A REVIEW OF SERVICE OPINIONS.
No historical retrospect of the views of naval officers in the last century can afford technical instruction to their successors. Method as well as material has been transformed; research and experiment are recognized as the basis of improvement, and tradition is not so apt to be urged as a substitute for exact knowledge. It is admitted that the qualifications of an expert are independent of relative rank, and that nothing can be settled by citing the obsolete views of unqualified persons. Yet an exhibit from the past may demonstrate the necessity of drawing from naval officers a definite and rational opinion concerning service problems; and the record of an officer may include tests to disclose his capacity for performing this essential part of his duty, though this will require earnest co-operation between the educational institutions. of the service and the fleet. Tradition is to be respected in so far as it sustains the morale and discipline of the service; but technical progress must seek elsewhere for its motive force, and accept nothing as a finality.