B-102149, AUGUST 13, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 28

B-102149: Aug 13, 1951

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WHO WAS RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1. MAY NOT HAVE HIS DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED UNDER THAT ACT ON THE BASIS OF THE BASIC PAY PRESCRIBED IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 AND IN ADDITION RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942. IS ENTITLED. TO HAVE HIS RETIRED PAY COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF THREE-FOURTHS OF THE ACTIVE-DUTY PAY OF THE GRADE IN WHICH SERVING AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 19. COLONEL BOONE'S NAME WAS PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 30. 10 DAYS' SERVICE AND HE WAS HELD TO BE 70 PERCENTUM DISABLED. AS FOLLOWS: * * * A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO IS RETIRED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE.

B-102149, AUGUST 13, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 28

PAY - RETIRED - OFFICERS RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 AN OFFICER OF THE REGULAR ARMY WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 12, 1918, AND WHO WAS RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, MAY NOT HAVE HIS DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED UNDER THAT ACT ON THE BASIS OF THE BASIC PAY PRESCRIBED IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 AND IN ADDITION RECEIVE THE BENEFITS OF THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942. AN OFFICER OF THE REGULAR ARMY, OR THE RESERVE COMPONENTS THEREOF, WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 12, 1918, AND WHO RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THAT ACT, IS ENTITLED, UNDER THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, TO HAVE HIS RETIRED PAY COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF THREE-FOURTHS OF THE ACTIVE-DUTY PAY OF THE GRADE IN WHICH SERVING AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, AUGUST 13, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 19, 1951, TRANSMITTING A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1951, FROM LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES H. COMINGS, F.C., U.S. ARMY, DISBURSING OFFICER, TOGETHER WITH A VOUCHER, AND RELATED PAPERS, STATED IN FAVOR OF COLONEL JOSEPH W. BOONE, U.S. ARMY, RETIRED, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE IN DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF 70 PERCENTUM OF HIS ACTIVE DUTY PAY AND DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF 75 PERCENTUM OF HIS ACTIVE DUTY PAY FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1 TO 31, 1950.

IT APPEARS THAT, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE IV OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, PUBLIC LAW 351, APPROVED OCTOBER 12, 1949, 63 STAT. 816, COLONEL BOONE'S NAME WAS PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 30, 1950, BY REASON OF HIS INCURRENCE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY. THE TIME OF HIS RETIREMENT HE HAD COMPLETED 27 YEARS, 8 MONTHS, AND 10 DAYS' SERVICE AND HE WAS HELD TO BE 70 PERCENTUM DISABLED.

SECTION 402 (D) OF THE SAID CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 818, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO IS RETIRED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED, AT HIS ELECTION, BY MULTIPLYING AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY OF THE RANK, GRADE, OR RATING HELD BY HIM * * AT THE TIME OF HIS RETIREMENT * * * BY (1) A NUMBER EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE TO WHICH SUCH MEMBER IS ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 412 OF THIS TITLE, MULTIPLIED BY 2 1/2 PERCENTUM, OR (2) THE PERCENTAGE OF HIS PHYSICAL DISABILITY * * * AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT * * * PROVIDED, THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE COMPUTATION OF (1) ABOVE, FRACTIONS OF ONE-HALF YEAR OR MORE OF ACTIVE SERVICE SHALL BE COUNTED AS A WHOLE YEAR * * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY EXCEED 75 PERCENTUM OF THE BASIC PAY UPON WHICH THE COMPUTATION IS BASED * * *.

ASSUMING THAT COLONEL BOONE'S 27 YEARS, 8 MONTHS, AND 10 DAYS' SERVICE WHICH HE HAD AT THE TIME OF HIS RETIREMENT WAS ACTIVE SERVICE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISIONS, IT IS APPARENT THAT UNDER EITHER FORMULA CONTAINED THEREIN HIS RETIREMENT PAY WOULD BE COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF 70 PERCENTUM OF THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY OF HIS RANK. HOWEVER, HE CLAIMS TO BE ENTITLED TO THE 75 PERCENTUM RATE BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 367, 368, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

THE RETIRED PAY OF ANY OFFICER OF ANY OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 12, 1918, HEREAFTER RETIRED UNDER ANY PROVISION OF LAW, SHALL, UNLESS SUCH OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO RETIRED PAY OF A HIGHER GRADE, BE 75 PERCENTUM OF HIS ACTIVE DUTY PAY AT THE TIME OF HIS RETIREMENT.

