Executive Order 337-C

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The Congress of the United States, by appropriate legislative enactments, has made the matter of assignments, transfers, and details in the army the subject of formal statutory regulations; Executive regulations in furtherance of these statutes have been adopted, the operation of which has been to place upon record in the War Department full and detailed information in respect to the character, capacity, military services, and general attainments of all officers composing the military establishment. The records so obtained fully set forth the relative merits of officers of all grades of rank in the several branches of the line and staff, and enable all vacancies which occur in the military service to be filled after a careful comparison of the records of those officers who are eligible under the law for particular assignments or details.

A similar legislative policy exists in respect to the Navy, and the records of the Navy Department furnish evidence of the character, service, and ability of all officers of the Navy, founded upon the official reports of those officers whose duty it is to make them. These reports are sufficiently specific to enable the department to determine the particular duty which each officer is fitted to perform without the intervention of requests, claims, or influence from sources outside the Navy.

It is therefore announced that in future appointments, details, transfers, and assignments in the Army and Navy, the Executive will be guided by the official records of the War and Navy Departments, respectively, to the exclusion of other sources of influence or information; but in case an officer has performed any special act of bravery or courage or rendered specially efficient service of which there is no record or only a partial record in the War or Navy Department, the testimony of any person who was an eyewitness of the same may be submitted for consideration.

Should it be discovered that since the publication of this order an officer of the Army or Navy has sought recommendation or support from sources outside of those named above, this fact will debar him from obtaining the particular advancement, assignment, or detail which he has by such means attempted to secure, and the fact that he has sought such influence will be noted on his official record.


Signature of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
The White House,
July 7, 1905.

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).