The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, June 08, 1913, SECTION SIX, Page 8, Image 76

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Converting Machines Of War
Education Will Be Given Thousands in
United States Navy Each War Vessel
WiU Be Floating Trade School
WOULD yon like to become an
Well, join the Navy and have
- DOr trade taught you while you cruise
ipon th" mighty main in one of Uncle
Sam s $12,000,000 battleships.
Would you like to becoinr a machin
ist ?
T,earn t he trade while drawing the
ray of a. seaman and engaged in the
fascinating game of handling the
monster 700-ton guns of the Navy with
the pressure of a tlnger.
"Would you like to become an en
gineer" Learn the game while tending
the monster turbines that drive the
lighting jhii's while they frolic from
Newport to (luantaiiamo or cruise in
ihe waters that are far from the old
librae place.
Would you like to learn to be a car
penter, e plumber, a. blacksmith, a
painter, e cook, a nurse, a musician, a
clerk, a seaman? All these are Included
In the curriculum of Uncle Sam's
greatest trade school, and all may be
learned as an Incident to service as a
man-o'-warsman with Uncle yam's fleet.
This has been true to a certain extent
11 along, but lust tiow the Navy baa a
new Secretary, who believes tluat the
training of the 43,000 youngsters; that
jro to make up the fighting force at sea
hm especially I inportant. Secretary
Josephus Daniels believes that the en
listment of the seamen should be made
th equivalent of a course In a first
class vocational school. He holds that
when these youngsters are turned back
Into private life they should have ac
quired a training that would make them
productive citizens with useful trades.
He claims that In addition they should
have so profited by the discipline, the
experience In handling men and the ad
ventages of travel to give to them un
usual possibilities of leadership. There
Is in the department an energetic young
Assistant Secretary. Franklin D. Roose
velt, who shares in this belief and who
I busy with the details.
feniuen rr Mere Both.
On- of the first efforts to be made by
the new administration of the Navy will
be to further develop the possibility of
teaching seamen useful trades during
their enlistments. The order that has
already been issued that the Atlantic
fleet make a three months cruise of the
Mediterranean during the coming Win
ter has as Its primary object the benefit
that will be received by the men. These
men. holds the Secretary, might ma
neuver for another season in the wat
ers about isolated Guantanamo and re
ceive as much technical training as In
npi Mediterranean. But on the latter
cruUe tfcere is the advantage of a look
into the ports of many lands and the
experience Is considered of benefit In
the making of worth-while men.
Recently a. canvass was made of the
ages of all the thousand enlisted men
on a given battleship. It was found
that those ages averaged 2?. There are
a few men 50 years oi age on every
battleship old seadogs who spend their
live with, the Navy. But the great
mass of them are rut boys. The aver
age ago of eulistment Is 18. The men
of the Navy are thus of an Ideal age
foe the- learning of trades. Many of
them do not re-enlist, while even
greater proportions serve two enlist
ed CcfZ(Z-&
ments and leave the service. The time
is ample and the opportunities ideal for
the thorough learning of a trade that
will put these men of lib or 26 back into
civil life with the greatest possibilities j
of usefulness ahead of them.
And a battleship is bnt a great ma
chine shop in which there is the con- j
stain f need of men of many trades. The
officers of every ship are constantly )
on the lookout for lads of ambitions
and aptitudes for the given trades.
Aboard ship these are made of helpers
iti the trades they are to learn. They
are given opportunities to study. If
their Interests are sustained they are
sent ashore and given courses in one
of the dozen trade schools that the
Government maintains for the benefit
of its deamen who are to be developed
into the skilled men afloat.
Making a Miin -o'-AV nrsiiian.
The Navy requires men of varied
knowledge to operate Its ships. It re
quires seamen to steer, man the boat,,
handle the anchors and clean the ships;
clerks, stenographers and bookkeepers
to attend to its office work; nurses to
care for the sick on board ship and in
the hospitals ashore, commissary stew
ards and cooks, carpenters, machin
ists, plumbers, painters, ship fitters,
coppersmiths, blacksmiths and boiler
makers to keep the ships in repair
and expert gun pointers and gunners
mates to man the turrets.
To procure all these men the Navy
goes abroad in the land and asks for
recruits. Every year the term of en
listment for 12,000 men expires. About
half of these as a usual thing re
enltst. This makes it necessary to add
6000 men a year to fill the places of
those who become incapacitated or die
or desert or In some other irregular
manner leave their places vacant
From far and near the youngsters
are gathered in to fill these places.
They have undergone rigorous phys
ical and mental and moral examina
tions before they are accepted. Then
they are sent away to the training sta
tions which give them a course of three
or four months which lays the founda
tion for their understanding of the
work in hand. There is one of these
training stations at Newport, one at
Norfolk, one near Chicago, and one at
San Francisco.