IN THE EVENT DECISION IS RENDERED IN FAVOR OF COLONEL BOONE YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SAME RULE WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF THE RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN VIEW OF SECTION 402 (I) OF THE 1949 ACT, 63 STAT. 820, WHICH READS---

ALL MEMBERS OF THE RESERVE COMPONENTS HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER RETIRED OR GRANTED RETIREMENT PAY BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE SAME PAY, RIGHTS, BENEFITS, AND PRIVILEGES PROVIDED BY LAW OR REGULATION FOR RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE REGULAR SERVICES.

ALSO, IN THE EVENT OF A DECISION FAVORABLE TO COLONEL BOONE, YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO THE EFFECT OF SUCH DECISION ON THE COMPUTATION OF RETIREMENT PAY OF OFFICERS SIMILARLY RETIRED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949.

IN ORDER TO PRESENT A CLEARER PICTURE OF THE LEGISLATIVE SITUATION GENERALLY RESPECTING DISABILITY RETIREMENTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO REFER TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 411 AND 511 OF THE SAID CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 823, 829, WHICH READ, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 411. PURSUANT TO SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, (1) ANY MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES HERETOFORE RETIRED BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY AND NOW RECEIVING OR ENTITLED TO RECEIVE RETIRED OR RETIREMENT PAY; (2) ANY FORMER MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES HERETOFORE GRANTED OR ENTITLED TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT PAY FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY; (3) ANY MEMBER OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS OR ANY PERSON ENTITLED TO THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND BENEFITS OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS, RETIRED FOR DISABILITY UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1930 (46 STAT. 790), AS AMENDED; AND (4) ANY MEMBER OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS, OR ANY PERSON ENTITLED TO THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND BENEFITS OF MEMBERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS, RETIRED FOR DISABILITY PRIOR TO DECEMBER 23, 1942, UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1940 (46 STAT. 790), AS AMENDED, MAY ELECT WITHIN THE FIVE-YEAR PERIOD FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS TITLE, (A) TO QUALIFY FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT AND, DEPENDENT ON HIS QUALIFICATION, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE EITHER THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY OR THE DISABILITY SEVERANCE PAY PRESCRIBED IN THIS TITLE: PROVIDED, THAT THE DETERMINATION OF THE PERCENTAGE OF DISABILITY AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 402 (A) (3), 402 (B) (3), OR 402 (C) (3), AS APPLICABLE, SHALL BE BASED UPON THE DISABILITY OF SUCH MEMBER, FORMER MEMBER, OR PERSON, AS OF THE TIME HE WAS LAST RETIRED OR AS OF THE TIME HE WAS GRANTED RETIREMENT PAY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND THE PERCENTAGE OF SUCH DISABILITY WILL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARD SCHEDULE OF RATING DISABILITIES IN CURRENT USE BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION; OR (B) TO RECEIVE RETIRED PAY OR RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED BY ONE OF THE TWO METHODS CONTAINED IN SECTION 511 OF THIS ACT * * *.

SEC. 511. ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION (1) MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES HERETOFORE RETIRED FOR REASONS OTHER THAN FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, (2) MEMBERS HERETOFORE TRANSFERRED TO THE FLEET (RESERVE OR THE FLEET MARINE CORPS RESERVE, AND (3) MEMBERS OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS OR THE NAVY NURSE CORPS HERETOFORE RETIRED UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 13, 1926 (44 STAT. 513), SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE PAY, RETIREMENT PAY, RETAINER PAY, OR EQUIVALENT PAY, IN THE AMOUNT WHICHEVER IS THE GREATER, COMPUTED BY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS; (A) THE MONTHLY RETIRED PAY, RETAINER PAY, OR EQUIVALENT PAY IN THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH MEMBERS AND FORMER MEMBERS BY PROVISIONS OF LAW IN EFFECT ON THE DAY IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, OR (B) MONTHLY RETIRED PAY, RETIREMENT PAY, RETAINER PAY, OR EQUIVALENT PAY EQUAL TO 2 1/2 PERCENTUM OF THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY OF THE HIGHEST FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED RANK, GRADE, OR RATING, WHETHER UNDER A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT, SATISFACTORILY HELD, BY SUCH MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER, AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY CONCERNED, AND WHICH SUCH MEMBER, FORMER MEMBER, OR PERSON WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE IF SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY IN SUCH RANK, GRADE, OR RATING, MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE CREDITABLE TO HIM: PROVIDED, THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE COMPUTATION OF (B) ABOVE, FRACTIONS OF ONE-HALF YEAR OR MORE OF ACTIVE SERVICE SHALL BE COUNTED AS A WHOLE YEAR: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH RETIRED PAY, RETAINER PAY, OR EQUIVALENT PAY EXCEED 75 PERCENTUM OF THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY UPON WHICH THE COMPUTATION IS BASED * *

