B-131463, MAY 13, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 770

B-131463: May 13, 1957

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MILITARY PERSONNEL - PAY - MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICER - INTERN SERVICE - AFTER DESIGNATION AS MEDICAL OFFICER ALTHOUGH A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DESIGNATED AS A MEDICAL OFFICER IS PRECLUDED FROM RECEIVING THE SPECIAL PAY FOR MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICERS WHILE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN INTERN. 1957: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 8. IT IS PROVIDED ALSO THAT THE SPECIAL PAY IS AUTHORIZED FOR "MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICERS COVERED BY SUBSECTION (A). YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE" THEY HAVE COMPLETED. THE LAST PROVISO IN SUBSECTION (B) PROVIDES THAT NO COMMISSIONED OFFICER AS DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (A) SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH SPECIAL PAY WHILE HE IS SERVING AS A MEDICAL OR DENTAL INTERN.

B-131463, MAY 13, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 770

MILITARY PERSONNEL - PAY - MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICER - INTERN SERVICE - AFTER DESIGNATION AS MEDICAL OFFICER ALTHOUGH A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DESIGNATED AS A MEDICAL OFFICER IS PRECLUDED FROM RECEIVING THE SPECIAL PAY FOR MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICERS WHILE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN INTERN, THE INTERN DUTY MAY BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING THE "TWO YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE" FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SPECIAL PAY.

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, MAY 13, 1957:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 8, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ( COMPTROLLER), REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER TIME SPENT AS AN INTERN MAY BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE TIME FOR PAYMENT OF SPECIAL PAY AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 203 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 234. THE QUESTION, SET OUT AND DISCUSSED IN MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 177, INVOLVES AN INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 30, 1956, PUBLIC LAW 497, 70 STAT. 122.

SECTION 203 (B), 37 U.S.C. 252 (B), AS AMENDED BY THE MENTIONED SECTION 5, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF SPECIAL PAY TO "COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AS DEFINED IN SUBSECTION (A)" AT RATES VARYING FROM $100 TO $250 PER MONTH. IT IS PROVIDED ALSO THAT THE SPECIAL PAY IS AUTHORIZED FOR "MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICERS COVERED BY SUBSECTION (A)," THE AMOUNT OF THE PAY DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF ,YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE" THEY HAVE COMPLETED. THE LAST PROVISO IN SUBSECTION (B) PROVIDES THAT NO COMMISSIONED OFFICER AS DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (A) SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH SPECIAL PAY WHILE HE IS SERVING AS A MEDICAL OR DENTAL INTERN. THE TERM "COMMISSIONED OFFICERS" AS DEFINED IN SUBSECTION (A) INCLUDES THOSE OFFICERS WHO ARE "DESIGNATED AS MEDICAL OR DENTAL OFFICERS" IN THE REGULAR SERVICES OR IN THE NAMED RESERVE COMPONENTS, WITHIN A PRESCRIBED PERIOD, AND IN THE CASE OF RESERVE OFFICERS, WHO ARE CALLED OR ORDERED TO EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY OF ONE YEAR OR LONGER.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE PROBLEM INVOLVED, THERE WAS CITED THE CASE OF AN OFFICER DESIGNATED AS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE RESERVE WHO WAS CALLED TO EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR OR LONGER AND ASSIGNED TO A CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AS AN INTERN FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR, UPON THE COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS REASSIGNED WITHIN THE AIR FORCE MEDICAL SERVICE. IT IS REPORTED THAT MEMBERS ARE DESIGNATED AS MEDICAL OFFICERS UPON GRADUATION FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL AND THAT THEY ARE ON ACTIVE DUTY AS MEDICAL OFFICERS DURING THEIR PERIOD OF INTERNSHIP.

ALTHOUGH AN OFFICER IS NOT PERMITTED TO RECEIVE THE SPECIAL PAY WHILE HE IS SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN INTERN, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS UNDER THE STATUTE FOR DISTINGUISHING THE TIME SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN INTERN FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS A MEDICAL OFFICER AFTER HIS PERIOD OF INTERNSHIP IS COMPLETED IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF SPECIAL PAY DUE HIM. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE RESERVE OFFICER MENTIONED IN THE EXAMPLE WAS DESIGNATED A MEDICAL OFFICER AND ACTUALLY SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THAT CAPACITY WHILE HE WAS AN INTERN, THAT ACTIVE DUTY MAY BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING THE "TWO YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE" NECESSARY FOR HIM TO BE ELIGIBLE TO SPECIAL PAY AT THE RATE OF $150 PER MONTH.