Notes on Editions
This is all theory, combining the input from more than 1 source and based on the data published in the early manuals.
Other than the actual 1902 1st edition, the 1903 to early 1915 dated manual have a controversy in the edition numbering. The combine consensus is 1903, 1905, 1907 and 1908 were considered as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, editions by the authors/USNI.
In 1914, Franklin Publishing was contracted to publish the 1914 and 1915 book and pamphlet manuals. Since 1914 was the 1st time Franklin published the manual, they counted it as the 1st Edition.
Following this theory, they considered the early 1915 as the 2nd and late 1915 as the 3rd. Starting with the 3rd edition, late 1915 Manual, all following editions and by all publishers, continued on with a common consecutive edition numbering system.
Notes on Naval Militia
A 1913 act basically instructed the Navy to support the Naval Militia.
Almost all of the maritime states and those with large lakes and rivers had a Militia. All of their BJM’s were provided by or were ok’ed by the US Navy.
The Naval Militia in the earlier time served as a Reserve Component of the Navy, and in a later period they were much like the Coast Guard Auxiliary. They had many a yachtsman and boat owners in their ranks, and their BJM’s were stamped on the inside cover and/or the Fly Page with the words NAVAL MILITIA in blue ink.
Notes on The Floating Apostrophe
“Bluejacket Manual collectors and some older readers may note that the title of the last several editions is slightly different from what it was for many years prior. It has been slightly modified by moving the apostrophe in Bluejackets’ from the plural possessive to the singular possessive—i.e., Bluejacket’s—position. This change was made because the original 1902 edition was entitled The Bluejacket’s Manual. For reasons unknown today, the title was changed sometime after the First World War and remained that way for many decades. A return to the original makes sense not only for traditional reasons but because the singular possessive is more appropriate to the personal nature of this book.”
Taken from the Preface to the 24th Edition of The Bluejacket’s Manual