B-128145, MAY 27, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 786

B-128145: May 27, 1957

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MILITARY PERSONNEL - REENLISTMENT BONUS - ENLISTMENT IN ANOTHER SERVICE ANY REENLISTMENT IN A UNIFORMED SERVICE FOR WHICH A BONUS IS PAID UNDER SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF ANY SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENT IN THE SAME OR ANY OTHER BRANCH OF THE SERVICE FOR COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE SUBSEQUENT BONUS. AFTER DISCHARGE FROM A REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS RECEIVED. ENLISTED IN THE ARMY AND SUBSEQUENTLY REENLISTED IN THE ARMY MAY NOT HAVE THE AIR FORCE REENLISTMENT EXCLUDED IN DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF REENLISTMENTS. 1957: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED APRIL 15. MUST A REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID BY ONE OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES BE COUNTED UPON A CURRENT REENLISTMENT IN A DIFFERENT UNIFORMED SERVICE?

B-128145, MAY 27, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 786

MILITARY PERSONNEL - REENLISTMENT BONUS - ENLISTMENT IN ANOTHER SERVICE ANY REENLISTMENT IN A UNIFORMED SERVICE FOR WHICH A BONUS IS PAID UNDER SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF ANY SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENT IN THE SAME OR ANY OTHER BRANCH OF THE SERVICE FOR COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE SUBSEQUENT BONUS. A MEMBER OF THE AIR FORCE WHO, AFTER DISCHARGE FROM A REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS RECEIVED, ENLISTED IN THE ARMY AND SUBSEQUENTLY REENLISTED IN THE ARMY MAY NOT HAVE THE AIR FORCE REENLISTMENT EXCLUDED IN DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF REENLISTMENTS, AND, THEREFORE, THE ARMY REENLISTMENT MUST BE CONSIDERED A SECOND REENLISTMENT IN COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE BONUS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, MAY 27, 1957:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED APRIL 15, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ( COMPTROLLER), REQUESTING DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION PRESENTED IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 179, MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:

IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF THE REENLISTMENT INVOLVED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 208 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS ADDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF 16 JULY 1954 (68 STAT. 488), MUST A REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID BY ONE OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES BE COUNTED UPON A CURRENT REENLISTMENT IN A DIFFERENT UNIFORMED SERVICE?

SECTION 208 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1954, 37 U.S.C. 239, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) * * * 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:

TABLE REENLISTMENT COLUMN (1) TAKE COLUMN (2) MULTIPLY BY INVOLVED (1) FIRST------- MONTHLY BASIC PAY TO WHICH NUMBER OF YEARS SPECIFIED

THE MEMBER WAS ENTITLED AT IN REENLISTMENT CONTRACT,

THE TIME OF DISCHARGE. (2) OR SIX, IF NONE SPECIFIED. (3) SECOND------ TWO-THIRDS OF THE MONTHLY NUMBER OF YEARS SPECIFIED

BASIC PAY TO WHICH THE IN REENLISTMENT CONTRACT,

MEMBER WAS ENTITLED AT THE OR SIX, IF NONE SPECIFIED. (3)

TIME OF DISCHARGE. (4)

(1) ANY REENLISTMENT WHEN A BONUS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED IS NOT COUNTED.

(2) TWO-THIRDS OF THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER IN PAY GRADE E-1 AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE.

(3) ON THE SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF AN INDEFINITE REENLISTMENT, AND ON EACH ANNIVERSARY THEREAFTER, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO A BONUS EQUAL TO ONE- THIRD OF THE MONTHLY BASIC PAY TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED ON THAT ANNIVERSARY DATE.

(4) NO BONUS MAY BE PAID TO A MEMBER IN PAY GRADE E-1 OR E-2 AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE.

(C) THE CUMULATIVE AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE PAID TO A MEMBER UNDER THIS SECTION OR UNDER THIS SECTION AND ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW AUTHORIZING REENLISTMENT BONUSES, MAY NOT EXCEED $2,000.

