Reformation the various branches of the military is a natural aftermath of a war of any duration. None is more drastic and progressive than that proposed for the naval judicial system. At the conclusion of hostilities, the Navy promptly proceeded with a definite and thorough study of its legal system by appointment of a board with the eminent civil jurist, Arthur A. Ballentine, as senior member. After critical analysis and mature deliberation, the product of this board, prepared in the light of experience during the war, emerged as the Ballentine Report of April 24, 1946. It is gratifying to note that this report recommended adherence in general to the system of naval justice as established, and expressed the conviction that the “disciplinary system of the Navy has in general functioned well.” Its recommendations, however, were sound, constructive, and far reaching. The detailed provisions thereof were received with favor and enthusiasm by press, civilians, and naval personnel alike. Fortunately, they were not permitted to remain long in a purely recommendatory stage. The Secretary of the Navy took immediate remedial action.
The Legal Specialist
By Lieutenant Howard A. Patrick (SDO), U. S. Navy