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Admiral BILLARD. I will be very glad to describe that, sir. Our course of instruction is very closely modeled after the course at the United States Naval Academy. Our boys come in a little older, so that at present our course is only three years. It is the earnest desire of the department to make it four years as soon as we can fill up our officer grades a little more. At present we are laboring under an acute shortage of commissioned officers, which is the greatest handicap the service now has. So at this school our cadets have seamanship, navigation, ordnance, radio, steam engineering, electricity, and all that sort of thing.
Mr. CROSSER You said that the preparation is very much like that at the Naval Academy rather than West Point, or both?
Admiral BILLARD. The Naval Academy.
Admiral BILLARD. Cadets are appointed in the Coast Guard by competitive examination held throughout the country. The qualifications are about the same as those for admission to Annapolis or West Point.
Mr. GARBER. What is the age limit?
Mr. GARBER. And how are the entrants apportioned, distributed over the country!
Admiral BILLARD. They are not distributed by law or regulation at all, for this reason: With West Point and the Naval Academy, of course you gentlemen have a certain number of appointments. We take in each year in our school 50 or 60 young men. Now, that number is so small that it is not practical to apportion it, and we let any young man of good character, within the age limits, who has obtained the necessary credits at high schools and the like, take this examination, which is competitive. So that we may have a considerable number from one section and not so many from another, and so on.
Mr. GARBER. Well, each Member of Congress is annually confronted with the problem of assisting young men to enter a school, either at West Point or Annapolis.
Admiral BILLARD. Yes.
Mr. GARBER. And I was wondering if this would be an additional facility to distribute the membership of young men of that disposition.
Admiral BILLARD. I may say that each year I have sent a circular letter to Senators and Representatives, telling them of this examina. tion, with accompanying circulars, and many of you gentlemen have cooperated with us most helpfully by letting the information go to your respective districts, from which act we get an appreciable number of applicants.
Mr. GARBER. What are the inducements of this school, or arrangements of this school to pay the expenses of the students?
Admiral BILLARD. A cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, gets, under the law, exactly the same pay and allowances as a midshipman at the Naval Academy, and upon graduation is commissioned an ensign in the Coast Guard, with precisely the same pay and allowances as an ensign in the Navy.
Mr. GARBER. Suppose a concrete illustration. I have on my West Point and Annapolis list perhaps 10 or 15 more applicants than my apportionment will accommodate. If I would recommend their application to your school and they were able to pass the required examination, what would be the prospect of their admittance there?
Admiral BILLARD. They would be permitted by us to take the competitive examination. Under the law the examination must be competitive, and whether they would obtain an appointment or not would be dependent upon their standing in the examination.
Mr. GARBER. Well, if they were successful! What is the limit of the number that your school would accommodate?
Admiral BILLARD. One limit at present is the inadequacy of our plant, which we have just been describing.
Mr. GARBER. But there is no legal limit?
Admiral BILLARD. No legal limit. The other limit would be the needs of the service. There is no legal limit.
Mr. CROSSER. You never know exactly from year to year what number you are going to add, do you?
Admiral BILLARD. No, sir.
you need? Admiral BILLARD. We do not have as many as we need.
Mr. SHALLENBERGER. You have never had to refuse anyone able to pass the examination ?
Admiral BILLARD. I had better make that clear. For example, this last year, as I recall it, we appointed about 50, and as I remember, there were probably 60 who passed. Of course, we had many more who took the examination. As I remember it, there were about 60 who passed, and we were able to appoint some 50.
Mr. GARBER. Where are these examinations held?
Admiral BILLARD. At convenient points over the country; as widely distributed over the country as we find it practicable to do.
Mr. SHALLENBERGER. Does that mean that of the 30, or whatever it might be that you could not take, who passed the examination, that they were refused admission because you did not need them or because you did not have quarters for them, or just what was the reason for it?
Admiral BILLARD. In this latter case it was because we did not have the quarters. We did need them, certainly.
Mr. SHALLENBERGER. You really wanted them but you did not have a place for them?
Admiral BILLARD. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hoch. Are those men carried on the list for next year, or do they have to take another examination the following year, provided their age is all right?
Admiral BILLARD. We feel that the spirit of the law requires them to take the examination again. It would hardly be fair to the new competitor under the law to do otherwise.
Mr. CROSSER. There must be some limit, however, in addition to that due to inefficiency of quarters, by the appropriation that is made for your service, is there not?
AdmiraỈ BILLARD. The law says the number of cadets shall be such as the needs of the service require, and of course what we do is to consider prospective vacancies in the commissioned ranks and not appoint more than will be needed, and that we have done so is proven by the fact that there has never been a cadet graduated there for whom there was not a vacancy waiting.
Mr. Hoch. How long are they required to serve in the Coast Guard after graduation?
Admiral BILLARD. We require them to sign a promise to serve for three years as an officer after graduation.
Mr. Hoch. Similar to the Navy?
Mr. CROSSER. Then they are always subject after that, of course, to the call to service in case they are needed after they withdraw from the service?
Admiral BILLARD. If the officer or cadet withdraws, there is no legal obligation remaining on him.
Mr. Hoch. What is the history as to withdrawals? Do very many of them withdraw at the end of three years, or do they stay in the service?
Admiral BILLARD. They all stay in. Those who withdraw from the Coast Guard Academy are those who are requested to withdraw, largely.
