B-122764, JUL. 7, 1955

B-122764: Jul 7, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14. THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED AS A MAJOR. STATED THAT HE WAS PROMOTED EFFECTIVE ON THAT DATE AS A RESERVE OFFICER OF THE AIR FORCE (ANGUS) FROM MAJOR. DOUBT AS TO HIS ENTITLEMENT TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES IN THE HIGHER RANK APPEARS TO HAVE ARISEN BECAUSE FEDERAL RECOGNITION IN THAT RANK. ALTHOUGH STATED TO HAVE BEEN EXTENDED ON JULY 16. APPARENTLY WAS NOT ANNOUNCED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 13. SOME DOUBT SEEMS TO HAVE ARISEN. BECAUSE THE ORDERS OF PROMOTION FROM MAJOR TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE AIR FORCE RESERVE WERE NOT ISSUED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 23. UNDER NORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE SOME DELAY NECESSARILY IS ENTAILED.

B-122764, JUL. 7, 1955

TO CAPTAIN T. C. CRABFELDER, JR., USAF, DISBURSING OFFICER, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14, 1954, FORWARDED WITH LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1955, FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, U.S. AIR FORCE, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ON THE ACCOMPANYING VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $98.50, STATED IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL CECIL M. SONNTAG, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF A LIEUTENANT COLONEL AND THOSE OF A MAJOR FOR A PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING EXTENDING FROM JULY 16 TO AUGUST 29, 1954, INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S ATTENDANCE AS AN AIR NATIONAL GUARD OFFICER AT AN ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION COURSE CONDUCTED AT THE MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA.

BY ORDER OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE STATE OF TEXAS DATED JUNE 29, 1954, ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 99 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED AS A MAJOR, HEADQUARTERS, 136TH FIGHTER- BOMBER WING, TEXAS ANG, TO ATTEND THE COURSE AT THE MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, COMMENCING ON OR ABOUT JULY 20, 1954, AND CLOSING ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 28, 1954. PARAGRAPH 1 OF SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 174, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU, DATED SEPTEMBER 13, 1954, ANNOUNCED THE EXTENSION OF FEDERAL RECOGNITION TO THE OFFICER IN THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL ON JULY 16, 1954, IT BEING STATED THAT HE HAD QUALIFIED UNDER SECTIONS 74 AND 75 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED. LETTER ORDER M-2256 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1954, STATED THAT HE WAS PROMOTED EFFECTIVE ON THAT DATE AS A RESERVE OFFICER OF THE AIR FORCE (ANGUS) FROM MAJOR, IN WHICH RANK HE HAD BEEN FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED ON AUGUST 9, 1953, TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL. DOUBT AS TO HIS ENTITLEMENT TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES IN THE HIGHER RANK APPEARS TO HAVE ARISEN BECAUSE FEDERAL RECOGNITION IN THAT RANK, ALTHOUGH STATED TO HAVE BEEN EXTENDED ON JULY 16, 1954, APPARENTLY WAS NOT ANNOUNCED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1954. SOME DOUBT SEEMS TO HAVE ARISEN, ALSO, BECAUSE THE ORDERS OF PROMOTION FROM MAJOR TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE AIR FORCE RESERVE WERE NOT ISSUED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 23, 1954.

UNDER NORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE SOME DELAY NECESSARILY IS ENTAILED, IN CASES INVOLVING OFFICERS HOLDING FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED APPOINTMENTS IN THE NATIONAL GUARD WHO ARE PROMOTED TO A HIGHER GRADE, BETWEEN THE DATE OF QUALIFICATION IN THE HIGHER GRADE AND THE DATE OF FEDERAL RECOGNITION OF THE OFFICER IN THAT GRADE. TO PRESERVE THE CONTINUITY OF STATUS FOR ENTITLEMENT TO FEDERAL PAY DURING THAT DELAY, IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF FEDERAL RECOGNITION IS THE DATE OF QUALIFICATION FOR SUCH RECOGNITION, AND THAT WHERE NOTICE OF FEDERAL RECOGNITION IS GIVEN SUBSEQUENT TO QUALIFICATION WHICH IS STATED TO BE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE TO THE QUALIFYING DATE THE OFFICER MAY RECEIVE FEDERAL PAY FROM THAT DATE, IF OTHERWISE DUE. 15 COMP. GEN. 280. THE ORDERS OF JUNE 29, 1954, SHOW THAT THE OFFICER WAS THEN A MAJOR. HOWEVER, INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU INDICATES THAT HE WAS APPOINTED A LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE BUT PRIOR TO THE DATE OF ENTRY INTO DUTY UNDER THOSE ORDERS. THAT INFORMATION IS SUPPORTED BY THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1954. THERE APPEARS TO BE NO SUBSTANTIAL DOUBT, THEREFORE, THAT HE HELD AN APPOINTMENT IN THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD, AND PERFORMED DUTY, DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, AS A LIEUTENANT COLONEL, AND SINCE HIS FEDERAL RECOGNITION IN THAT GRADE ANNOUNCED IN THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1954, WAS MADE EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 16, 1954, HE MAY BE CONSIDERED AS ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL PAY CLAIMED. THE FACT THAT THE ORDER EVIDENCING HIS APPOINTMENT AS A LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE AIR FORCE RESERVE (APPARENTLY ISSUED IN PURSUANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 703 (B) OF THE ARMED FORCES RESERVE ACT OF 1952, 66 STAT. 502), WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL AFTER THE PERIOD OF TRAINING DUTY HERE INVOLVED DOES NOT AFFECT HIS RIGHT TO PAY FOR THAT PERIOD AS A FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED LIEUTENANT COLONEL OF THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AUTHORIZED IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.