Monday, January 16, 2017

Code of a Naval Officer


Code of a Naval Officer

“It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a good deal more. He should be, as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manner, punctilious courtesy and the nicest sense of personal honor. 

He should not only be able to express himself clearly and with force in his own language both with tongue and pen, but he should be versed in French and Spanish. He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or to be left to pass without his reward be only one word of approval. 

Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well-meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder. As he should be universal and impartial in his rewards and approval of merit so should he be judicial and unbending in his punishment or reproof of misconduct.”

Code of a Naval Officer – misattributed to John Paul Jones? Possibly a fabrication by the JPJ historian Augustus C. Buell in a biography from 1900.


John Paul Jones - (1747–92), American naval officer; born John Paul in Scotland. Noted for his raids off the northern coasts of Britain during the American Revolution, he is said to have stated “I have not yet begun to fight!” after victory in a 1779 battle between the Americans and the British.


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