Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Concerning the Promotion of Naval Officers.
I HAVE TODAY signed H.R. 4413, "An Act to provide improved opportunity for promotion for certain officers in the Naval service, and for other purposes."
One provision of the Act repeals, effective November 1, 1959, a 1925 law which, as amended, requires upon their retirement, the honorary advancement to the next higher grade of Navy and Marine Corps officers who were specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat prior to January 1, 1947.
The November 1 deadline poses a serious problem for those active duty officers who are presently eligible for honorary promotion upon retirement. A number of these officers are, of course, on sea duty or at stations abroad. In a very short time they must decide either to effect their retirement by the November 1, 1959 deadline, or to continue on active service beyond that date in the hope that they will receive a regular promotion in due course.
This decision is made more difficult by the principal provisions of H.R. 4413 which will bring about the forced retirement of many officers in order to prevent a stagnation in the promotion of their juniors. I believe that it would be only fair to officers, who by their noteworthy combat service, have shown their dedication to our country, that they be allowed an additional period of time during which to make what is for them a momentous decision.
Out of consideration for the service which these officers have rendered, I hope the Congress will promptly accord them such additional time.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 4413 is Public Law 86-155 (73 Stat. 333).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Concerning the Promotion of Naval Officers. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235210