A-30021, JANUARY 20, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 307

A-30021: Jan 20, 1930

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WHO WAS TRANSFERRED TO FLEET NAVAL RESERVE DECEMBER 11. IS ENTITLED TO 10 PERCENT INCREASE ON RETAINER PAY BY REASON OF CREDIT FOR "EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM.'. - THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION CONCERNING GUSTAVE THEODORE BAUMANN: "THE TRANSFER OF THE ABOVE-NAMED MAN TO THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE WITH THE BENEFITS OF SIXTEEN YEARS' SERVICE IS BEING AUTHORIZED EFFECTIVE 6 DECEMBER. "THE RECORDS OF THE BUREAU SHOW THAT THE ABOVE-NAMED MAN HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM AS FOLLOWS: " "THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A SILVER LIFE-SAVING MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDED TO YOU BY THIS DEPARTMENT UNDER ACTS OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 20. 1921. " "IT AFFORDS THE DEPARTMENT GREAT PLEASURE TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF COMMENDING THE SERVICES RENDERED BY YOU ON THE OCCASION MENTIONED.'" THE MEDAL APPARENTLY WAS AWARDED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CITED ACTS.

A-30021, JANUARY 20, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 307

PAY - ADDITIONAL - EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM - MEMBER OF FLEET NAVAL RESERVE CREDIT FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM ENTITLING TO 10 PERCENT INCREASED PAY UNDER SECTION 26 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1087, MUST BE ESTABLISHED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A MEDAL OF HONOR UNDER SECTION 1407 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, OR THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901K 31 STAT. 1099, OR BY THE ISSUANCE OF A MEDAL OF HONOR OR A NAVY CROSS UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 4, 1919, 40 STAT. 1056.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO LIEUT. W. DISMUKES, UNITED STATES NAVY, JANUARY 20, 1930:

BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IN SECOND INDORSEMENT DECEMBER 26, 1929, THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1929, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER GUSTAVE THEODORE BAUMANN, C.M.M., UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE, WHO WAS TRANSFERRED TO FLEET NAVAL RESERVE DECEMBER 11, 1929, WITH OVER 16 BUT LESS THAN 20 YEARS' NAVAL SERVICE, IS ENTITLED TO 10 PERCENT INCREASE ON RETAINER PAY BY REASON OF CREDIT FOR "EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM.'

YOU STATE IN PARAGRAPH 3 OF YOUR LETTER THAT---

THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION CONCERNING GUSTAVE THEODORE BAUMANN:

"THE TRANSFER OF THE ABOVE-NAMED MAN TO THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE WITH THE BENEFITS OF SIXTEEN YEARS' SERVICE IS BEING AUTHORIZED EFFECTIVE 6 DECEMBER, 1929.

"THE RECORDS OF THE BUREAU SHOW THAT THE ABOVE-NAMED MAN HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM AS FOLLOWS:

" "THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH A SILVER LIFE-SAVING MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDED TO YOU BY THIS DEPARTMENT UNDER ACTS OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 20, 1874, AND MAY 4, 1882, IN RECOGNITION OF THE GALLANT CONDUCT DISPLAYED BY YOU IN RESCUING A MAN FROM DROWNING, APRIL 7, 1921.

" "IT AFFORDS THE DEPARTMENT GREAT PLEASURE TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF COMMENDING THE SERVICES RENDERED BY YOU ON THE OCCASION MENTIONED.'"

THE MEDAL APPARENTLY WAS AWARDED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CITED ACTS, 18 STAT. 127 AND 22 STAT. 57, AND THE ACT OF JANUARY 21, 1897, 29 STAT. 494 (U.S.C., TITLE 14, SECTIONS 193, 195, AND 196).

SECTION 26 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1087, PROVIDES THAT ENLISTED MEN SERVING IN THE REGULAR NAVY ON THE DATE OF THE ACT SHALL BE ENTITLED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE ON THE COMPLETION OF 16 OR MORE YEARS' NAVAL SERVICE, WITH RETAINER PAY, IF WITH 10 AND LESS THAN 20 YEARS OF NAVAL SERVICE, AT THE RATE OF ONE THIRD THEIR BASE PAY, AND, IF WITH 20 OR MORE YEARS OF NAVAL SERVICE, AT THE RATE OF ONE-HALF THEIR BASE PAY, WITH THE PROVISO:

* * * THAT THE PAY AUTHORIZED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE INCREASED TO 10 PERCENTUM FOR ALL MEN WHO MAY BE CREDITED WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE LINE OF DUTY OR WHOSE AVERAGE MARKS IN CONDUCT FOR TWENTY YEARS OR MORE SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN 95 PERCENTUM OF THE MAXIMUM: * * *

THE LAW DOES NOT DEFINE WHAT SHALL CONSTITUTE AN ACT OF "EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM" NOR DOES IT PRESCRIBE HOW CREDIT SHALL BE DETERMINED.

THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 26 OF THAT ACT IS TO GIVE TO THE MEN COMING WITHIN ITS TERMS THE SAME RIGHTS TO TRANSFER AND RETAINER PAY PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 590. DECISION A-23952, OCTOBER 8, 1928. ACCORDINGLY, APPLICATION OF THE TERM "CREDITED WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM" AS USED IN SECTION 26 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, IS TO BE DETERMINED FROM ITS MEANING AND PURPOSE AS USED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916.

IT IS A WELL RECOGNIZED RULE OF CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES THAT EACH LEGISLATIVE ACT IS TO BE INTERPRETED WITH REFERENCE TO EXISTING ACTS RELATING TO THE SAME CLASS OF PERSONS OR THINGS. UNITED STATES V. FREEMAN, 3 HOWARD 556; VANE V. MEWCOMBE, 132 U.S. 220. ON AUGUST 29, 1916, THE ONLY NAVAL LAWS RELATIVE TO ACTS OF EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM WERE SECTION 1407, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, 31 STAT. 1099. THE FIRST PROVIDES:

SEAMEN DISTINGUISHING THEMSELVES IN BATTLE, OR BY EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE LINE OF THEIR PROFESSION, MAY BE PROMOTED TO FORWARD WARRANT OFFICERS, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER, APPROVED BY THE FLAG OFFICER AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. AND UPON SUCH RECOMMENDATION THEY SHALL RECEIVE A GRATUITY OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND THE MEDAL OF HONOR, TO BE PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, PROVIDES:

THAT ANY ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS WHO SHALL HAVE DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF IN BATTLE OR DISPLAYED EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE LINE OF HIS PROFESSION SHALL, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF HIS COMMANDING OFFICER, APPROVED BY THE FLAG OFFICER AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, RECEIVE A GRATUITY AND MEDAL OF HONOR AS PROVIDED FOR SEAMEN IN SECTION FOURTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVEN OF THE REVISED STATUTES.

THE TERM "EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN LINE OF DUTY," AS USED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 590, CARRIES THE SAME IDEA AS THE TERM "EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN LINE OF THEIR (HIS) PROFESSION," AS USED IN SECTION 1407, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, 31 STAT. 1099. OBVIOUSLY, THE INTENT OF THE LATER ACT OF 1916 WAS TO AUTHORIZE THE INCREASED PAY WHERE ,CREDIT" HAD BEEN GIVEN FOR ACTS OF HEROISM BY THE METHOD PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 1407, REVISED STATUTES, OR THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, I.E., BY THE AWARD OF THE MEDAL OF HONOR.

SECTION 1407, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, WERE SUPERSEDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 4, 1919, 40 STAT. 1056, 5 COMP. GEN. 258, AND IT PROVIDES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A MEDAL OF HONOR, IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS, TO ANY PERSON IN THE NAVAL SERVICE WHO, IN ACTION INVOLVING ACTUAL CONFLICT WITH THE ENEMY, SHALL DISTINGUISH HIMSELF CONSPICUOUSLY BY GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AND WITHOUT DETRIMENT TO THE MISSION OF HIS COMMAND OR THE COMMAND TO WHICH HE IS ATTACHED, AND THE AWARD OF A NAVY CROSS, BUT NOT IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS, TO ANY PERSON IN THE NAVAL SERVICE WHO SHALL DISTINGUISH HIMSELF BY EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM, SUCH HEROISM NOT BEING SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY THE AWARD OF A MEDAL OF HONOR. OBVIOUSLY, THE ACT OF 1916, WAS ADDRESSED TO THE EXISTING PROCEDURE FOR "CREDITING" A MAN WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM BY THE AWARD OF A MEDAL OF HONOR AND THE "CREDIT" TO ENTITLE TO THE INCREASED PAY PROVIDED BY THE ACT OR THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, MUST BE ESTABLISHED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A MEDAL OF HONOR UNDER SECTION 1407, REVISED STATUTES, OR THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1901, WHEN THEY WERE IN EFFECT, OR BY THE ISSUANCE OF A MEDAL OF HONOR OR A NAVY CROSS UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 4, 1919. BAUMANN NOT HAVING BEEN ISSUED A MEDAL OF HONOR OR A NAVY CROSS HAS NOT BEEN CREDITED WITH EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE LINE OF HIS DUTY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, AND MAY NOT BE CREDITED WITH AN ADDITIONAL 10 PERCENT ON HIS PERMANENT ADDITIONS OF PAY ACCRUED ON DATE OF TRANSFER TO THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.