Is the graduate of the Naval Academy today, with his commission as an ensign in the navy, going to work out successfully to the best interests of the service? Does the commission carry with it sufficient sea experience; and if not, what modification in the present system could be made, so as to embody a greater period of duty afloat for the undergraduate?
It is right that the graduate of the Naval Academy should be on the same footing as the graduate of West Point. That step has been made, and is one that should stand; but the requirements of the naval service are such, that more time should be given to develop the undergraduate. The ensign going to his first ship, with his limited sea service, is bound to make many errors that should have been made and corrected while a midshipman. The commissioned officer ought to be raised in experience and ability, rather than lowered; for this reason the whole subject of gaining a commission as an ensign should be thought about and discussed.