B-132436, SEP. 30, 1957

B-132436: Sep 30, 1957

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JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18. SINCE YOU HAVE PAID THIS CLAIM. THE PRESENT CORRESPONDENCE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A CLAIM FOR REFUND OF YOUR $60 PAYMENT. DISCHARGED ENLISTEE PERSONS WHO REENLISTED WITHIN THREE MONTHS WERE ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942. IT WAS PROVIDED. THAT ANY PERSON WHO RESIGNED OR WAS DISCHARGED FROM SUCH ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME SHOULD NOT THEREAFTER BE ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL ENLISTMENT OR REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE BASED ON ANY PERIOD SERVED IN SUCH ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME. SUCH PROVISIONS WERE REPEALED BY SECTION 531 (B) (34 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949.

B-132436, SEP. 30, 1957

TO MR. WILLIAM C. WEAVER, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1957, AND TO LETTERS OF JUNE 17 AND 20, 1957, FROM MR. BARNES, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST YOU FOR $60 ON ACCOUNT OF AN OVERPAYMENT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS. SINCE YOU HAVE PAID THIS CLAIM, THE PRESENT CORRESPONDENCE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A CLAIM FOR REFUND OF YOUR $60 PAYMENT.

PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, DISCHARGED ENLISTEE PERSONS WHO REENLISTED WITHIN THREE MONTHS WERE ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 363, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 110 (1946 EDITION), TO AN ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE OF $50 UPON THE COMPLETION OF EACH YEAR OF SERVICE OF SUCH ENLISTMENT. IT WAS PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY PERSON WHO RESIGNED OR WAS DISCHARGED FROM SUCH ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME SHOULD NOT THEREAFTER BE ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL ENLISTMENT OR REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE BASED ON ANY PERIOD SERVED IN SUCH ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1949, SUCH PROVISIONS WERE REPEALED BY SECTION 531 (B) (34 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 838, 839, AND PROVISIONS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF AN ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE OR REENLISTMENT BONUS FOR ENLISTMENTS ENTERED INTO ON OR AFTER THAT DATE WERE CONTAINED IN SECTION 207 OF THE 1949 ACT. IT CONTAINED NO PROVISION, HOWEVER, FOR PAYMENT OF $50 OR ANY AMOUNT UPON THE COMPLETION OF EACH YEAR OF SERVICE UNDER AN ENLISTMENT ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO THAT ACT AND SINCE SECTION 10 OF THE 1942 ACT, AS AMENDED, WHICH AUTHORIZED A PAYMENT OF $50 UPON THE COMPLETION OF EACH YEAR OF SERVICE UNDER AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD HAD BEEN REPEALED, NO AUTHORITY EXISTED AFTER ENACTMENT OF THE 1949 ACT FOR THE PAYMENT OF AN ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE ON THE ANNIVERSARY DATE OF ENLISTMENTS ENTERED INTO UNDER THE PRIOR LAWS. TO CORRECT SUCH SITUATION THERE WAS INCLUDED IN THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951, 65 STAT. 653, WHICH AMENDED SECTION 207 (A) OF THE 1949 ACT A PROVISO AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * PROVIDED, THAT PERSONS IN AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME, ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, SHALL BE PAID $110 UPON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY DATE OF SUCH ENLISTMENT SUBSEQUENT TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1949, AND $60 UPON EACH ANNIVERSARY DATE THEREAFTER, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1949, SHALL NOT EXCEED $1,440 * * *.'

PART II OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIRCULAR NO. 11, FEBRUARY 4, 1952, PROMULGATED REGULATIONS GOVERNING RETROACTIVE PAYMENTS UNDER SUCH PROVISIONS. AS AN EXAMPLE OF THEIR EFFECT THE REGULATIONS STATED THAT A MEMBER WHO HAD ENLISTED FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME ON OCTOBER 21, 1947, AND WHO WAS "CURRENTLY SERVING IN THE ENLISTMENT" WOULD, ON FEBRUARY 4, 1952, BE ENTITLED TO $230. THE CIRCULAR DIRECTED DISBURSING OFFICERS TO MAKE PAYMENT OF THIS RETROACTIVE BONUS TO MEMBERS WHO WERE CURRENTLY ON ACTIVE DUTY IN AN ENLISTED, WARRANT OFFICER, OR COMMISSIONED STATUS AND WHO WERE SERVING IN AN ENLISTMENT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME CONTRACTED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949. THE CIRCULAR STATED SPECIFICALLY, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH PAYMENTS WOULD BE MADE ONLY FOR COMPLETED YEARS OF SERVICE AND THAT ANY FRACTIONAL PART, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NUMBER OF MONTHS, WOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE RECORDS BEFORE US SHOW THAT ON JANUARY 7, 1949, YOU REENLISTED IN THE ARMY FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD AND THAT YOU WERE HONORABLY DISCHARGED NOVEMBER 12, 1951, TO ACCEPT A COMMISSION AS SECOND LIEUTENANT, ARMY RESERVE. WE DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF YOUR PAY RECORD SHOWING THE AMOUNT YOU RECEIVED AS ENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE AT THE TIME YOU REENLISTED, BUT IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOU WERE PAID AT THAT TIME THE AMOUNT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF $50 FOR EACH YEAR SERVED IN THE PRECEDING ENLISTMENT. YOU SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN OFFICER FROM NOVEMBER 13, 1951, UNTIL YOU WERE DISCHARGED MARCH 21, 1953.

IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES THE DISBURSING OFFICER WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS TO PAY YOU THE RETROACTIVE BONUS TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISIONS. APPARENTLY YOUR DISBURSING OFFICER UNDERSTOOD THE EXAMPLE GIVEN IN THE REGULATIONS AS AUTHORIZING LUMP-SUM PAYMENT OF $230 TO PERSONS WHO HAD ENLISTED PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1949, AND WHO WERE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY IN ANY STATUS ON AND AFTER FEBRUARY 4, 1952, AND MADE PAYMENT TO YOU IN THAT AMOUNT. THE REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, AUTHORIZED NO SUCH PAYMENT BUT DIRECTED THAT PAYMENT BE MADE ONLY FOR COMPLETED YEARS OF ENLISTED SERVICE, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE. SINCE YOU HAD ENLISTED JANUARY 7, 1949, AND WERE DISCHARGED ON NOVEMBER 12, 1951, YOU COMPLETED ONLY TWO YEARS OF YOUR ENLISTMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE RETROACTIVE REENLISTMENT BONUS AND WERE ENTITLED TO A PAYMENT OF $170 ($110 ON JANUARY 7, 1950, AND $60 ON JANUARY 7, 1951). HAVING BEEN PAID A $230 REENLISTMENT BONUS, YOU WERE OVERPAID $60 AND PROPERLY ARE LIABLE TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE $60 WHICH YOU HAVE PAID TO LIQUIDATE YOUR INDEBTEDNESS MUST BE AND IS DISALLOWED.

IT MAY BE STATED FOR YOUR INFORMATION THAT OUR DECISIONS OF APRIL 23 AND JULY 19, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 513 AND 34 COMP. GEN. 26, RELATE TO THE MATTER OF RECOUPING REENLISTMENT BONUS PAYMENTS PROPERLY MADE UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION 207/A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1951, TO PERSONS ENLISTING AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AMENDMENT IN CASES WHERE SUCH PERSONS DO NOT COMPLETE THE TERM FOR WHICH ENLISTED. SUCH DECISIONS DO NOT CONCERN AN INITIALLY ERRONEOUS BONUS PAYMENT SUCH AS IS INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE.