Motto: Mahon in peius ruit,
Perfection adhuc perficienduni potest;
The need of a higher standard of discipline in the navy does not imply that the discipline is lax. Inasmuch as nothing is perfect, discipline can be improved, and it is in this spirit that the following suggestions, evolved in nearly eight years' service afloat and crystallized by one years' experience as executive of a second rate ship and as commanding officer of a small gunboat, are offered.
There have been great advances in efficiency, in general, in the last five years. But has the state of discipline kept stride with this progress? It is possible that our complacency in regard to the state of discipline comes from a very misleading comparison with past accomplishments instead of a comparison with an ideal standard. The ideal should be used for the purpose of comparison, for, although visionary as regards accomplishment, it is real as regards standard.
1EDITOR’S NOTE.—This essay was submitted in the prize essay competition for 1913 and was accepted for publication.