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DC:* 31: D BY THE UNITED SIATES OF AMERICA

APR '49

COURT-MARTIAL ORDER NO. 1—1948

JANUARY 1948

Administration of oath by notary public to applicant for enlistment in the Marine

Corps. A letter from the Commandant, Marine Corps, which was referred to the Judge Advocate General for comment and recommendation, re quested that authority be granted which would permit applicants for enlistment in the Marine Corps Reserve to appear before a notary public, or other person authorized to administer oaths, for the purpose of having the enlistment contract witnessed under oath. It is understood that current enlistment blanks require that the oath be witnessed by an officer especially detailed as a recruiting officer pursuant to Article 13–143, Marine Corps Manual.

Article 69 of Articles for the Government of the Navy (34 U. S. C. A. 1200, Art. 69) provides that recruiting officers of the Navy "and such other officers of the Regular Navy and Marine Corps, of the Naval Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve, as may hereafter be designated by the Secretary of the Navy, are authorized to administer oaths for the purposes of the administration of naval justice and for other purposes of naval administration.”

The legal effect of oaths of allegiance administered by notaries public at recruiting stations was considered by this office in 1921. In construing the statute in effect at that time, which is substantially the law today, it was held :

“That while it is the policy of the Department not to employ notaries public in any matters of naval administration where officers of the Navy or Marine Corps are authorized by the Act

* * to administer oaths for the purpose of the administration of naval justice and for other purposes of naval administration, it is legal to have notaries public administer oaths of allegiance to recruits at recruiting stations where no commissioned officers are available for that purpose." (C. M. O. 7, 1921, 18).

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