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Radio stations installed by the Signal Corps-Continued.
Captain A. M. Wetherill.
The following recommendations, embodied in the foregoing report, are here submitted in concrete form. They are respectfully but most strongly urged for adoption, in order that the Signal Corps of the Army, especially its aviation section, may be placed in condition to carry on the important work intrusted to its care, and that the needs of the Army and of the country may be satisfied.
First. In order to maintain the present activities of the Signal Corps with the smallest necessary personnel and to comply with the requirements of the existing Tables of Organization, it is recommended that the Signal Corps at large be increased by 6 majors, 6 captains, 26 first lieutenants, 18 master signal electricians, 54 firstclass sergeants, 60 sergeants, 70 corporals, 250 first-class privates, and
Second. In order to maintain a Signal Corps suited to the needs of an army of 180,000 men, it is recommended that the Signal Corps at large be composed of 1 brigadier general, 4 colonels, 12 lieutenant colonels, 15 majors, 40 captains, 101 first lieutenants, and 3,358 enlisted men.
Third. In order to maintain an aviation service suitable to the needs of the present standing Army, it is recommended that the laws creating the aviation section of the Signal Corps be so modified in the restrictions regarding age, rank, and marriage as to permit the service to be open to all officers of the line, and, further, that the number of aviators, junior aviators, and aviation students authorized be increased by 46 and the number of enlisted men assigned to this duty by 462, the whole to be organized into five squadrons and an aviation school.
Fourth. In order to create an aviation service commensurate with the needs of the country and suitable to the requirements of an army of, say, 180,000 men, composed of seven tactical divisions and five cavalry brigades, it is recommended that the aviation section of the Signal Corps be increased to 368 officers and 2,399 enlisted men, organized into 18 squadrons, an administration department, and an aviation school, and that legislation be enacted providing for a reserve aviation service along the lines of the Medical Reserve Corps.
Fifth. Signal troops are special and technical men whose training can not be speedily accomplished upon the outbreak of war; therefore, it is urgently recommended that every encouragement be given
by the War Department to the Signal Corps of the National Guard of the various States, to not only perfect themselves in the duties of this corps, but to maintain their organizations at greatest possible strength and create as large a number of such organizations as can be properly provided.
Sixth. Owing to the fact that it will be extremely difficult to obtain from the Organized Militia sufficient trained signal men to meet the necessities of the service in war, it is thought best to utilize the great number of trained electrical engineers connected with the large telegraph and telephone companies and their force of telegraph and telephone operators and linemen. In order to obtain their services it is recommended that a Signal Corps reserve be provided, giving the officers of this force the same status as that held by the officers of the Medical Reserve Corps, and that lists of telegraph operators, telephone men, and linemen who will volunteer their services in time of war be kept on file in the War Department.
Seventh. It is recommended that at least 100 motorcycles be provided for the Signal Corps for the purpose of assigning motorcycle sections to its existing organizations. The motorcycle has now reached such a stage of development and reliability as to become a dependable means of communication. A study of the organization of the great military forces abroad and reports of the actual operations in the field indicates that the motorcycle has become a valuable means of extending lines of information in the field and in the transmission of information between the different elements of an army. Our own experience, wherever considerable bodies of troops have been consolidated and in the service along the Mexican border, has confirmed this idea. An item for 100 motorcycles has been included in the 1917 estimates.
Eighth. It is recommended that the system of detail of officers now used in the Ordnance Department be held to include the Signal Corps, and that the necessary legislation be enacted to relieve the Signal Corps of the operation of the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System.
Ninth. It is further recommended that enlisted telegraph operators of the Signal Corps receive additional pay, and that the pay of the chief clerk of the Signal Corps be increased to $2,400 per annum.
The reasons for these recommendations are as follows:
The act of May 11, 1908, provides for additional pay for enlisted men in Coast and Field Artillery for special skill as plotters, gun pointers, casemate electricians, first and second class gunners, and in other branches of the service for expert riflemen, sharpshooters, and marksmen. The instruments above all others in which the Signal Corps men must be expert are telegraph instruments used either on the field lines, wire lines, over submarine cables, or in radiotelegraphy. Special skill in the use of these instruments corresponds exactly to special skill provided for and rewarded under the act of May 11, 1908, as above stated. The commanding general 'must have great confidence and dependence in these men, and it seems very just and proper to compare the value to the Government of this professional attainment with the value of those enumerated above for which additional pay is already provided.
