B-121531, FEBRUARY 25, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 404

B-121531: Feb 25, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS NOT ENTITLED TO REENLISTMENT BONUS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE 1954 ACT. THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO HIM FOR A REENLISTMENT OF SIX YEARS IF REENLISTMENT BONUS IN HIS CASE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. IT APPEARS THAT SERGEANT WINTERMUTE WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON DECEMBER 21. HE REENLISTED FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME AND WAS PAID A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360. AT WHICH TIME HE WAS AGAIN PAID A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360. IS FURTHER AMENDED BY DESIGNATING SUBSECTION "/E)" AS SUBSECTION "/F)" AND BY INSERTING A NEW SUBSECTION (E). "/2) ANY MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IN ACTIVE FEDERAL SERVICE ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDATORY ACT WHO ELECTS TO BE COVERED BY SECTION 208 OF THIS ACT AND WHO IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR FOR THE BENEFITS OF THAT SECTION.

B-121531, FEBRUARY 25, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 404

GRATUITIES - REENLISTMENT BONUS - ACT OF JULY 16, 1954 A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO REENLISTED SIX DAYS BEFORE ENACTMENT OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1954, WHICH AMENDS THE REENLISTMENT BONUS PROVISIONS OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, IS NOT ENTITLED TO REENLISTMENT BONUS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE 1954 ACT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO H. T. RUGGIERO, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, FEBRUARY 25, 1955:

BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1954, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 23, 1954, WITH ENCLOSURE (MILITARY PAY ORDER), REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE RIGHT OF MASTER SERGEANT ROLAND S. WINTERMUTE, AF 3246 4376, TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $360 REENLISTMENT BONUS PAID TO HIM, INCIDENT TO HIS REENLISTMENT FOR SIX YEARS ON JULY 10, 1954, AND TWO- THIRDS OF HIS MONTHLY BASIC PAY MULTIPLIED BY SIX ($947.82), THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO HIM FOR A REENLISTMENT OF SIX YEARS IF REENLISTMENT BONUS IN HIS CASE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS ADDED BY SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 506, 83D CONGRESS, APPROVED JULY 16, 1954, 68 STAT. 488.

IT APPEARS THAT SERGEANT WINTERMUTE WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON DECEMBER 21, 1949, AND THAT ON DECEMBER 22, 1949, HE REENLISTED FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME AND WAS PAID A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360. HE RESIGNED ON JULY 9, 1954, AND REENLISTED FOR SIX YEARS ON JULY 10, 1954, AT WHICH TIME HE WAS AGAIN PAID A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360. YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT APPEARS TO ARISE BY REASON OF THE PROVISIONS OF A MESSAGE FROM HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ( ALMAJCOM 758/54, DATED JULY 19, 1954), WHICH INDICATES THE VIEW THAT THE BENEFITS OF THE ABOVE-CITED SECTION 208 DO NOT ACCRUE AS A RESULT OF ANY REENLISTMENT ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO JULY 16, 1954, THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 506. THAT ACT PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT SECTION 207 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 (CH. 681, 63 STAT. 811), AS AMENDED (37 U.S.C. 238), IS FURTHER AMENDED BY DESIGNATING SUBSECTION "/E)" AS SUBSECTION "/F)" AND BY INSERTING A NEW SUBSECTION (E), AS FOLLOWS:

"/E) THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO---

"/1) ANY PERSON WHO ORIGINALLY ENLISTS IN A UNIFORMED SERVICE AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDATORY ACT;

"/2) ANY MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IN ACTIVE FEDERAL SERVICE ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDATORY ACT WHO ELECTS TO BE COVERED BY SECTION 208 OF THIS ACT AND WHO IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR FOR THE BENEFITS OF THAT SECTION;

"/3) ANY PERSON WHO---

"/A) WAS DISCHARGED OR RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY FROM A

UNIFORMED SERVICE NOT MORE THAN NINETY DAYS BEFORE THE DATE OF

ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDATORY ACT,

"/B) REENLISTS IN THAT SERVICE WITHIN NINETY DAYS AFTER THE

DATE OF HIS DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY,

"/C) ELECTS TO BE COVERED BY SECTION 208 OF THIS ACT, AND

"/D) IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR THE BENEFITS OF THAT SECTION; OR

"/4) ANY PERSON COVERED BY CLAUSE (2) OR (3) WHO AT ANY TIME ELECTS, OR HAS ELECTED, TO BE COVERED BY SECTION 208 OF THIS ACT.'

