authority. Also, they are permitted to associate themselves with divisions of the Fleet Reserve for the purpose of acquiring training, but they do not receive any compensation therefor.
The Volunteer Naval Reserve is composed of two main subdivisions: (a) Those officers and men qualified for combatant duties
afloat in a degree similar to the Fleet Naval Reserve, and (b) those officers and men of limited qualifications available for specific technicist and specialist duties. The mobilization duties of the former will mostly be afloat; and the mobilization of the latter, mostly ashore. Among the general service officers are many who saw service in the last war, as Navy officers and men, Naval Academy and Reserve Officers Training Corps graduates, Pensacola graduates with the designation "naval aviators", all of whom except for lack of vacancies or because of places of residence or for other reasons might belong to organizations of the Fleet Naval Reserve. However, there are many of these who do not desire to perform drills or training duty, but who, nevertheless, due to their previous naval experience are valuable adjuncts to the Naval Reserve. Among the enlisted men are those who through previous naval or other sea-going experience are qualified for immediate mobilization, without further training, and others, in certain of the trades such as baker, machinist, boilermaker, coppersmith, etc., are also qualified. Still others, without previous naval service of any kind, are permitted to enroll and associate themselves with fleet divisions of the Naval Reserve where they drill for a time without remuneration, and thus receive a degree of training not otherwise open to them within available appropriations.
The specialist class is composed mostly of those whose civilian occupations fit them for their prescribed mobilization duties. Among these are mechanical and other types of engineers, certain executives and others connected with the aviation industry, aviation transport pilots, medical and dental specialists, specialists in the textile, transportation, and other industries, naval instructors, civil engineers, ordnance engineers, lawyers, communication engineers, and those who by training or environment are especially qualified for duty in the naval intelligence service.
Included in the Volunteer Naval Reserve is the Naval Communication Reserve, composed of radio engineers and specialists in communication ratings, who have formed themselves into voluntary organizations for the purpose of receiving instruction in this branch. The instruction being given by means of high frequency broadcasting sets which have been installed at advantageous points and send out code messages of instruction at designated times. These are very active, and have already rendered valuable service in maintaining communications with areas stricken by tornado, earthquake, or flood. These activities are performed voluntarily without remunera
There are 1,939 general-service and 2,325 special-service officers now on the rolls of the volunteer Naval Reserve. And of the enlisted men, there are 3,900 associated with the actively drilling organizations of the Fleet Reserve, 3,900 connected with the Naval Communication Reserve, and 2,600 at large who have had previous training or are already qualified in ratings held.
It is desirable that all these inactive reservists of the volunteer class be brought into occasional contact with the Navy, and this is. done insofar as the availablity of funds will permit.
The objects to be attained through the amendments of the various sections of the act of February 28, 1925, as proposed in this bill are as follows:
Section 1: The proposed amendment to section 6 of the act of February 28, 1925, would permit the Secretary of the Navy to dis
charge from all classes of the Naval Reserve those convicted and sentenced by the civil courts for felonies. At the present, the Secretary has not this authority with respect to those fleet reservists in enlisted ratings who have been transferred to the Fleet Naval Reserve from the Regular Navy after 16 or 20 years' naval service. We now have a few such cases-transferred fleet reservists who have been convicted of felonies and are actually serving penitentiary sentences. The only way they can be discharged from the Naval Reserve at the present is by sentence of a court martial. But since they have already been tried and convicted, they may not again be tried for the same offense. This amendment would permit their discharge from the Naval Reserve, as a result of their trial and conviction by the civil authorities, without further legal action. Since there are no longer any enrolled men in the Naval Reserve, and assigned men will disappear in a few months, and since the provisions of the section as amended would apply to all men alike, the indicated words should be deleted.
