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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 3, 1906. (In two parts)
(1906)

Roosevelt, Theodore
Message of the president, annual,   pp. VII-LX ff. PDF (20.3 MB)


Page LIX

 MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT. LIX 
regimental posts Scattered thruout the country; the Army should be gathered
in a few brigade or division posts; and the generals should be practised
in handling the men in masses. Neglect to provide for all of this means to
incur the risk of future disaster and disgrace. 
 The readiness and efficiency of both the Army and Navy in dealing with the
recent sudden crisis in Cuba illustrate afresh their value to the Nation.
This readiness and efficiency would have been very much less had it not been
for the existence of the General Staff in the Army and the General Board
in the Navy; both are essential to the proper development and use of our
military forces afloat and ashore. The troops that were sent to Cuba were
handled flawlessly. It was the swiftest mobilization and dispatch of troops
over sea ever accomplished by our Government. The expedition landed completely
equipped and ready for immediate service, several of its organizations hardly
remaining in Havana over night before splitting up into detachments and going
to their several posts. It was a fine demon~tration of the value and efficiency
of the General Staff. Similarly, it was owing in large part to the General
Board that the Navy was able at the outset to meet the Cuban crisis with
such instant efficiency; ship after ship appearing on the shortest notice
at any threatened point, while the Marine Corps in particular performed indispensable
service. The Army and Navy War Colleges are of incalculable value to the
two services, and they cooperate with constantly increasing efficiency and
importance. 
 The Congress has most wisely provided for a National Board for the promotion
of rifle practise. Excellent results have already come from this law, but
it does not go far enough. Our Regular Army is so small that in any great
war we should have to trust mainly to volunteers; and in such event these
volunteers should already know how to shoot; for if a soldier has the fighting
edge, and ability to take care of himself in the open, his efficiency on
the line of battle is almost directly proportionate to excellence in marksmanship.
We should establish shooting galleries in all the large public and military
schools, should maintain national target ranges in different parts of the
country, and should in every way encourage the formation of rifle clubs thruout
all parts of the land. The little Republic of Switzerland offers us an excellent
example in all matters connected with building up an efficient citizen soldiery.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. 
THE WHITE HOUSE, 
December 3, 1906. 


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