B-126634, APR. 25, 1956

B-126634: Apr 25, 1956

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MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WAS DISCHARGED FROM AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME AMOUNTING TO MORE THAN SIX YEARS ENTERED INTO ON OCTOBER 12. PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF $360 TO MEMBERS REENLISTING FOR AN"INDEFINITE ENLISTMENT" AND (AFTER SIX YEARS) $60 FOR EACH YEAR THEREAFTER AND SINCE SUCH PAYMENT IS TO BE MADE IN ADVANCE. MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WAS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SUCH A $60 PAYMENT ON OCTOBER 12. SINCE HE DID NOT EXTEND HIS REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH THE BONUS WAS PAID AND THE REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE FOR RECOUPMENT OF SUCH PAYMENT. HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REFUND ANY PORTION OF THE REENLISTMENT BONUS ($360) PAID TO HIM UPON SUCH REENLISTMENT. WAS WITH RESPECT TO THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT ACCRUING AT THE TIME OF THE REENLISTMENT PRIOR TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26.

B-126634, APR. 25, 1956

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL J. N. BEAVER, FC, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY SIXTH INDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 12, 1956, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURE, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A MILITARY PAY ORDER TO ADJUST THE ACCOUNT OF MASTER SERGEANT RUSSELL JOHNSON, RA 18 029 018, HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, 4052ND SERVICE UNIT, FORT BLISS, TEXAS, FOR ANNIVERSARY-DATE PAYMENT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $60.

IT APPEARS THAT ON OCTOBER 12, 1955, MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WAS DISCHARGED FROM AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME AMOUNTING TO MORE THAN SIX YEARS ENTERED INTO ON OCTOBER 12, 1949, AND THAT HE REENLISTED IN THE REGULAR ARMY ON OCTOBER 13, 1955, FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS. IN YOUR FOURTH INDORSEMENT OF DECEMBER 5, 1955, YOU STATE THAT SINCE SECTION 207 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 7, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-1525, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF $360 TO MEMBERS REENLISTING FOR AN"INDEFINITE ENLISTMENT" AND (AFTER SIX YEARS) $60 FOR EACH YEAR THEREAFTER AND SINCE SUCH PAYMENT IS TO BE MADE IN ADVANCE, MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WAS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SUCH A $60 PAYMENT ON OCTOBER 12, 1955. ALSO, THAT IF THE ANNIVERSARY-DATE PAYMENT HAD BEEN MADE, MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WOULD BE ALLOWED TO RETAIN SUCH PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF PARAGRAPH 19, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-1525, "AS CHANGED" (WHICH PROVIDES FOR RECOUPMENT OF THE BONUS PAID TO MEMBERS WHO REENLISTED OR EXTENDED THEIR REENLISTMENT ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 16, 1951, AND FAILED TO COMPLETE SUCH ENLISTMENT), SINCE HE DID NOT EXTEND HIS REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH THE BONUS WAS PAID AND THE REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE FOR RECOUPMENT OF SUCH PAYMENT. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT, HAD SERGEANT JOHNSON BEEN DISCHARGED AT THE COMPLETION OF FOUR YEARS OF SERVICE OF HIS REENLISTMENT (OF OCTOBER 12, 1949), HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REFUND ANY PORTION OF THE REENLISTMENT BONUS ($360) PAID TO HIM UPON SUCH REENLISTMENT.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 23, 1954, B-118089 (33 COMP. GEN. 513), WE HELD THAT THE LAST PROVISO OF SECTION 207 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951, 65 STAT. 653, CONSTITUTES NO AUTHORITY FOR REQUIRING A REFUND OF ANY PORTION OF REENLISTMENT BONUS PAID INCIDENT TO AN ENLISTMENT ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE 1951 ACT. SUCH HOLDING, HOWEVER, WAS WITH RESPECT TO THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT ACCRUING AT THE TIME OF THE REENLISTMENT PRIOR TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951. THEREFORE, IF MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON HAD BEEN DISCHARGED AFTER COMPLETING FOUR YEARS OF HIS ENLISTMENT OF OCTOBER 12, 1949, HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REFUND ANY PORTION OF THE BONUS PAID TO HIM AT THE TIME OF SUCH ENLISTMENT. THE PROVISO, ADDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951, STATES, HOWEVER:

"* * * THAT AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDMENT * * * ANY PERSON TO WHOM A REENLISTMENT BONUS IS PAID AS HEREIN PROVIDED, AND WHO VOLUNTARILY OR AS A RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, DOES NOT COMPLETE THE TERM OF ENLISTMENT FOR WHICH THE BONUS WAS PAID, SHALL BE LIABLE TO REFUND SUCH PART OF SUCH BONUS AS THE UNEXPIRED PART OF SUCH ENLISTMENT BEARS TO THE TOTAL ENLISTMENT PERIOD FOR WHICH THE BONUS WAS PAID * * *.'

THE ANNIVERSARY-DATE BONUS PAYMENT OF $60, AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID IN ADVANCE FOR EACH YEAR AFTER THE SIXTH YEAR OF AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME, IS FOR A YEAR'S SERVICE IN THE FUTURE AND, THEREFORE, MUST BE CONSIDERED AS COVERING A PART OF SUCH ENLISTMENT. HENCE, IF SUCH $60 ANNIVERSARY-DATE PAYMENT ACCRUED SUBSEQUENT TO OCTOBER 26, 1951, AND THE MEMBER DID NOT COMPLETE THAT PART OF THE TERM OF HIS ENLISTMENT FOR WHICH SUCH $60 BONUS PAYMENT WAS MADE IN ADVANCE, HE IS REQUIRED, UNDER THE STATUTE, TO REFUND THE UNEARNED PORTION OF SUCH PAYMENT.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 207 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON WAS ENTITLED, ON OCTOBER 12, 1955, AFTER THE COMPLETION OF SIX YEARS' SERVICE IN HIS ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME, TO A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT OF $60 IN ADVANCE AS A BONUS FOR A YEAR'S SERVICE AFTER THAT DATE. HOWEVER, HE WAS DISCHARGED FROM SUCH ENLISTMENT ON THAT SAME DATE AND REENLISTED ON OCTOBER 13, 1955. HENCE, HE SERVED ONLY ONE DAY OF THE YEAR FOR WHICH THE BONUS WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID AND, UNDER THE EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE, RECOUPMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED OF THAT PART OF THE BONUS WHICH REPRESENTED THE UNEXPIRED PART OF SUCH PERIOD. ACCORDINGLY, MASTER SERGEANT JOHNSON IS ENTITLED TO ONE-THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH OF $60, OR 17 CENTS, AND PAYMENT ON THE ENCLOSED MILITARY PAY ORDER IS AUTHORIZED IN SUCH AMOUNT.