B-124877, JAN. 16, 1956

B-124877: Jan 16, 1956

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WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE ON JULY 25 BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE. REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT HE WAS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS A CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. 77. HE WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON SEPTEMBER 8. THAT THAT PHRASE IS A FAMILIAR ONE IN STATUTES INVOLVING THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND THAT IT GENERALLY HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO A DISCHARGE PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SOME SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME DURING WHICH THE MEMBER HAD EXPRESSLY AGREED TO SERVE. SINCE THE OFFICER HERE WAS SERVING UNDER AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT. - AND SINCE HE DID NOT HAVE AN ENLISTED STATUS TO WHICH HE WOULD EVERT.

B-124877, JAN. 16, 1956

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL W. L. JOHNSON, FC, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 12, 1955, WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE ON JULY 25 BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, STATED IN FAVOR OF JAMES W. THOMPSON, W2 150 845, T-512, REPRESENTING 56 DAYS ACCRUED LEAVE AS A CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER (W-2).

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS ADVISED US THAT JAMES W. THOMPSON SERVED IN AN ENLISTMENT WHICH EXPIRED JULY 31, 1951, AND THAT HE RECEIVED AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT AS A WARRANT OFFICER, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1951. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT HE WAS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS A CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. 77, HEADQUARTERS, TRANSFER POINT, FORT LESLIE J. MCNAIR, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 7, 1954, FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMMEDIATE REENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR ARMY. HE WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1954, AND DID NOT REENLIST UNTIL SEPTEMBER 29, 1954. AT THE TIME OF HIS RELEASE HE HAD 56 DAYS ACCRUED LEAVE FOR WHICH HE HAS NOT BEEN PAID. ALSO, THE LEAVE HAS NOT BEEN CARRIED FORWARD TO HIS NEW ENLISTMENT.

SECTION 4 (C) OF THE ARMED FORCES LEAVE ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 33 (C), PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

"ANY MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES DISCHARGED AFTER AUGUST 31, 1946, HAVING UNUSED ACCRUED LEAVE STANDING TO HIS CREDIT AT TIME OF DISCHARGE SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR SUCH UNUSED LEAVE IN CASH ON THE BASIS OF THE BASE AND LONGEVITY PAY, AND ALLOWANCES, APPLICABLE TO SUCH MEMBER ON THE DATE OF DISCHARGE INCLUDING FOR ENLISTED PERSONS THE ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED FOR SUCH ENLISTED PERSONS IN SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION: PROVIDED, THAT NO CASH SETTLEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO ANY MEMBER (1) DISCHARGED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCEPTING A COMMISSION OR WARRANT OR ENTERING INTO AN ENLISTMENT IN HIS RESPECTIVE BRANCH OF THE ARMED FORCES, OR (2) ELECTING TO CARRY OVER SUCH UNUSED LEAVE TO A NEW ENLISTMENT IN HIS RESPECTIVE BRANCH OF THE ARMED FORCES ON THE DAY FOLLOWING DATE OF DISCHARGE. A MEMBER EXCLUDED FROM CASH SETTLEMENT BY THE FOREGOING PROVISION AND A MEMBER REVERTING FROM WARRANT OR COMMISSIONED OFFICER TO ENLISTED STATUS SHALL CARRY ANY UNUSED ACCRUED LEAVE STANDING TO HIS CREDIT FROM ONE STATUS TO ANOTHER WITHIN HIS RESPECTIVE BRANCH OF THE ARMED FORCES. * * *"

IN DEFINING THE PHRASE "DISCHARGED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENTERING INTO AN ENLISTMENT," OR WORDS OF SIMILAR IMPORT, WE SAID IN 31 COMP. GEN. 668, THAT THAT PHRASE IS A FAMILIAR ONE IN STATUTES INVOLVING THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND THAT IT GENERALLY HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO A DISCHARGE PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SOME SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME DURING WHICH THE MEMBER HAD EXPRESSLY AGREED TO SERVE. SEE, ALSO, 30 COMP. GEN. 103; ID. 531.

SINCE THE OFFICER HERE WAS SERVING UNDER AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT-- WITHOUT ANY AGREED SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME--- AND SINCE HE DID NOT HAVE AN ENLISTED STATUS TO WHICH HE WOULD EVERT," OUR VIEW IS THAT HIS RELEASE FROM THE SERVICE AND REENLISTMENT APPROXIMATELY THREE WEEKS LATER DID NOT CONSTITUTE A DISCHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENTERING INTO AN ENLISTMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER IF IT IS OTHERWISE CORRECT.