At these schools the enlisted men are
Hrst Introduced into a barracks, where
the condition that exists aboard ship
is simulated. Here they first learn to
sleep comfortably in hammocks and to
take care of their effects with the idea
of economizing space as they will hav
i" ,iU aooara snip. Here they are
mustered Into battalions, given setting
up exercises, practice marches, small
arm drills. taught to handle sjne.ll
Doais, and in many ways put In the
line of becoming handy men aboard
ship. Finally they are taken on prac
tlce cruises, where they are quartered
exactly as they will be when they go
Choosing; a Trade.
In this preliminary training th
will be certain art the young enlisted
men who will show special knowledge
or special adaptation to certain trades
that figure largely in the Nvy work.
If It Is found that some youngster has
picked up the Morse telegraphic code.
and knows something about wireless, he
may be assigned to the radio electrical
f 1
Secretary JZ&rtZGfcr,
school. If he knows something about
dynamos and is interested, in them he
may be assigned to the general elec
trical school. If he knows typewriting
or bookkeeping he may go to the yeo
man school and be prepared, for cleri
cal work aboard ship. He may indi
cate a special knowledge of guns and
immediately get started toward a life
in the turret. Many of the boys who
show special tendencies even this early
in their enlistment are assigned to spe
cial schools, where they immediately
begin learning their trades.
The great majority of the recruits.
however, do not begin to specialize
until after they have gone aboard and
performed, the unskilled work of sea
men for a period. Here the petty offi
cers who are Immediately above them
and who have charge of the detail of
the ship's work soon become personally
acquainted with all of them and con
stantly watch for any special tenden
cies toward given lines of work. The
men themselves have a good deal of
preference in the matter and if they
state any particular ambitions . they
will be given their chanoe.
So may a youngster become an as
sistant In the plumbing work of the
ship. In its carpenter work, in painting,
in boiler making or In the galleys
where the food is prepared. Here, if
he makes good, he is given every op
portunity to acquire at first hand
many of the tricks of his trade. After
a year or two of this practical work he,
likewise, is assigned to the particular
trade school that is in his line and Is
given every opportunity to master the
science of his calling. Even before
this be has had access to text books
and trade manuals in the ship's library
and often he has availed himself of
the opportunity that is presented to
take a correspondence course. Many
men in the Navy take these courses.
There Is more or less time available in
every day of the seaman's life and the
conditions aboard ship are most favor
able to study.
Take it. for Instance,, that a
rounrster wants to become an electri
cian. If he has sufficient special
knowledge he may be assigned to -the
electrical school at the end of his four
months in the training school. More
probably he has become interested in
electricity aboard ship and as an as
sistant has demonstrated such fitness
as to make it advisable to give him
further training.
The Navy is one of the greatest
users of electricity in all the world of
modern activities. Almost all the work
of the entire ship Is done by electri
city. In the first place all the lighting
is electrical. There is no other struc
ture in the world that hats so complete
a system of electrical communication
as has the battleship. The captain on
his bridge is instantly in connection
with the men in the engine-room or
the lookout in the crows nest, or the
officer in command of a turret, by
means of telephone. There Is no com
partment in the entire ship that he
cannot signal instantly. Every activity
of every portion of a battleship when
in action is coordinated with its every
other part by means of electricity. The
ammunition is hoisted by it, the guns
are fired by it, the searchlights are
able to spot an enemy six miles away
because of it.
So it becomes necessary that every
battleship should have no less than 30
thoroughly skilled electricians. Under
these are the scores of youngsters who
are on the way toward learning that
Aside from these there are the men
who are especially trained In tne work
of the wireless and who most not only
know their modes but most be the
master of electricity to such an extent
that they would be able to set up a
plant and work: It wherever emegrency
might arise.
For the youngsters whs wish to fol
low either radio or general electricity
there are two schools. One is at New
York and the other is at Mare Island,
on the Pacific Coast. To these schools
are regularly being assigned great
numbers of youngsters who have had
practical work in electricity, but who
require the science of it before their
education is perfected. Men assigned
to these schools are expected to com
plete their courses in 20 weeks. When
they have acquired this technical train
ing they are given a leave of absence
for a number of weeks and then re
turn to their posts aboard ship, where
they are further qualified by being
given an opportunity to put their
theory into practice.
Master of the Bis; ttani.
A very important school to the Navy
is that at Washington which handles
the seaman-gunners class. It would
appear that training in this sort of
school would be useful only to the man
who continues In the Navy but as a
matter of fact it makes of him so thor
ough a machinist that he may readily
turn his hand to other kindred .work
if he goes into private life.