AS YOU ARE AWARE, THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 IS THE ONLY PART OF THAT ACT WHICH WAS NOT EXPRESSLY REPEALED BY SUBSECTIONS (B) AND (C) OF SECTION 531 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 839, 840. WHATEVER THE INTENT WAS IN CONTINUING SUCH PARAGRAPH IN EFFECT, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT IT WAS EXPECTED OR INTENDED THAT IT WOULD CONTINUE TO HAVE THE SAME BROAD APPLICATION WHICH IT WAS GIVEN PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. SEE, IN THAT CONNECTION, DECISION OF FEBRUARY 16, 1951--- B-93171, 30 COMP. GEN. 350, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, WHERE THERE WAS CONSIDERED, INTER ALIA, THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 IS APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING THE PERCENTAGE OF ACTIVE DUTY PAY WHICH MAY BE PAID OFFICERS WHO WERE RETIRED FOR AGE OR SERVICE PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, AND WHOSE TOTAL ACTIVE SERVICE COMPUTED AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 511 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 IS LESS THAN 29 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS. IN THAT DECISION IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT A SPECIFIC FORMULA FOR COMPUTING RETIREMENT PAY IS SET FORTH UNDER "/B)" IN SECTION 511 AND, ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949, IN APPLYING THE RATES CONTAINED IN THE 1949 ACT IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE RETIREMENT PAY OF MEMBERS RETIRED FOR AGE OR LENGTH OF SERVICE BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 1949, THAT FORMULA IS FOR EXCLUSIVE APPLICATION. IN OTHER WORDS, A MEMBER MAY NOT INVOKE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 511 IN ORDER TO HAVE HIS RETIREMENT PAY INCREASED BY REASON OF BEING COMPUTED ON THE RATES OF MONTHLY BASIC PAY PRESCRIBED IN THE 1949 ACT AND THEN IMMEDIATELY LOOK TO SOME OTHER PROVISION OF LAW IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A GREATER RETIREMENT PAY THAN THAT TO WHICH HE WOULD BE ENTITLED EITHER UNDER THE LAWS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE 1949 ACT OR UNDER THE SAID SECTION 511.

LIKE SECTION 511, SECTION 402 CONTAINS SPECIFIC FORMULAS FOR THE COMPUTATION OF RETIREMENT PAY AND NOTHING IS FOUND THEREIN WHICH WOULD PERMIT A MEMBER WHO WAS RETIRED BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 1949, AND WHO, UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED IN SECTION 411, ELECTS TO QUALIFY FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT AND THEREBY BECOME ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 402 (D), TO HAVE HIS RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED ON SOME OTHER BASIS. AS NOTED, SECTION 402 (D) CONTAINS SPECIFIC FORMULAS FOR THE COMPUTATION OF DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY AND SECTION 411 EXPRESSLY PROVIDES, WITH RESPECT TO A MEMBER RETIRED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY WHO ELECTS THEREUNDER TO HAVE HIS RETIRED PAY COMPUTED "UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT," THAT SUCH MEMBER SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE "THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY OR THE DISABILITY SEVERANCE PAY PRESCRIBED IN THIS TITLE (IV)" THUS EXCLUDING THE APPLICATION OF ANY OTHER COMPENSATION FORMULA. HENCE, OFFICERS RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, MAY NOT HAVE THEIR DISABILITY RETIREMENT PAY COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE RATES OF MONTHLY BASIC PAY PRESCRIBED IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AND IN ADDITION RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE SAID FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942.

AS TO OFFICERS RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949, A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION SEEMS REQUIRED. THE FACT THAT THE SAID FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE 1942 ACT WAS EXPRESSLY EXCEPTED FROM REPEAL CERTAINLY AFFORDS SUBSTANTIAL BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT IT WAS INTENDED THAT SUCH OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO ITS BENEFITS. MOREOVER, IT APPEARS EVIDENT THAT OFFICERS RETIRED FOR REASONS OTHER THAN PHYSICAL DISABILITY ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE PROVISIONS OF LAW IN QUESTION AND TO CONCLUDE THAT THOSE RETIRED ON OR AFTER THAT DATE FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH BENEFITS WOULD IMPUTE TO THE CONGRESS AN INTENT TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN DISABLED RETIRED MEMBERS AND NONDISABLED RETIRED MEMBERS WITH THE LATTER RECEIVING THE GREATER BENEFITS. ONLY THE MOST CLEAR LANGUAGE IN THE STATUTE WOULD WARRANT THIS OFFICE TO REACH A CONCLUSION WHICH WOULD HAVE THAT EFFECT. NOTHING IS FOUND IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, WHICH WOULD INDICATE THAT ANY SUCH DISCRIMINATION WAS INTENDED NOR, INDEED, THERE COME IN MIND AT THIS TIME ANY REASONS WHY SUCH A DISCRIMINATION MIGHT HAVE BEEN INTENDED. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, I AM OF THE OPINION THAT ANY DOUBT THERE MAY BE IN THE MATTER SHOULD BE RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF EQUAL TREATMENT OF BOTH SUCH GROUPS OF OFFICERS RETIRED ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT COLONEL BOONE, AND OTHER OFFICERS OF EITHER THE REGULAR OR THE RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN HIS SITUATION, ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 15 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942.