SEC. 2. THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, IS FURTHER AMENDED BY INSERTING THE FOLLOWING NEW SECTION AT THE END OF TITLE II:

" SEC. 208. * * * A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO REENLISTS IN THE REGULAR COMPONENT OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED WITHIN NINETY DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF HIS DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, AND WHO IS NOT COVERED BY SECTION 207 OF THIS ACT, IS ENTITLED TO A BONUS COMPUTED ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING TABLE:

COLUMN (1) COLUMN (2)

"REENLISTMENT

INVOLVED 1

TAKE MULTIPLY BY

SECOND---------- TWO-THIRDS OF THE MONTHLY NUMBER OF YEARS SPECIFIED IN

BASIC PAY TO WHICH THE REENLISTMENT CONTRACT, OR

MEMBER WAS ENTITLED AT SIX, IF NONE SPECIFIED.

THE TIME OF DISCHARGE.

"1 ANY REENLISTMENT WHEN A BONUS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED IS NOT COUNTED.'

ON JULY 10, 1954, WHEN MASTER SERGEANT WINTERMUTE REENLISTED, THE ONLY METHOD FOR COMPUTING A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS THAT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 207 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951, 65 STAT. 653, 37 U.S.C. 238. THE AMENDATORY ACT OF JULY 16, 1954 WAS NOT APPROVED UNTIL SIX DAYS LATER. IT IS A GENERAL RULE THAT A STATUTE IS EFFECTIVE ON AND AFTER THE DATE OF ITS ENACTMENT UNLESS IT IS CLEAR FROM ITS LANGUAGE, OR THERE IS A NECESSARY IMPLICATION THAT A DIFFERENT EFFECTIVE DATE WAS INTENDED. SEE 13 COMP. GEN. 265, 270; 21 COMP. GEN. 392, 398; 26 COMP. GEN. 592, 593; 28 COMP. GEN. 200, 203, 29 COMP. GEN. 11, 12. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE AMENDATORY ACT OF JULY 16, 1954, TO INDICATE AN INTENT THAT IT WAS TO BE EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF ITS ENACTMENT AND ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY PLAINLY INDICATES THAT IT WAS THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS THAT THE ACT WOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF ITS ENACTMENT AND THAT ITS PROVISIONS WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANYONE WHO REENLISTED PRIOR TO THAT DATE.

IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPORT NO. 2908 (TO ACCOMPANY S. 3539, WHICH BECAME THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1954), AT PAGE 2, IT IS STATED BY THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES---

THE NEW REENLISTMENT BONUS WILL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANYONE WHO IS DISCHARGED MORE THAN 90 DAYS PRECEDING THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION AND LIKEWISE WILL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANYONE WHO REENLISTS PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION. THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES CONSIDERED THE FEASIBILITY OF MAKING THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION RETROACTIVE TO INCLUDE THOSE WHO RECENTLY REENLISTED, AND THOSE DISCHARGED MORE THAN 90 DAYS PRECEDING THE ENACTMENT OF THE LEGISLATION. THE COMMITTEE DETERMINED THAT SUCH ACTION WAS NOT FEASIBLE, SINCE NO CUTOFF DATE COULD BE DETERMINED WHICH WOULD BE FAIR TO ALL PERSONS INVOLVED. A SIMILAR STATEMENT WAS MADE ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AT THE TIME S. 3539 WAS PASSED BY THAT BODY. SEE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, JULY 14, 1954, AT PAGE 9952. SEE, ALSO, PAGE 5163 OF THE HEARINGS OF JULY 9, 1954, ON S. 3539, BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED, THEREFORE, THAT THE AMENDATORY ACT OF JULY 16, 1954, IS EFFECTIVE ONLY ON AND AFTER THE DATE OF ITS ENACTMENT AND THAT THE BENEFITS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT DO NOT APPLY TO ANY REENLISTMENT ENTERED TO JULY 16, 1954.

IT FOLLOWS THAT MASTER SERGEANT WINTERMUTE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ELECT TO BE PAID A REENLISTMENT BONUS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TABLE SET OUT IN SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AND YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO CREDIT HIS PAY ACCOUNT ON THE BASIS OF THE SUBMITTED MILITARY PAY ORDER, WHICH IS BEING RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE ..END :