At present the only way of increasing the pay of expert operators is by appointing them to the grade of noncommissioned oflicers, or of
increasing their rank in that status. From this it may readily result that men-excellent as telegraphers, but wanting in other qualities necessary in noncommissioned officers; for instance, ability to control men-may be given warrants of appointment to secure for them the extra pay which is their due.
Such additional pay would be a great stimulus to the attainment of skill by operators, and thus improve the service.
It is urged, therefore, that legislation be enacted providing for additional monthly pay for the following enlisted men of the Signal Corps:
Expert telegraph operators, by wire line, cable and radio (three methods), seven (7) dollars per month.
Operators by wire line, and in addition cable or radio (two, methods), five (5) dollars per month.
Operators by wire line, cable or radio (one method), three (3) dollars per month.
These amounts to be in addition to the pay proper and to be given in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of War.
It is further recommended that men of the first category be designated as military telegraphers, first class; men of the second category as military telegraphers, second class; men of the third category as military telegraphers, third class; and that they be given distinctive insignia, to be later determined.
is well recognized in the service that men possessed of these special qualifications are fully deserving of this additional pay and are worth it to the Government.
The increase in the pay of the chief clerk of the Signal Corps is recommended on account of the added responsibilities of the position, due to the increased technical duties of the Signal Corps, and which require an intimate knowledge of the various and special lines of work of the corps. During the past few years increases have been made in all but one of the other positions of this grade in the War Department. In addition to the regular duties of a chief clerk, this official also serves as an assistant to the Chief Signal Officer. All of which is very respectfully submitted.
GEORGE P. SCRIVEN,
Chief Signal Officer of the Army. The SECRETARY OF WAR.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF COAST ARTILLERY.
COAST ARTILLERY DIVISION,
Washington, October 2, 1915. SIR:
I have the honor to submit herewith my annual report as Chief of Coast Artillery.
The European war has confirmed in a remarkable way the value of coast fortifications. All that has ever been claimed in the way of
coast fortifications being able successfully to resist the attack of warships in an attempt to run by has been and is being demonstrated at the Dardanelles. Beyond question, it there has been established that gunfire ashore is more than an equal match for gunfire afloat. Similarly, the fortifications protecting the German coast on the North and Baltic Seas have served to protect the German Navy from the overpowering English fleet. Also, the improvised coast defenses constructed by the Germans along the Belgian coast immediately after the occupation of that country by them have proved their effectiveness in holding off the British warships. Hereafter, the ability of coast fortifications to protect coast cities and anchorages from bombardment, and to prevent an enemy's naval forces from running past fortifications in restricted waters, can not be doubted.
The Congress of the United States has appropriated $175,000,000 in the installation of our present system of coast defenses. All approved projects as recommended by the Endicott and the National Coast Defense Boards are now practically completed. While certain additional fortifications are planned, and certain modifications of old projects now seem advisable, and while some old batteries may now be abandoned as a result of the evolution of conditions of naval attack during the past 20 years, it may be said, in so far as matériel is concerned, that the United States possesses to-day the most formidable system of coast defenses in the world.
Unfortunately, however, in connection with the installation of this coast defense equipment, there has been no parallel attempt by legislation to provide for manning it, and until such provision be made, our coast defenses can not be considered as adequate.
In 1908 the Secretary of War approved a policy as to the personnel needed for the fortifications, which contemplated that all of the guns, mortars, and mines of the over-sea defenses and all mines of continental United States should be manned by Regular Coast Artillery troops, and that one-half of the guns and mortars in continental United States should, if practicable, be manned by the Coast Artillery of the militia forces of the seaboard States. This has since been the basis of all presentations of Coast Artillery personnel questions. Eliminating certain batteries declared obsolete by the War Department Board of Review, this policy requires the following numbers of officers and enlisted men of the Regular forces and the State forces to provide a minimum manning body for the defenses which have been constructed or for which appropriations have been made by Congress:
Defenses constructed and appropriated for.
Regular Coast Artillery required for all mines, guns, and mortars in canal and insular
ports.. Regular Coast Artillery required for all mines and for one-half of the guns and mortars
in the United States.
Total Regular Coast Artillery required...
Grand total, Regulars and militia required.....