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wear and tear of service in campaign, and it is believed that it could be materially improved, as follows:
(a) Thicker soles, with hobnails.
The infantry soldier should be required to carry an extra pair of shoes upon his person, in view of the fact that he is now separated from his surplus kit.
The use of dyed tentage is reported as unprofitable. The dye seems to weaken the cloth; the white canvas of same quality lasts much longer.
The cost of shelter for the second division, where tents are used, is reported as excessive. Roughly speaking, its cost is estimated at $90,000 a year, the life of a tent in that section being but little more than eight months. The deterioration is said to be due to the action of the wind to some extent, but principally to rot induced by excessive dampness. It is also reported that an enormous amount of canvas in the Southern Department is rendered unserviceable by stretching it over sharp corners of fences; holes are carelessly worn by sharp boards, nails, boxes, and other articles rubbing from the inside of the tent against the canvas. Some tents are damaged by the use of safety pins stuck in the roofs, and others by the failure to use mantas as a protection while in transit. Some crganizations, it is reported, even go so far as to nail the canvas to the wooden frames, which of course renders it unfit for further use in any other place. It is believed that when a long stay in a permanent camp is contemplated wooden shelter should replace canvas, both for reasons of comfort and cost.
THE SURPLUS KIT.
The soldier is not supposed to use the surplus kit except in time of war, but it is reported that, as a matter of fact, the troops along the border do use them, and that, therefore, in the event of war these kits would be incomplete and there might be no time nor opportunity to replenish them.
It is reported that the experimental cavalry saber lacks strength, and in one instance at least it was observed in practice at riding at heads (canvas stuffed with straw) that many of these sabers were broken.
Objection is made to the present method of carrying the new model canteen in the saddle pockets by mounted men, on the ground of its taking up room that is required for other purposes and causing unnecessary wear on the saddle pockets by overcrowding them.
23871°—Ab. 1915-vol 1 — 19
Reports received show that the prescribed instruction of the men of the Hospital Corps in equitation and the care of animals is not carried out in many cases.
It is questionable whether the present policy of providing men for the Hospital Corps—that is, by transfer from the line is the best method of obtaining them. It is probable that better results would follow from obtaining them by direct enlistment.
So far as reported, the system of parole applied to general prisoners has, with but few_exceptions, been carried out as required by paragraph 943, Army Regulations, and the system of parole applied to garrison prisoners has developed no vital defects.
Reports received show that during the year the Army transport service has been conducted efficiently, that the life-saving apparatus is now sufficient and of the latest pattern. Very respectfully,
E. A. GARLINGTON,
Inspector General. The SECRETARY OF WAR.
REPORT OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL.
SEPTEMBER 28, 1915.
In my report of last year I noted the extension of duties of this department resulting from the provisions of General Orders, No. 56, War Department, September 17, 1913, which vested the direction and control of the United States military prison and its branches in the Judge Advocate General's Department, under the Secretary of War. This department retained such charge until, by the act of March 4, 1915, the control of the United States military prison, thereafter to be known as the United States disciplinary barracks, was transferred to The Adjutant General of the Army, under the direction of the Secretary of War.
The Army appropriation act as passed by the Senate carried a revision of the Articles of War and of the laws relating to the military prison, and provided for placing the Judge Advocate General's Department under the detail system. All of these provisions had been passed by the Senate during the first session of the Sixty-third Congress, but had not received the consideration of the House. The greater part of this proposed new legislation was stricken out in conference; but that relating to the military prison was adopted, with the single amendment above noted, and passed March 4, 1915.
By this act the designation of the United States military prison, Fort Leavenworth, Kans., was changed to United States disciplinary
barracks, its government and control being vested in The Adjutant General of the Army, under the direction of the Secretary of War; provision was made for the organization of tactical units composed of certain offenders confined in the disciplinary barracks, and the Secretary of War was authorized to remit the unexecuted portions of the sentences of offenders sent to the barracks for confinement, and in addition to such remission to grant honorable restoration to duty to those who have not been discharged from the Army, to authorize the reenlistment of those who have been discharged, or their restoration, on written application, to complete their respective terms of enlistment.
The Secretary of War was also authorized by this act to establish branches of the disciplinary barracks for the confinement and detention of offenders whom it is impracticable to send to the barracks at Fort Leavenworth, all such branches to be subject to the same laws as govern the main barracks.
Authority was also given to the Secretary of War to establish a system of parole for prisoners confined in the disciplinary barracks and its branches, on such terms and conditions as the Secretary of War may prescribe. At date of this report 25 paroles have been granted under this provision.
RESTORATION OF GENERAL PRISONERS TO DUTY.
The act of April 27, 1914, authorized suspension of sentences of dishonorable discharge, with a view to eventual remission of such discharge and restoration to the service if conduct and progress while in disciplinary organizations appeared to warrant such restoration.
Under authority of section 1352, Revised Statutes, and of the acts of April 27, 1914, and March 4, 1915, the Secretary of War has power to grant an honorable restoration to duty to general prisoners confined either in the United States disciplinary barracks and its branches or elsewhere. The operation of these provisions down to the date of surrender of control to The Adjutant General is shown as follows: Sentences of dishonorable discharge suspended (act of Apr. 27, 1914)..
