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I argue in the book that in many ways CNO became the operational naval general staff, while the small General Board, never more than 12 members or so, remained a sort of strategic and policy level executive body.
JK: They are known as General Board studies –their primary written product–but referred to by the Board as “serials.” I explain them rather well in Agents in my chapter on the General Board Process (chapter 3).
As you can see The serials were extremely valuable because they went to the Secretary of the Navy, who had no SECDEF over him most of the time of the Board’s life, and set Navy policy on everything from uniforms to disarmament agreements to priority of naval construction.
Especially critical for the historian are the 420 series “policy” serials that cover general naval policy (and strategy) as well as building policy and priority. Reading them is like reading from a book of prophecy—they predicted so many things that eventually happened.
the Fleet Commander and staff, CINCUS Fleet) and the agenda for the fleet problems for the annual exercise established.