Lieut. Commander D. W. Knox, U. S. Navy.—While the titles of our men have undoubted influence upon the duty which they are expected to and do perform, the kernel of "the petty officer" question does not lie in the question of titles. Unfortunately these have become legalized after assuming the present form, and, according to my understanding, an act of Congress is required to change them. Effort by the Navy to modify them might or might not be successful.
What does matter—and matter very greatly—is the relations which are established by service custom between officers and petty officers, and between petty officers and men. This is in our own hands.