Admission to the War College is to be by competitive examination, open to lieutenants of the senior grade only; examination to be held by a board of naval officers. The course to be two years; the first year studying at Toulon, the second in a special practice squadron. At the end of the first year the officers that merit the second year's course go to sea in the practice ships. The remainder, if they have passed their examinations, get first choice on all commands not specially reserved to the officers that successfully complete the entire course. The privileges extended to the officers completing the full course are: (1) first in selection for duty on staff of flag-officers, ashore or afloat; (2) at least one-third of the commands shall be reserved for them.
The officers granting these diplomas to consist of the inspector general, the commandant of the school, the commander-in-chief of the home station, and two officers specially detailed.