A-6235, DECEMBER 26, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 564

A-6235: Dec 26, 1924

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GRATUITIES - UNIFORM - WAR SERVICE - NAVAL RESERVE FORCE AN OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE IS ENTITLED. 1924: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION SETTLEMENT M-252503-N. IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF LIEUT.COM. FOR UNIFORM GRATUITY OF $50 CLAIMED TO HAVE ACCRUED UPON REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF PEACE UNDER HIS ENROLLMENT OF MARCH 28. IT APPEARS THAT THE AMOUNT WAS CREDITED IN CLAIMANT'S ACCOUNT ON THE ROLLS OF THE U.S.S. CLAIM FOR THE GRATUITY WAS DISALLOWED AND LIEUTENANT COMMANDER CHASE WAS CHARGED WITH THE ITEM AS IMPROPERLY CREDITED. ALSO WAS CHARGED WITH $60 WAR-SERVICE PAYMENT CREDITED IN HIS ACCOUNT AT THE SAME TIME BY REASON OF THE EXPIRATION OF ENROLLMENT.

A-6235, DECEMBER 26, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 564

GRATUITIES - UNIFORM - WAR SERVICE - NAVAL RESERVE FORCE AN OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE IS ENTITLED, ON REPORTING FOR ANY ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF PEACE, TO THE CREDIT OF $50 FOR UNIFORM GRATUITY AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 589, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1918, 40 STAT. 711. 1 COMP. GEN. 452, OVERRULED. AN OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE, WHOSE ENROLLMENT EXPIRED WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF PEACE OTHER THAN FOR TRAINING, MAY BE CONSIDERED AUTOMATICALLY RELEASED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE BY THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ENROLLMENT, AND IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED, MAY BE PAID THE WAR SERVICE GRATUITY OF $60, PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1919, 40 STAT. 1151, NOTWITHSTANDING HE IMMEDIATELY REENROLLED AND CONTINUED ON ACTIVE DUTY. COMP. GEN. 383, MODIFIED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, DECEMBER 26, 1924:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION SETTLEMENT M-252503-N, SEPTEMBER 11, 1923, IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF LIEUT.COM. HENRY SHERMAN CHASE, UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE FORCE, FOR UNIFORM GRATUITY OF $50 CLAIMED TO HAVE ACCRUED UPON REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF PEACE UNDER HIS ENROLLMENT OF MARCH 28, 1921.

IT APPEARS THAT THE AMOUNT WAS CREDITED IN CLAIMANT'S ACCOUNT ON THE ROLLS OF THE U.S.S. SOLACE BY PAYMASTER R. J. H. OLDEGEERING DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 1 TO 21, 1921, AND IN THE SETTLEMENT NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION, CLAIM FOR THE GRATUITY WAS DISALLOWED AND LIEUTENANT COMMANDER CHASE WAS CHARGED WITH THE ITEM AS IMPROPERLY CREDITED, AND ALSO WAS CHARGED WITH $60 WAR-SERVICE PAYMENT CREDITED IN HIS ACCOUNT AT THE SAME TIME BY REASON OF THE EXPIRATION OF ENROLLMENT, MARCH 27, 1921, AFTER ACTIVE SERVICE DURING THE WAR. THE ACTION IN THE SETTLEMENT AS TO THE FIRST ITEM WAS UNDER 1 COMP. GEN. 452, AND THE OTHER UNDER 1 COMP. GEN. 383.

THE NAVAL HISTORY OF CLAIMANT IS REPORTED AS FOLLOWS:

28 MARCH, 1917, LIEUTENANT U.S.N.R.F.-3.

15 APRIL, 1917, REPORTED ACTIVE DUTY.

18 SEPTEMBER, 1918, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER U.S.N.R.F.-3.

1 OCTOBER, 1919, CONFIRMED LIEUTENANT COMMANDER U.S.N.R.F.-3. (CONFIRMATION BOARD REPORTED 1 OCTOBER, 1919.)

27 MARCH, 1921, ENROLLMENT EXPIRED.

28 MARCH, 1921, REENROLLED AS CONFIRMED LIEUTENANT COMMANDER, CLASS 3, AND CONTINUED ON ACTIVE DUTY.

30 JUNE, 1922, RELIEVED ACTIVE DUTY.

1 JULY, 1922, TRANSFERRED TO CLASS 6, U.S.N.R.F.

19 JANUARY, 1923, TRANSFERRED TO CLASS 3, U.S.N.R.F. AS CONFIRMED LIEUTENANT COMMANDER.

AS TO THE FIRST ITEM IN QUESTION, THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 589, AUTHORIZED UNIFORM GRATUITY FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE AS FOLLOWS:

MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE SHALL, UPON FIRST REPORTING FOR ACTIVE SERVICE FOR TRAINING DURING EACH PERIOD OF ENROLLMENT, BE CREDITED WITH A UNIFORM GRATUITY OF $50 FOR OFFICERS AND OF $30 FOR MEN.

THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1918, 40 STAT. 711, INCREASED THE RIGHT OF ENROLLED MEMBERS IN ENLISTED RATINGS IN THE MATTER OF UNIFORM GRATUITY BUT MADE NO CHANGE WITH RESPECT TO OFFICERS. THIS ACT OF 1918 ALSO AMENDED THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE LAW TO PROVIDE FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE IN TIME OF PEACE FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN TRAINING. THE ACT OF 1916 APPARENTLY LIMITED THE UNIFORM GRATUITY TO WHERE THE ACTIVE DUTY WAS TRAINING, AND IN 27 COMP. DEC. 689 IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE UNIFORM GRATUITY WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE CREDITED ON REPORTING FOR DRILLS UNDER THE VIEW THAT DRILLS WERE A FORM OF TRAINING AND THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW WAS TO AID MEMBERS IN PROVIDING NECESSARY UNIFORMS. BUT IN 1 COMP. GEN. 452, CREDIT OF THE CLOTHING GRATUITY WAS DENIED WHEN REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH CREDIT WAS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING.

THE 1916 ENACTMENT WAS NOT PRIMARILY THE FIXING OF THE SERVICE TO BE RENDERED UPON WHICH UNIFORM GRATUITY WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE CREDITED, BUT MAINLY STIPULATED THE UNIFORM GRATUITY IN A LESSER AMOUNT FOR PEACE-TIME ACTIVE DUTY THAN THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED FOR WAR SERVICE. THE LAW HAD AT THAT TIME PROVIDED ONLY FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING IN TIME OF PEACE. THE AMENDMENT OF JULY 1, 1918, PROVISION WAS MADE FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN TRAINING AND CREDITING THE UNIFORM GRATUITY ON REPORTING FOR SUCH ACTIVE DUTY MAY BROADLY BE CONSIDERED AS WITHIN THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE LAW. THE DECISION, 1 COMP. GEN. 452, WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER.

THERE APPEARS ALSO THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT TO A BONUS OF $61 UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1919, 40 STAT. 1151.

IN 1 COMP. GEN. 383, IT WAS HELD:

SINCE A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY IS SUBJECT TO ORDERS AND NOT FREE TOGO WHERE HE PLEASES, IT FOLLOWS THAT A DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE THAT PRIVILEGES A MEMBER TO GO WHERE HE PLEASES IS A RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE NAVAL FORCES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WAR BONUS ACT AND THEREFORE ENTITLES THE MEMBER TO THE $60 GRATUITY. HOWEVER, SUCH RIGHT ACCRUES BY REASON OF THE RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND NOT BY REASON OF EXPIRATION OF ENROLLMENT ALONE, AND THEREFORE THIS CONCLUSION IS BUT AN APPLICATION OF THE SAME PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1921, WHICH PRINCIPLE IS ADHERED TO.

THE FACTS IN THE INSTANT CASE ARE THAT THE OFFICER WAS CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY UNDER WAR CONDITIONS AND DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SPECIFICALLY RELEASED THEREFROM AT THE TIME THE ENROLLMENT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE EXPIRED, MARCH 27, 1921. UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS IT WOULD BE THE BETTER PRACTICE TO SPECIFICALLY RELEASE SO THAT THERE MAY BE NO QUESTION OF THEREAFTER BEING ON ACTIVE DUTY BECAUSE OF THE WAR EMERGENCY. THE REENROLLMENT MARCH 28, 1921, MAY BE CONSIDERED IN THE PRESENT CASE AS FOLLOWING THE ENDING OF ACTIVE DUTY BECAUSE OF WAR CONDITIONS.

SETTLEMENT OF COL.-296 OF JANUARY 7, 1924, IS REVERSED, AND THE CHARGE RAISED AGAINST CLAIMANT IS REMOVED.