Mr. Hoch. What I had in mind, Admiral, was, do many of them leave at the end of three years or do they remain in the service?
Admiral BILLARD. Practically none of them leave.
Mr. CROSSER. If they do, can you call them back in case of necessity ?
Admiral BILLARD. No, sir; we have no authority to call them back.
Mr. WYANT. Have you gone so far as to work out a plan showing how many pupils or cadets these buildings will accommodate?
Admiral BILLARD. I did not quite understand you, Mr. Wyant.
Mr. WYANT. Have you gone so far as to calculate how many cadets these buildings that are proposed to be erected by this $1,750,000 will accommodate?
Admiral BILLARD. From 150 to 200.
Mr. WYANT. Would that meet the present requirements of the service or more?
Admiral BILLARD. That wold be slightly more than the present requirements, but no more than the inevitable requirements in the near future.
Mr. Hoch. Will you make a statement as to what buildings are contemplated in this plant that is to be built there?
Admiral BILLARD. Yes, sir. I might suggest this thought, that if we can get this new academy on the site which Senator Bingham has described, we can use the present Fort Trumbull to great advantage in connection with the receiving and training of enlisted men. At present in this circumscribed Fort Trumbull we have to have sometimes as high as two or three hundred enlisted men under training, who are mixed up with the cadets under training, which is a very bad situation, as you can appreciate. If we can get this academy put on this new site, this Fort Trumbull Reservation will be of great value to us in connection with enlisted men and operating problems.
You asked me about buildings. The kind of buildings that we need to have at the school may be illustrated as follows: There has to be a barracks for the cadets to live in, to sleep and mess in; there has to be what might be called an academic building for classrooms, laboratories, workrooms, things of that sort. There has to be a small dispensary building. There has to be some kind of an administration building for the officers, for the superintendent of the academy, and the clerks that administer affairs. There has to be a little guardhouse at the gate. There has to be a barracks building for a small number of enlisted men. There has to be quarters for the superintendent, of modest nature. There should be at least three sets of double quarters to take care of six officers. There should be two sets of double quarters for four warrant officers. There should be a power house to furnish heat and light, and a storehouse.
There must be a wharf for the practice ship to tie up to on the river.
There must be a few small garages for the Government truck and things of that sort.
Then, of course, there are the expenses of sewerage, water mains, heating lines, roads and walks, a suitable fence and a gate, and grading and planting.
There should be a small locker room and showers. There ought to be a gymnasium and armory.
All those little units are necessary, and after thinking the thing over very carefully we feel that $1,750,000 will provide for our needs in an entirely modest but appropriate manner.
Mr. Hoch. Have itemized estimates been made of all this you have outlined?
Admiral BILLARD. No, Mr. Hoch, for this reason: To prepare detailed estimates for each of these items
Mr. Hoch (interposing). But you have roughly estimated each one of those buildings, I presume ?
Admiral BILLARD. Only in an approximate way. I was about to add that the detailed, exact estimates, we would, of course, expect to furnish when appropriations are asked. This is simply a limitation, and I have not figures on any of these buildings that would be of any particular value in your consideration. The picture I am trying to point out is the number of these buildings, the natural character that you yoruself would visualize about them.
Mr. Hoch. But you must have gone over it in some detail with rough estimates, in order to know where we should fix a limit of cost.
Admiral BILLARD. Well, I have done that only in a tentative way, and without a final conclusion as to whether there may be any additional buildings needed. For example, I did not mention a small chapel which I think would be apropriate, and various things of that sort. So I would dislike to commit myself at this time on any one individual structure.
Mr. Hoch. I was not expecting that, Admiral, but I was wondering how you arrived at this total of $1,750,000 as an estimate.
Admiral BILLARD. Mr. Chairman, I will send you a detailed tentative list showing how the total of $1,750,000 is arrived at.
(The statement referred to follows:)
Memorandum giving tentative detailed estimates of costs in connection with bill
H. R. 16129 “ To provide for the acquisition of a site and the construction thereon and equipment of buildings and appurtenances for the Coast Guard Academy."
Barracks for cadets, including sleeping and study rooms, mess hall,
kitchens, baths, etc---
320,000 50,000 50,000 50,000 110,000
55, 000 165, 000 50,000 60, 000 100, 000 10,000 20,000 20, 000 50,000 60, 000 15, 000 10,000 50,000 60, 000 20, 000 10,000 15, 000 100, 000
1, 750, 000 Mr. Hoch. But you simply make the statement that this situation has been canvassed carefully enough so that you feel that this limit would provide the necessary plant?
Admiral BILLARD. Yes.
Mr. SHALLENBERGER. What is the standard of scholarship, or your grading in this school as compared with the Army School at West Point or the Navy School at Annapolis?
Admiral BILLARD. It may not become me particularly to say it, but we feel that our standards of discipline and of scholarship are as high as at either West Point or the Naval Academy.
Mr. SHALLEN BERGER. That was the point I had in mind. I did not mean any invidious comparison, but just a statement as to what the requirements were. You are going to establish now, as I understand it—hope to establish—a very much improved school over the one that you have, and that will become a permanent institution. Have we always had a school of this sort since it was established ?
Admiral BILLARD. Yes. I would like the committee to understand that we are entirely satisfied with the standards of scholarship and discipline in our school. It is simply the physical phases that we are here before you on.
Mr. SHALLEN BERGER. We have in the Navy School and the Army School a great many young men who go into that school, I think, be