Section 2: The proposed amendment to section 14 of the act has for its object the relief of those reservists who may be physically injured in line of duty while performing authorized drills or other duly authorized duty, which may not at the present be classed as training duty." Under the various provisions of the act of February 28, 1925, the words "active duty", "training duty", "drills", "equivalent instruction or duty", and "appropriate duties" all have distinct and definite meanings. At the present, reservists who may be injured in line of duty while performing active or training duty, with or without pay, are entitled to the benefits prescribed for civilian employees of the Government under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. These benefits are under the jurisdiction of, and administered by, the United States Employees' Compensation Commission, the same as for civilian employees.
It sometimes happens that a reservist is injured while performing armory drills, or while performing drills at the aviation bases, involving the actual operation of aircraft. There have been cases of men getting their fingers jammed at loading machine drill, of men being burned while performing drills alongside dock on board vessels assigned for this purpose, of men being struck by moving propellers of airplanes while at drill, and even of fatal airplane crashes. At the present, these men are not entitled to compensation of any kind nor even to medical attention other than first aid. A few of these cases have been especially distressing on account of the injured man being the sole support of his family. It is felt that the technicality now existing which denies these men of the benefits they would otherwise have received, should be removed, and that all such injuries actually received in the service of the Government should be remunerated. This amendment is designed to accomplish these ends. It is estimated that the enactment of this amendment will result in an additional cost to the Government of approximately $2,000 per
Section 3: The proposed amendment to section 21 of the act has for its object the revision of the basic plan of organization of the Aviation Reserve. The basic administrative unit of organization for the aviation branch is the squadron, whereas the basic administrative unit for the sea-going branch is the division. Existing law prescribes drill pay for members of divisions only. It has therefore been neces
sary to make the division also the administrative unit of the Aviation Reserve. Also, most members of the battalion staff and squadron staff perform their prescribed appropriate duties under existing law by actual drill attendance, the same as members of the various diviIn the amendment the word "organization" has been substituted for the word "division". This section as amended will place the Naval Reserve on a parity with the National Guard insofar as drill pay is concerned and will also correct the objectionable features indicated above.
Section 4: The proposed amendment to section 35 of the act has for its object the reimbursement of those officers of the Volunteer Naval Reserve who have been placed in command of organizations thereof. All members of the Naval Communication Reserve belong to the volunteer class. These are organized into sections and units for the purpose of acquiring technical knowledge in radio communications and naval procedure. This instruction is given by means of high-frequency broadcasting sets which have been installed at advantageous points and send out code messages of instruction at designated times. Many of these Communication reservists are radio enthusiasts owning and operating their own radio broadcasting and receiving amateur sets. A radio network has thus been established over which these radio drills are carried. This network has proved valuable during peace times when certain communities have been visited by such catastrophies as earthquake, hurricane, or flood, placing out of commission all ordinary means of commercial communication. These people are very enthusiastic and carry on their activities without remuneration of any kind.
In connection with the administration of these units there is a considerable amount of administrative work, and also of expense such as clerical assistance, necessary travel, etc. To in part remunerate the commanding officers of these organizations for their time, effort, and expense in this connection, it is felt that they should receive at least the same administrative pay as is received by members of the Fleet Naval Reserve for the performance of similar duties, namely, $240 per year. It will be noted that under the provisions of the proposed amendment none of these may receive this $240 per year unless designated therefor by the Secretary of the Navy. The Secretary of the Navy cannot of course designate a greater number than has been appropriated for, without incurring a deficiency, which is a punishable offense. Pending an actual appropriation for this purpose, none would be designated, or only such number as savings from other reserve activities could accommodate. The enactment of this amendment would, however, contemplate the appropriation of sufficient funds for all of these, amounting to approximately $25,000 per annum.
Section 5: At the time of the passage of the act of February 28, 1925, it was contemplated that the activities of the volunteer class of the Naval Reserve would be negligible, and that no appropriations would be required for the purpose. Such, however, has not proved to be the case. The interest and enthusiasm displayed by members of the Volunteer Reserve generally, and especially by the Naval Communication Reserve, is gratifying. At the present, the classes of the Naval Reserve for which the Secretary of the Navy is required by law to submit annual estimates, does not include the volunteer class. The proposed amendment to section 35 of the act, as covered in the previous section hereof, would also entail this additional sub