(E) IN THIS SECTION,"REENLISTMENT" MEANS---

(1) AN ENLISTMENT IN A REGULAR COMPONENT OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE AFTER COMPULSORY OR VOLUNTARY ACTIVE DUTY IN THAT SERVICE; OR

(2) A VOLUNTARY EXTENSION OF AN ENLISTMENT FOR TWO OR MORE YEARS. * * *

IN AN EXAMPLE REFERRED TO IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 179, A REENLISTMENT IN THE AIR FORCE FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS WAS PAID WAS FOLLOWED, MORE THAN 90 DAYS AFTER DISCHARGE FROM THE AIR FORCE, BY AN ENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, BY A REENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE REENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY WAS A FIRST REENLISTMENT OR A SECOND REENLISTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE BONUS PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 208 WITH RESPECT TO SUCH REENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY. DOUBT EXISTS BECAUSE OF THE PROVISION IN SECTION (E) OF SECTION 208, 37 U.S.C. 239 (E), TO THE EFFECT THAT THE WORD "REENLISTMENT" AS USED IN SECTION 208, MEANS "AN ENLISTMENT IN A REGULAR COMPONENT OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE AFTER * * * ACTIVE DUTY IN THAT SERVICE.'

SECTION 208 GRANTS A SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER BONUS FOR A FIRST REENLISTMENT THAN FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENT. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE PURPOSE OF SUCH HIGHER BONUS WAS TO ENCOURAGE TRAINED PERSONNEL TO CONTINUE IN SERVICE CAREERS AND THUS AVOID THE COST OF TRAINING REPLACEMENTS FOR THEM, IT BEING FELT THAT UPON SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENTS AS A MEMBER ACCRUED MORE RETIREMENT CREDIT, LESS BONUS INCENTIVE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO ASSURE HIS REMAINING IN THE SERVICE.

AS POINTED OUT IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 179, IF THE REENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY IN THE CITED EXAMPLE BE CONSIDERED A FIRST REENLISTMENT WITHIN THE INTENT OF SECTION 208, THEN AN INDIVIDUAL CONCEIVABLY COULD DRAW REENLISTMENT BONUSES FROM THE AIR FORCE, THE ARMY, THE NAVY AND THE MARINE CORPS, EACH ON THE BASIS OF A FIRST REENLISTMENT, ALTHOUGH ACCRUING CREDIT FOR RETIREMENT DURING ALL OF HIS SERVICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE PUT TO THE COST OF RETRAINING HIM FOR EACH SUCCESSIVE SERVICE.

IN THE EXAMPLE CITED, THE REENLISTMENT IN THE AIR FORCE DOUBTLESS TOOK PLACE BEFORE JULY 16, 1954 (WHEN SECTION 208 WAS ADDED TO THE STATUTE), BUT IN A SIMILAR CASE WITH BOTH OF THE REENLISTMENTS OCCURRING AFTER JULY 16, 1954, THE REENLISTMENT IN THE AIR FORCE OBVIOUSLY WOULD BE A REENLISTMENT, WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 208, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PAYMENT OF A BONUS THEREFOR, AND IT WOULD NOT SEEM TO BE PROPER OR CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF SECTION 208 TO HOLD THAT IT WOULD LOSE THE CHARACTER OF A "REENLISTMENT" WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPUTATION OF A BONUS DUE FOR THE LATER REENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY.

FOR THE REASONS INDICATED, WE VIEW SECTION 208 TO MEAN THAT ANY REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH A REENLISTMENT BONUS IS PAID IS TO BE CONSIDERED A REENLISTMENT IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF ANY SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENT IN THE SAME OR ANY OTHER UNIFORMED SERVICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE AMOUNT DUE UNDER THAT SECTION FOR SUCH SUBSEQUENT REENLISTMENT.