Admission to the seaman-gunners
school Is regarded as a special prise to
be striven for. The recruit must have
become a petty officer and must have
a first-class record to gain admission.
The course la six months long. Gradu
ates become runners' mates and are re
garded as first-class man-o'-werimen.
They know every detail of assembling
the big guns, of the manufacture of
shells and fuses and all manner of ord
nance; they know enough electricity
to take care of storage batteries and
to work electrical devices; they know
all about the science of metals as ap-
piled te the construction of guns,
'Supplementary to this school is one
at Newport, R. I., wnich makes a par
ticular study of torpedoes and mines.
The youngster who passes through this
school Is an expert in the handling of
explosives and knows exactly how to
set the traps that may blow up bat
tleships or launch a torpedo that may
steer itself threa miles and hit a tar
get. There is a Navy School maintained
at Charleston, S. C, that is as practical
a training school as there is in the
United States. The object of Its main
tenance is to develop machinists. Here
is given an excellent opportunity for
any youngster in the Navy who has the
liking for machinery to round out a
career among the engines aboard
ship and thoroughly perfect his trade.
The youngsters who go to Charleston
have served aboard ship and have good
records as water tenders, oilers or
firemen. At Charleston they take an
eight-months course. During this
course they do a great deal of bench
work, working with machine tools, re
pair engines, and in other ways com
plete their training as first-class me
chanics. When they leave the Navy
they are highly-trained men who are
able to get positions at good salaries
In any community where there is de
mand for high-class machinists.
B School at Norfolk.
Bnt the biggest school of them all,
and the one that offers the greatest
variety of training is located at Nor
folk. Here it la that the Navy fin
ishes off an that great horde of young
sters that It requires to do Its car
pentering, blacks mi thing, plumbing,
boiler-making. ship-fitting, copper -
smithing. and what not. These young
sters have likewise proved their In
clinations and their special fitness for
these particular trades while in actual
service in the Navy. They have aided
materially in overhauling their ships
and making temporary repairs when
they have come to anchor in various
ports, while nursing the Monroe Doc
trine in Latin-America, or preparing
for pageants in New York, or attending
the coronation of Kings in Europe.
Here these young workmen of the
Navy come to add the science of the
thing to their practical experience and
to make themselves thoroughly trained
artisans. Having finished their courses
they return to their ships and get th,
actual practice that develops the high
est skill. Then they are ready to serve
the Government more effectually and
at better pay or to go Into the marts
of trade at the end of their enlistment
and draw those wages that are paid to
the men of skilled trades of their kind.
Many are the lines of training of less
importance that are offered in the
Navy. There is. for instance, a commis
sary school at Newport and one at
San Francisco. In these are trained
cooks and bakers and stewards. These
may serve awhile aboard ship and then
go Into private life where all the world
demands the service of skillful men to
prepare its three square meals a day.
Every ship maintains a hospital corps
and recruits who are interested in nurs
ing or who have some little knowledge
of drugs quite naturally find service
under the ship's surgeon and there
learn much of bandages and splints
and first aid to the injured. There is a
special training station for these men
also where they are taught pharmacy
and chemistry and are giveh lectures
on anatomy and physiology.
Music or Sport.
The man who has an ear for music
or some little knowledge of it and who
can finger an instrument a bit quite
naturally drifts into the ship's band
when he gets aboard. Here he is given
every-day practice with a well-organ
ized company of musicians, and in the
course of time has acquired no mean
facility. The recruit who has a liking
for the keeping of accounts or the
handling of correspondence or the de
tail of figuring out the pay of each of
his thousand shipmates, may find a
ready place awaiting him as a yeoman
aboard ship. If he writes a good hand
and his figures are accurate he may
soon find himself attending the yeo
man school at Newport or at San Fran
cisco and develop into an accountant
or a stenographer of no mea:- ability.
Even in the world of sports is there
an opportunity for the youngster so In
clined, for each ship has its baseball
team and its rowing crews and Its
champions at given weights with the
gloves and there are contests with
other vessels and for fleet champion
ships. All of these callings in the mind of
the new Secretary of the Navy and his
active young assistant are useful and
remunerative and the man who has mas
tered any one of them should become a
useful individual in whatever com
munity he may cast his lot. The Govern
ment spends a hundred and thirty or a
hundred and forty millions of dollars a
year in the maintenance of a Navy
against the possibility of any emer
gency that may arise and that the
United States may hold her place
among the great nations. This money
is spent as an insurance and, when
nothing happens, there is little to "show
for it when It is gone. Secretary Dan
iels and Assistant Secretary Roose
velt believe that if the possibilities of
making the Navy an effective trade
school are further developed the Gov
ernment may get a material direct
reward for the money spent In an
efficient body of young men who are
masters of trades and are every year
turned back into the industries.
(Copyright, 191S.X