A-6549, JANUARY 20, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 618

A-6549: Jan 20, 1925

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COAST GUARD PAY - REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE AN ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD FOLLOWING AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY IS NOT A REENLISTMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTIONS 9 OR 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 30. NAMELY: "IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IN PUTTING THE ENLISTED MEN OF THESE TWO SERVICES (NAVY AND COAST GUARD) UPON A COMMON BASIS IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT EACH SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER.' 6. THAT IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT HE "SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER (ORGANIZATION).'. HE IS DEPRIVED OF HIS ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE. SURELY SECTION 10 OF THE ACT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENACTED SO AS TO READ THAT THE ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE "SHALL BE PAID TO EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED ENLISTED MAN * * * WHO REENLISTS IN THE SERVICE FROM WHICH DISCHARGED.'.

A-6549, JANUARY 20, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 618

COAST GUARD PAY - REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE AN ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD FOLLOWING AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY IS NOT A REENLISTMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTIONS 9 OR 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 629, AND DOES NOT ENTITLE THE PERSON SO ENLISTING TO THE REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SAID ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JANUARY 20, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 30, 1924, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION A-6549, DATED DECEMBER 15, 1924, HOLDING THAT AN ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD FOLLOWING HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY DOES NOT ENTITLE A MAN TO ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR A RECONSIDERATION OF THAT DECISION YOU STATE:

5. IN ADMINISTERING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENT OF ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCES, THE COAST GUARD HAS FOLLOWED THE INTENT OF CONGRESS PRECISELY AS SUCH INTENT HAS BEEN INTERPRETED BY YOU IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, NAMELY:

"IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IN PUTTING THE ENLISTED MEN OF THESE TWO SERVICES (NAVY AND COAST GUARD) UPON A COMMON BASIS IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT EACH SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER.'

6. WHEN A MAN HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM AN ENLISTMENT PERIOD IN THE NAVY ENLISTS IN THE COAST GUARD, ALL DOUBT AS TO HIS BEING ENTITLED TO THE ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE WOULD SEEM TO BE COMPLETELY REMOVED BY THE DEFINITE STATEMENT CONTAINED IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, THAT IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT HE "SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER (ORGANIZATION).' IF SUCH MAN ENLISTS IN THE NAVY HE RECEIVES THE ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE AS ONE OF HIS BENEFITS OF SERVICE; IF, UPON ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD, HE IS DEPRIVED OF HIS ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE, HE CERTAINLY LOSES THAT "BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER (ORGANIZATION).'

7. IT SEEMS TO BE THE PLAIN PURPOSE OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, TO PLACE MEN OF THE NAVY AND OF THE COAST GUARD "UPON A COMMON BASIS" WITH RESPECT TO THIS ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE. IF IT HAD BEEN THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT AN ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD FOLLOWING HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY DOES NOT ENTITLE A MAN TO ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE, SURELY SECTION 10 OF THE ACT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENACTED SO AS TO READ THAT THE ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE "SHALL BE PAID TO EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED ENLISTED MAN * * * WHO REENLISTS IN THE SERVICE FROM WHICH DISCHARGED.' ON THE CONTRARY, THE SECTION PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE TO EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED ENLISTED MAN OF EITHER OF THE TWO SERVICES "WHO REENLISTS.'

8. CONFORMING TO THE ACTION OF CONGRESS IN AUTHORIZING THE SAME ENLISTED RATINGS IN THE COAST GUARD AS IN THE NAVY, IN PROVIDING THAT ENLISTED MEN OF THE COAST GUARD SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS ENLISTED MEN OF SIMILAR RATINGS IN THE NAVY, IN PRESCRIBING THAT LENGTH OF SERVICE IN THE ONE ORGANIZATION SHALL BE COUNTED FOR PAY PURPOSES IN THE OTHER, IT IS BELIEVED THAT, AS STATED IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS TO PLACE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND COAST GUARD "UPON A COMMON BASIS" AND THAT, WITH RESPECT TO ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCES, MEN OF THE ONE SERVICE "SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT OF SERVICE IN THE OTHER.'

9. THE ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, IS PREDICATED UPON LENGTH OF SERVICE, AND I INVITE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE ACT OF JANUARY 28, 1915 (38 STAT. 802) PROVIDES:

"THAT IN COMPUTING LENGTH OF SERVICE FOR ANY PURPOSE ALL CREDITABLE SERVICE IN THE NAVY * * * SHALL BE INCLUDED," AND THAT THIS PROVISION HAS NEVER BEEN RESCINDED OR MODIFIED.

THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, 2 COMP. GEN. 282, WAS ON THE QUESTION WHETHER ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVY WERE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR LONGEVITY PAY PURPOSES UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 630, FOR ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD. SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT SERVICE IN ANY OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THE ACT SHALL BE COUNTED FOR LONGEVITY PURPOSES IN CASE OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY AND MARINE CORPS. THE ACT CONTAINS NO SUCH EXPRESS PROVISION AS TO THE ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVY AND COAST GUARD UPON A COMMON BASIS WITH RESPECT TO BOTH PAY AND SERVICES AS WAS EXPRESSLY DONE IN CASE OF THE ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY AND MARINE CORPS, THE DECISION HELD THAT SERVICE IN THE NAVY COULD BE COUNTED FOR LONGEVITY PURPOSES IN THE COAST GUARD.

THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 28, 1915, 38 STAT. 802, PROVIDING THAT IN COMPUTING LENGTH OF SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD FOR ANY PURPOSE ALL CREDITABLE SERVICE IN THE NAVY SHALL BE INCLUDED, AND THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 835, RELATIVE TO COUNTING CREDITABLE SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD FOR PURPOSES OF LONGEVITY AND RETIREMENT OF ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVY WERE NOT OVERLOOKED IN THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE RELATING TO ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922. ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED THEREIN, AS APPLIED TO THE NAVY, LIKE THE HONORABLE DISCHARGE GRATUITY PAY UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 22, 1912, 37 STAT. 331, IS NOT BASED ON LENGTH OF SERVICE ALONE. ALTHOUGH THE MEASURE OF ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE IS DETERMINED BY THE NUMBER OF YEARS SERVED IN THE LAST ENLISTMENT PERIOD FROM WHICH DISCHARGED, IT IS PRIMARILY BASED ON REENLISTMENT WITHIN THREE MONTHS FOLLOWING SERVICE IN A PRIOR ENLISTMENT FROM WHICH THE MAN WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED. THE PRIOR SERVICE MUST HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME BRANCH OF SERVICE. TO HOLD OTHERWISE WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE PRIMARY MEANING OF THE WORD "REENLIST.' THE PREFIX "RE" IS DEFINED AS "DENOTING BACK, ESPECIALLY BACK TO AN ORIGINAL OR FORMER STATE OR POSITION," AND TO "REENLIST" MEANS TO RETURN TO DUTY IN THE SAME SERVICE. AS STATED IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1924, ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE WAS INTENDED AS AN INDUCEMENT TO HOLD TRAINED MEN IN THE SERVICE. THERE CAN BE NO REENLISTMENT WITHOUT A PRIOR ENLISTMENT, AND, THEREFORE, A FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD IS NOT A REENLISTMENT IN THAT SERVICE.

THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 28, 1915, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, RELATIVE TO COUNTING SERVICE IN THE ARMY, NAVY, OR MARINE CORPS,IN COMPUTING LENGTH OF SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD, WAS CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, OCTOBER 21, 1920, 27 COMP. DEC. 380, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT ENLISTED MEN IN THE COAST GUARD WERE NOT ENTITLED TO PAY UNDER GENERAL ORDER 34, BASED ON PRIOR SERVICE IN THE NAVY. ALSO IN 27 COMP. DEC. 457 IT WAS HELD THAT HONORABLE DISCHARGE GRATUITY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID ENLISTED MEN OF THE COAST GUARD BASED ON PRIOR ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS. IN FACT THE DECISIONS HAVE UNIFORMLY HELD THAT HONORABLE DISCHARGE GRATUITY AND ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE ARE BASED ON A REENLISTMENT FOLLOWING DISCHARGE FROM ENLISTMENT IN THE SAME BRANCH OF THE SERVICE.

WHAT WAS SAID IN THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, AS TO THE INTENT OF THE LAW TO PUT THE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY ON A "COMMON BASIS" AS TO SERVICE CREDIT IS NOT CONTRADICTED BY THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1924. THE INTENT OF THE LAW WAS TO GIVE TO THE COAST GUARD MEN THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED FOR ENLISTED MEN OF CORRESPONDING RATINGS AND SERVICE IN THE NAVY. NEITHER CLASS IS ENTITLED TO ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE FOR ENLISTMENT FOLLOWING DISCHARGE FROM ANOTHER SERVICE AND THEY ARE ON A "COMMON BASIS" AS TO SUCH ALLOWANCE. IT IS OBSERVED THAT ARGUMENT IS BASED ON ANALOGY TO THE HOLDING AS TO LONGEVITY PAY IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1922, 2 COMP. GEN. 282; YET THE PRECISE QUESTION HERE CONSIDERED WAS DECIDED SO FAR AS THE ARMY WAS CONCERNED, AND UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE ACT, IN DECISION OF AUGUST 31, 1922, 2 COMP. GEN. 162, 163. IF AFTER THAT DECISION THE COAST GUARD AUTHORITIES CONSIDERED A DIFFERENT RULE WAS APPLICABLE IN THAT SERVICE THE QUESTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED, AND NOT ACTED UPON, ON THEIR CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1924, IS ADHERED TO.

PARAGRAPHS 5 AND 6 OF YOUR LETTER INDICATE THAT IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO PAY MEN OF THE COAST GUARD ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE UPON ENLISTMENT FOLLOWING DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVY. SUCH PRACTICE IS ALSO IMPLIED BY ARTICLE 35 OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING PAY AND ALLOWANCES IN THE COAST GUARD, APPROVED DECEMBER 12, 1923. PROMPT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO SECURE REFUNDMENT OF ALL SUCH PAYMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.

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