410 Dishonorable discharge remitted and men restored (idem). Men restored whose sentences of discharge had neen fully executed (sec. 1352, Revised Statutes).....
123 Total restored..... Restored men subsequently deserted.. Restored men sul sequently discharged without honor. Restored men subsequently honorably discharged.....
1 Restored men sul sequently remaining with the colors...
107 Of the men restored who failed to make good, 6 were discharged without honor and 8 deserted while still on probation at the United States military prison. The loss of these 14 men occurred in the first stages of the experiment of restoring men. Mistakes were characteristic of this period which have not been repeated in subsequent periods. Of the 114 restored men who joined organizations there had been on March 4, 1915, a loss of but 6 men–5 by desertion and 1 by discharge without honor--and on this date one of the restored men was serving as a noncommissioned officer. One hundred and seven out of 128 men restored up to March 4, 1915, were serving satisfactorily on that date.
128 13 7
OPERATION OF RECENT ENACTMENTS.
In addition to the foregoing there have been enacted by Congress during the last three years certain other laws affecting more or less directly the administration of military justice. Some of these laws had not at the time of my annual report for 1914 been in operation long enough to allow any conclusions to be drawn as to the extent to which they will fulfill their purpose. Their practical operation is noted below:
1. Under the provision of the act of August 22, 1912, authorizing the President to remit the loss of the rights of citizenship theretofore imposed by law for desertion in time of peace, applications have been received and acted upon as shown in the following table:
During the first two years following the passage of this act all of the applications received for restoration of citizenship rights came from prisoners serving confinement under sentence imposed on account of desertion. Of the 325 applications received this year 93 were from men in civil life who had been dishonorably discharged on account of desertion and who desired to rehabilitate themselves as citizens by the method provided in the act. The remainder came from pris
At the close of this fiscal year there were 116 prisoners confined for desertion prior to the date of this act, and who had not applied for restoration of citizenship rights or whose applications had not been acted upon.
The same act provided for the reenlistment of men who have deserted or have been discharged from an enlistment in which their service has not been honest and faithful, if, in view of subsequent good conduct, the reenlistment be authorized by the Secretary of War. The following table shows the operation of this provision during the past three years:
or summarily discharged under paragraph 1485, Army Regulations
2. The act of August 22, 1912, provided that no officer or enlisted man in active service who shall be absent from duty on account of disease resulting from his intemperate use of drugs or alcoholic liquors or other misconduct shall receive pay for the period of such absence. The Quartermaster General's Oīfice, at the request of this office, has furnished data as to the amount of pay withheld under authority of this legislation for nine months of the present fiscal
year, showing a saving to the Government of $46,064.17, an average of $5,119.24 per month, or $51,418.88 for the whole year. The saving during the fiscal year 1914 was $63,808.74.
3. The act of April 27, 1914, provided that an enlistment shall not be regarded as complete until the soldier shall have made good any time in excess of one day lost by unauthorized absence on account of disease resulting from his own intemperate use of drugs or alcoholic liquors or other misconduct, or while in confinement awaiting trial or disposition of his case, if the trial results in conviction, or while in confinement under sentence.
At the close of the last fiscal year this legislation, which was an extension of the act of May 11, 1908, requiring soldiers to make good time lost by unauthorized absence in excess of one day, had been in force but a short time and sufficient data could not be obtained as a basis upon which to estimate its value in securing honest and faithful service. Since this act applies only to enlistments entered into after its date, and since in many cases of time to be made good the men may never complete their enlistments, it is not considered that data can yet be obtained which would afford a fair basis of calculation.
4. The act of August 22, 1912, authorized the detail of enlisted men as stenographic reporters for courts-martial, courts of inquiry, military commissions, and retiring boards, and provided extra compensation for such services. Enacted, as this provision was, with the expectation that a valuable force of competent stenographers might be developed among the enlisted men and that substantial economy would thereby result, experience of the three years in which it has been in force is disappointing. The amounts paid to enlisted men as reporters were $200.90 during the fiscal year 1913, $54.07 during 1914, and $214.58 during 1915. Of the amount paid during 1915, $125.26 was paid to enlisted men during less than five months in the Canal Zone. During this period only enlisted men were employed as reporters. They reported 91 cases, the average cost per case being only $1.35. It was estimated by the judge advocate of that command that the amount thus paid was only about one-third the amount that would have been paid to civilian reporters. The total paid to civilian reporters during the fiscal year was $42,084.28.
5. Under authority of the act of March 2, 1913, the commanding officer of the Second Division, at Texas City, Tex., has continued to convene general courts-martial for his command, and the commanding officer of the expeditionary forces at Vera Cruz also convened such courts up to the time of the withdrawal of those forces. During the present year, in order to avoid the delay caused by sending records to department headquarters for action, the commanding officers of the troops in the Canal Zone and in China have been empowered to convene general courts-martial. The extent to which this action has expedited the disposition of cases is shown by the fact that the average number of days from the date of confinement of the accused to that of final action by the reviewing authority was 25 in these commands, while the average was 34 in the several departments.
THE SPECIAL COURT,
The origin of the special court which supplanted the regimental and garrison courts under authority of March 2, 1913, was outlined in my report for the year ending June 30, 1914. Statistics were then submitted to show that this court is finding the place in our Army judiciary that it was expected to fill, namely, a court for the trial of