Chief of Naval Operations

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The Chief of Naval Operations is an administrative post created by the Act of March 3, 1915 to serve as the military head of the U.S. Navy, replacing the position of Aide for Naval Operations.


  1. The Chief of Naval Operations shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, be charged with the operations and readiness of plans for its use in war.
  2. This shall include the direction of the Naval War College, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Office of Target Practice and Engineering Competitions; the operation of the Radio Service and of other systems of communication, of the Naval Defense districts and of the Coast Guard when operating with the Navy; the direction of all strategic and tactical matters, organization, manoeuvres, target practice, drills and exercises and of the training of the fleet for war, and the preparation, revision and enforcement of all tactic drill books, signal codes and cipher codes. The orders issued by the Chief of Naval Operations in the performance of the duties enumerated in this paragraph shall be considered as emanating from the Secretary of the Navy, and shall have full force and effect as such.
  3. The Chief of Naval Operations shall be charged with the preparation, revision, and record of regulations for the benefit of the navy, naval instructions, and general orders.
  4. He shall advise the Secretary concerning the movements and operations of vessels of the navy and prepare all orders issued by the navy in regard thereto, and shall keep the records or service of all fleets, squadrons, and ships.
  5. He shall advise the Secretary in regard to the military features of all new ships and as to any proposed extensive alterations of a ship which will affect its military value, and all features which affect the military value of dry docks, including their location; also as to matters pertaining to fuel reser vations and depots, the location of radio stations, reserves of ordnance and ammunition, fuel, stores, and other supplies, with a view to meeting effectively the demands of the fleet.
  6. In preparing and maintaining in readiness plans for the fleet in war he shall freely consult with and have the advice and assistance of the various bureaus, boards, and offices of the department, including the Marine Corps Headquarters, in matters coming under their command. After the approval of any given war plans by the Secretary, it shall be the duty of the Chief of Naval Operations to assign to the bureaus, boards, and offices such parts there of as may be needed for the intelligent carrying out of their respective duties in regard to such plans.
  7. The Chief of Naval Operations shall, from time to time, witness the operations of the fleet as an observer.
  8. He shall have as senior assistant an officer not below the grade of Captain.
  9. He shall ex-officio be a member of the General Board.
  10. During the temporary absence of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations shall be next in succession to act as Secretary of the Navy.

Chiefs of Naval Operations

Dates of appointment given:

See Also



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