B-125379, JAN. 5, 1956

B-125379: Jan 5, 1956

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 30. WAS CHANGED TO A SPLIT ASSEMBLY TO BE HELDON JUNE 26. APPROVAL FOR THE CHANGE WAS NOT OBTAINED FROM THE ARMY COMMANDER UNTIL DECEMBER 29. IN THE "DISCUSSION" IT IS EXPLAINED THAT THE UNIT WAS CONDUCTING SPLIT ASSEMBLIES AT FORT WILLIAMS AND LEWISTON. THAT THIS JOINT ASSEMBLY WAS CHANGED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR ON JUNE 14. THAT THIS CHANGE WAS MADE BECAUSE "B" BATTERY. WAS TO ASSUME ITS FUNCTION AS A FIRING BATTERY AT SUMMER TRAINING AT CAMP DRUM. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT THE DISTANCE FROM LEWISTON TO FORT WILLIAMS IS APPROXIMATELY 40 MILES. IT WAS FELT THAT A LOW ATTENDANCE WOULD HAVE RESULTED HAD THE LEWISTON PERSONNEL BEEN REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE JOINT ASSEMBLY AT FORT WILLIAMS.

B-125379, JAN. 5, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 30, 1955, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE SERVICE MEMBERS LISTED ON INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING PAYROLL OF HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, 901ST FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, FORT WILLIAMS, MAINE, COVERING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 1, 1954, TO AUGUST 31, 1954, MAY BE PAID FOR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AS INDICATED ON THE PAYROLL, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN THE "DISCUSSION" ATTACHED TO THE PAYROLL. YOU STATE THAT DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE AN ASSEMBLY ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED AS A JOINT ASSEMBLY TO BE HELD ON JUNE 30, 1954, WAS CHANGED TO A SPLIT ASSEMBLY TO BE HELDON JUNE 26, 1954, AT LEWISTON, MAINE, AND ON JUNE 30, 1954, AT FORT WILLIAMS, MAINE, AND APPROVAL FOR THE CHANGE WAS NOT OBTAINED FROM THE ARMY COMMANDER UNTIL DECEMBER 29, 1954.

IN THE "DISCUSSION" IT IS EXPLAINED THAT THE UNIT WAS CONDUCTING SPLIT ASSEMBLIES AT FORT WILLIAMS AND LEWISTON, UNDER A PROPERLY AUTHORIZED TRAINING SCHEDULE; THAT IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH PARAGRAPH 42B (2), ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 140-305, DATED DECEMBER 2, 1952, WHICH REQUIRES THAT 25 PERCENT OF SCHEDULED ASSEMBLIES BE CONDUCTED AS JOINT ASSEMBLIES, EACH QUARTER, THE UNIT SCHEDULED A JOINT ASSEMBLY FOR JUNE 30, 1954, TO BE HELD AT FORT WILLIAMS, MAINE; THAT THIS JOINT ASSEMBLY WAS CHANGED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR ON JUNE 14, 1954, TO A SPLIT ASSEMBLY TO BE HELD AT LEWISTON ON JUNE 29 AND AT FORT WILLIAMS ON JUNE 30, 1954; THAT THIS CHANGE WAS MADE BECAUSE "B" BATTERY, ALTHOUGH PREVIOUSLY INTEGRATED INTO HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, WAS TO ASSUME ITS FUNCTION AS A FIRING BATTERY AT SUMMER TRAINING AT CAMP DRUM, NEW YORK; AND THAT THE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION FOR THIS FIRING BATTERY COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED MORE EFFICIENTLY IN A SPLIT ASSEMBLY WHERE THE DETAILS FOR THIS FIRING MISSION COULD BE STUDIED AND DISSEMINATED MORE EFFECTIVELY BY THE OFFICER IN CHARGE. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT THE DISTANCE FROM LEWISTON TO FORT WILLIAMS IS APPROXIMATELY 40 MILES; THAT DUE TO THE PRESSURE OF PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AT THAT PARTICULAR SEASON, IT WAS FELT THAT A LOW ATTENDANCE WOULD HAVE RESULTED HAD THE LEWISTON PERSONNEL BEEN REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE JOINT ASSEMBLY AT FORT WILLIAMS; THAT THE CHANGE TO THE JOINT ASSEMBLY, MADE ON JUNE 14, 1954, WAS CERTIFIED AND APPROVED BY BOTH THE UNIT ADVISOR AND THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR; AND THAT THE CHANGE WAS APPROVED RETROACTIVELY IN FOURTH INDORSEMENT DATED DECEMBER 29, 1954, BY THE FIRST ARMY COMMANDER.

THE ARMY REGULATIONS CITED ABOVE EXPRESSLY PROVIDE THAT ARMY "AREA COMMANDERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE APPROPRIATE EXCEPTIONS IN WRITING, SPECIFYING THE NUMBER OF SINGLE FORMATION (JOINT) ASSEMBLIES REQUIRED" OF ANY UNIT WHERE IT IS NOT "REASONABLY FEASIBLE" FOR THE UNIT TO CONDUCT 25 PERCENT OF ITS ASSEMBLIES AS SINGLE FORMATION ASSEMBLIES.

IT SEEMS APPARENT FROM THE RECORD SUBMITTED THAT THE COMMANDING GENERAL, HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY, WOULD HAVE GIVEN ADVANCE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SPLIT ASSEMBLY HERE INVOLVED IF THE REVISED SCHEDULE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO HIM IN ADVANCE AND HAD BEEN ACCOMPANIED BY THE JUSTIFICATION SET FORTH IN THE "DISCUSSION" MENTIONED ABOVE. MOREOVER, THE ACTION TAKEN BY HIM IN THE FOURTH INDORSEMENT OF DECEMBER 29, 1954, APPARENTLY WAS INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH, AMONG OTHER THINGS, RATIFICATION OF THE ACTION OF THE UNIT ADVISOR AND THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR IN AUTHORIZING A SPLIT ASSEMBLY INSTEAD OF THE JOINT (SINGLE FORMATION) ASSEMBLY ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR THE UNIT ON JUNE 30, 1954. FOR SUCH REASONS AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING ACTUALLY WAS PERFORMED, IN GOOD FAITH, BY THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED ON THE DATES INDICATED AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS WERE NOT PREJUDICED BY THE FACT THAT THE SPLIT ASSEMBLY WAS HELD IN PLACE OF THE JOINT ASSEMBLY, WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENTS PROPOSED, ASSUMING THAT THEY ARE PROPER IN OTHER RESPECTS. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 10, 1953, B-112740, TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL N. B. HILL, F.C., DISBURSING OFFICER, WHICH AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING PAY IN CIRCUMSTANCES SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THOSE HERE INVOLVED.

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