A-21193, MARCH 13, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 562

A-21193: Mar 13, 1928

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PAY - REDUCTION - NAVAL ENLISTED MAN THE AUTHORITY OF A COMMANDING OFFICER OF A NAVAL VESSEL TO DISRATE AN ENLISTED MAN UNDER HIS COMMAND FOR LACK OF QUALIFICATIONS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF HIS RATING IS INHERENT. IS LEGAL. THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE U.S.S. WERE SERVING ON THAT VESSEL OCTOBER 19. UNTIL YOU WERE DISCHARGED. YOU WERE SERVING IN THAT RATING ON OCTOBER 20. THE DATE OF THE SETTLEMENT WHICH YOU HAVE REQUESTED BE REVIEWED. YOUR CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE IN PAY IS BASED ON A LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU JULY 27. WAS ILLEGAL IN THAT YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER REDUCED YOU MORE THAN ONE RATING. THE BUREAU IS OF THE OPINION. WHICH IS WARDROOM COOK. IT IS THEREFORE THE OPINION OF THE BUREAU THAT YOUR RATING SHOULD HAVE BEEN WARDROOM COOK FROM 19 OCTOBER.

A-21193, MARCH 13, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 562

PAY - REDUCTION - NAVAL ENLISTED MAN THE AUTHORITY OF A COMMANDING OFFICER OF A NAVAL VESSEL TO DISRATE AN ENLISTED MAN UNDER HIS COMMAND FOR LACK OF QUALIFICATIONS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF HIS RATING IS INHERENT. THE REDUCTION, BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF A NAVAL VESSEL, OF AN ENLISTED MAN UNDER HIS COMMAND FROM THE RATING OF CABIN COOK TO MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS (A REDUCTION OF MORE THAN ONE RATING), NOT BEING CONTRARY TO LAW OR REGULATION, IS LEGAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO SAMUEL U. BAILEY, COOK, UNITED STATES NAVY, MARCH 13, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0186799, DATED OCTOBER 20, 1927, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY OF THE RATING OF MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, AND PAY OF THE RATING OF WARDROOM COOK FROM OCTOBER 19, 1920, TO JULY 22, 1923.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU REENLISTED IN THE RATING OF CABIN COOK AT THE RECEIVING SHIP, NEW YORK, ON JULY 23, 1919; THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE U.S.S. DES MOINES IN JUNE, 1920, AND WERE SERVING ON THAT VESSEL OCTOBER 19, 1920, WHEN THE COMMANDING OFFICER THEREOF DISRATED YOU TO MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, FOR "INCOMPETENCY; " AND, THAT YOU PERFORMED THE DUTIES AND SERVED IN THE RATING OF MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, UNTIL YOU WERE DISCHARGED, JULY 22, 1923. IT APPEARS, ALSO, THAT YOU AGAIN REENLISTED ON JULY 23, 1923 AND ON JULY 28, 1927, IN THE RATING OF OFFICER'S COOK, THIRD CLASS, AND YOU WERE SERVING IN THAT RATING ON OCTOBER 20, 1927, THE DATE OF THE SETTLEMENT WHICH YOU HAVE REQUESTED BE REVIEWED.

YOUR CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE IN PAY IS BASED ON A LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU JULY 27, 1927, FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, AS FOLLOWS:

1. FROM AN INSPECTION OF YOUR RECORD IT APPEARS THAT YOUR DISRATING ON 19 OCTOBER, 1920, BY YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER FOR INCOMPETENCY, FROM CABIN COOK TO MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, WAS ILLEGAL IN THAT YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER REDUCED YOU MORE THAN ONE RATING. THE BUREAU IS OF THE OPINION, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER BELIEVED YOU INCOMPETENT AND INTENDED TO DISRATE YOU TO THE NEXT LOWER RATING, WHICH IS WARDROOM COOK. IT IS THEREFORE THE OPINION OF THE BUREAU THAT YOUR RATING SHOULD HAVE BEEN WARDROOM COOK FROM 19 OCTOBER, 1920, THE TIME OF YOUR DISRATAL, UNTIL THE END OF THAT CURRENT ENLISTMENT, 22 JULY, 1923, AND YOUR SERVICE RECORDS IN THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION HAVE BEEN CHANGED ACCORDINGLY.

IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED FROM AN EARLY DATE THAT THE AUTHORITY OF A COMMANDING OFFICER OF A NAVY VESSEL TO DISRATE AN ENLISTED PERSON UNDER HIS COMMAND FOR LACK OF QUALIFICATIONS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF HIS RATING IS INHERENT. 10 OP.ATTY.GEN. (1862) 168. THIS INHERENT AUTHORITY IS UNRESTRICTED BY LAW, AND THE MANNER OF YOUR DISRATING BY YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER ON OCTOBER 19, 1920, APPARENTLY CONFORMED TO THEN EXISTING REGULATIONS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE AND THE REGULATIONS THEN IN EFFECT THE COMMANDING OFFICER WAS AS MUCH AUTHORIZED TO REDUCE YOU FOR INCOMPETENCY FROM THE RATING OF CABIN COOK IN THE MESSMAN BRANCH OF THE NAVY TO MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, IN THE SAME BRANCH, AS HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO REDUCE YOU TO THE RATING OF WARDROOM COOK IN THAT BRANCH.

YOU DID NOT SERVE IN THE RATING OF WARDROOM COOK BUT DID SERVE AND PERFORMED DUTY IN THE RATING OF MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, TO WHICH YOU WERE REDUCED ON OCTOBER 19, 1920; THE ACTION IN THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NEARLY SEVEN YEARS LATER, PURPORTING TO CORRECT THE RECORDS OF THE BUREAU TO SHOW THE REDUCTION FROM CABIN COOK TO WARDROOM COOK INSTEAD OF TO MESS ATTENDANT, FIRST CLASS, IS WITHOUT EFFECT TO ENTITLE YOU RETROACTIVELY TO THE PAY OF THE HIGHER RATING OF WARDROOM COOK DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM. THE ACTION TAKEN, MOREOVER, APPARENTLY WAS INADVERTENT, FOR IN RESPONSE TO AN INFORMAL INQUIRY FROM THIS OFFICE RESPECTING THE LEGAL BASIS FOR THE CONCLUSION THAT YOUR DISRATING WAS ILLEGAL THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION A COMMUNICATION DATED FEBRUARY 11, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL HAS DECLARED THE DISRATING OF SAMUEL ULYSESS BAILEY, OFFICERS' COOK, SECOND CLASS, U.S. NAVY, ON 19 OCTOBER, 1920, FOR INCOMPETENCY BY HIS COMMANDING OFFICER, TO BE LEGAL IN ALL RESPECTS.

THE BUREAU THEREFORE HAS CANCELLED ITS LETTER OF 27 JULY, 1927, ON THIS SUBJECT AND REQUESTS THAT YOU SO ENDORSE THE FACE OF THIS LETTER IF YOU HAVE A COPY IN YOUR POSSESSION.