MOTTO: We question the utility of torpedo-boats because we don't know how to utilize them.—W.W. Kimball.
By Navy Department General Order No. 49, of June 8, 1901, it is ordered that a torpedo-boat destroyer shall be commanded by a lieutenant, and that a torpedo-boat shall be commanded by a lieutenant, a lieutenant junior grade, or by an ensign. The Navy Regulations do not require that the officers ordered to torpedo-boat duty shall possess special knowledge, experience or training in such duty, indeed under the conditions that have existed for several years in the naval service such experience or training has been impossible to all but a limited few; it is well known that the need of officers for ships in commission has reduced all assignments to shore duty; one of the results of this has been that but few officers could be spared for torpedo instruction at Newport; another result is that but few of our torpedo-boats have been commissioned, and for much of the time all of them have been hauled out of water and laid up under conditions that caused great deterioration.