WHILE THE CONCLUSION REACHED ABOVE MIGHT SEEM TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN OFFICERS RETIRED BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 1949, AND THOSE RETIRED ON OR AFTER THAT DATE, IT APPEARS THAT SUCH DISCRIMINATION AS MAY EXIST APPARENTLY WAS FORESEEN BY THE CONGRESS. SEE, IN THAT CONNECTION REMARKS MADE BY SENATOR CHAPMAN, SEPTEMBER 23, 1949, ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE, WHICH ARE, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS ( CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, VOLUME 95, PART 10, PAGE 13201):

SECTION 411 OF THE BILL PROVIDES THAT PERSONS HERETOFORE RETIRED SHALL NOT SUFFER A REDUCTION IN THEIR PRESENT RETIREMENT PAY. THEY MAY, HOWEVER, AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE NEW PAY SCALES IF THYE CAN QUALIFY UNDER THE MORE EXACTING CRITERIA ESTABLISHED BY THE TERMS OF THE BILL. THEY CAN SEEK TO BENEFIT BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW, BUT THEY ARE ASSURED AGAINST LOSING WHAT THEY ALREADY HAVE. * * * * * * *

SECTION 511 DEALS WITH THE PAY OF PERSONS HERETOFORE RETIRED FOR REASONS OTHER THAN DISABILITY. IT PERMITS THEM TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THEIR PRESENT RETIREMENT PAY, OR TO ELECT INSTEAD AN AMOUNT OBTAINED BY USING THE NEW SCALES AND COMPUTING ON THE BASIS OF 2 1/2 PERCENT PER YEAR OF SERVICE. BOTH THE HOUSE COMMITTEE AND THE SENATE COMMITTEE WERE IMPORTUNED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF A GROUP OF NONDISABILITY RETIRED OFFICERS TO CHANGE THIS SECTION SO THAT ANY OFFICER HERETOFORE RETIRED FOR NONDISABILITY AND CURRENTLY BEING PAID 75 PERCENT OF HIS ACTIVE PAY, SHOULD CONTINUE ON THAT BASIS AND AT THE NEW SCALES. BOTH COMMITTEES REJECTED THIS PROPOSAL. IF SUCH A PROPOSITION WERE AGREED TO FOR ONE GROUP, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CONGRESS NOT TO GRANT THIS VERY SUBSTANTIAL REWARD TO ALL GROUPS. THE REQUEST WAS ORIGINALLY SPONSORED BY A GROUP OF SEVERAL HUNDRED REGULAR ARMY OFFICERS WHO WERE RETIRED FOR REASONS OTHER THAN PHYSICAL DISABILITY, BUT WERE GIVEN 75 PERCENT OF THEIR ACTIVE-DUTY PAY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY HAD COMPLETED 30 YEARS OF SERVICE. ACTUALLY, THERE ARE 614 OF THOSE OFFICERS INVOLVED, AND THE ANNUAL COST OF THEIR PROPOSAL WOULD BE NEARLY $700,000. TO PERMIT THIS GROUP TO APPLY THE 75 PERCENT FACTOR TO THE NEW SCALES WOULD VIRTUALLY OBLIGATE THE CONGRESS TO GRANT THIS PRIVILEGE TO THE THOUSANDS OF DISABILITY RETIREMENTS, WHO ACTUALLY HAVE A MUCH MORE PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT AND A MUCH MORE FORCEFUL CLAIM THAN DO THE 614 OFFICERS, WHO SEVERAL YEARS AGO WERE RETIRED FOR REASONS OTHER THAN PHYSICAL DISABILITY. AND IF IT WERE APPLIED TO THE OFFICERS, THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE REASON FOR NOT APPLYING IT TO ENLISTED MEN, WITH THE RESULT THAT A VERY SERIOUS INCREASE IN COST WOULD ENSUE.

THE VOUCHER FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR TRANSMITTAL TO COLONEL COMINGS, PAYMENT THEREOF BEING AUTHORIZED, IF IT IS OTHERWISE CORRECT.