B-14914, MARCH 3, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 491

B-14914: Mar 3, 1941

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CLOTHING - UNIFORMS - NAVY ENLISTED MEN - PRIOR CLOTHING ISSUE AS NAVAL RESERVIST THE RIGHT OF A NAVY ENLISTED MAN TO THE CLOTHING OUTFIT AUTHORIZED IN HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY IS IN NO WAY AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT THERETOFORE HE HAD BEEN ISSUED A CLOTHING OUTFIT DURING AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVAL RESERVE. REQUESTING DECISION AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION A LETTER FROM THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS. IT IS THE DESIRE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT YOUR DECISION ON EACH OF THE FOUR QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS. TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH SUCH ENLISTED MEN ARE AUTHORIZED TO RETAIN CLOTHING. ALSO THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE RETURN OF SUCH GRATUITOUS ISSUES OF CLOTHING IS REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE H-8705.

B-14914, MARCH 3, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 491

CLOTHING - UNIFORMS - NAVY ENLISTED MEN - PRIOR CLOTHING ISSUE AS NAVAL RESERVIST THE RIGHT OF A NAVY ENLISTED MAN TO THE CLOTHING OUTFIT AUTHORIZED IN HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY IS IN NO WAY AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT THERETOFORE HE HAD BEEN ISSUED A CLOTHING OUTFIT DURING AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVAL RESERVE, THE OUTFIT ISSUED TO ENLISTED RESERVISTS BEING MERELY A LOAN OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND NOT A GRATUITOUS ISSUE AS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR NAVY.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MARCH 3, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 7, 1941, REQUESTING DECISION AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION A LETTER FROM THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DATED JANUARY 22, 1941, WITH ACCOMPANYING ENDORSEMENT, REQUESTING YOUR DECISION ON THE FOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE ENCLOSED LETTER, AND FURTHER REQUESTING THAT YOUR DECISION ON THESE FOUR QUESTIONS BE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE STATED CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 1 (A) AND (B) OF THE ENCLOSED COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION.

IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS THE DESIRE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT YOUR DECISION ON EACH OF THE FOUR QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, RELATIVE TO THE RIGHT OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE TO AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT UPON ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY FOLLOWING DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE, TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH SUCH ENLISTED MEN ARE AUTHORIZED TO RETAIN CLOTHING, PREVIOUSLY ISSUED TO THEM GRATUITOUSLY, UPON DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY, AND ALSO THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE RETURN OF SUCH GRATUITOUS ISSUES OF CLOTHING IS REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE H-8705, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL, AS QUOTED IN THE ENCLOSURE.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS ASKED BY THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS ARE:

A. WHETHER SUCH MEN WHO HAVE BEEN ISSUED A FULL BAG OF CLOTHES UPON REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY DURING CURRENT ENLISTMENT, AND WHO ARE DISCHARGED PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF SUCH ENLISTMENT TO ENLIST IN THE REGULAR NAVY, ARE ENTITLED TO AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT UPON ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY?

B. WHETHER SUCH MEN WHO ENLIST IN THE REGULAR NAVY FOLLOWING DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AT THE EXPIRATION OF REGULAR ENLISTMENT PERIOD, HAVING BEEN ISSUED A FULL BAG OF CLOTHES WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, ARE ENTITLED TO AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT UPON SUBSEQUENT ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY?

C. WHETHER SUCH MEN WHO HAVE BEEN ISSUED PART OF A FULL BAG OF CLOTHING, BEDDING, AND EQUIPMENT PRIOR TO DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY TO ENLIST IN THE REGULAR NAVY, ARE ENTITLED TO AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT UPON ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY?

D. WHETHER SUCH MEN WHO HAVE BEEN ISSUED PART OF A FULL BAG OF CLOTHING, BEDDING, AND EQUIPMENT, WHO ARE DISCHARGED BY REASON OF EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVAL RESERVE WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, ARE ENTITLED TO AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT UPON ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY?

SECTION 303 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938, 52 STAT. 1181, PROVIDES:

IN TIME OF PEACE MIDSHIPMEN, MERCHANT MARINE CADETS, NURSES, AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE MAY BE ISSUED ARTICLES OF UNIFORM, BEDDING, AND EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY; PROVIDED, THAT UPON FIRST REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE MAY BE ISSUED SUCH ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AS ARE REQUIRED TO GIVE THEM THE SAME OUTFIT AS IS AUTHORIZED FOR ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE REGULAR NAVY UPON FIRST ENLISTMENT, AND MIDSHIPMEN, MERCHANT MARINE CADETS, AND NURSES SHALL BE ISSUED SUCH ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AS THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY PRESCRIBE.

WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH ISSUE OF UNIFORM, PARAGRAPH (4) OF ARTICLE H 8705, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL, PROVIDES:

THE CLOTHING SO ISSUED WILL REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OR TRANSFER TO A CLASS FOR WHICH ISSUES ARE NOT AUTHORIZED, THE RESERVIST MAY BE REQUIRED BY HIS COMMANDING OFFICER TO RETURN THE CLOTHING SO ISSUED. CLOTHING RETURNED IN THIS MANNER MAY BE CLEANED AND REPAIRED, AND RETAINED AS AN EMERGENCY STOCK, NOT ON CHARGE.

A CLOTHING OUTFIT WAS FIRST AUTHORIZED FOR APPRENTICES IN THE NAVY BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1889, 25 STAT. 781 (34 U.S.C. 916), AS FOLLOWS:

THAT IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE THE ENLISTMENT OF BOYS AS APPRENTICES IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH AS A BOUNTY TO EACH OF SAID APPRENTICES AFTER HIS ENLISTMENT, AND WHEN FIRST RECEIVED ON BOARD OF A TRAINING SHIP, AN OUTFIT OF CLOTHING NOT TO EXCEED IN VALUE THE SUM OF FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS.

THE AMOUNT OF THE BOUNTY OR OUTFIT OF CLOTHING WAS RAISED TO $60 BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915, 38 STAT. 932, AND TO $100 BY THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1918, 40 STAT. 707. THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1918, ALSO EXTENDED THE BENEFIT TO "ALL ENLISTED MEN AND APPRENTICE SEAMEN OF THE NAVY ON FIRST ENLISTMENT.' BY THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 451 (34 U.S.C. 916A), IT WAS PROVIDED:

THAT HEREAFTER THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY PRESCRIBE THE MONEY VALUE OF CLOTHING, BEDDING, AND OUTFITS IN KIND WHICH MAY BE ISSUED TO ENLISTED MEN IN THEIR FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY.

THE QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON SERVICE IN THE NAVAL RESERVE FOLLOWED BY AN ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVY WHERE THE RESERVIST IS EITHER DISCHARGED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENLISTING IN THE NAVY, OR HAS BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE UPON EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT SUCH BEING HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY; AND RELATE TO THE MAN'S RIGHT TO A CLOTHING OUTFIT AS AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT AS A RESERVIST HE WAS ISSUED CLOTHING AS PROVIDED BY THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS APPROXIMATING OR EQUALING AN OUTFIT AUTHORIZED ON FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY.

UNDER SECTION 303 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT, THE ISSUE OF ARTICLES OF UNIFORM, ETC., IS NOT LIMITED TO A FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE NAVAL RESERVE AND, BY REGULATIONS, APPLIES NOT ONLY TO A FIRST BUT SUCCEEDING ENLISTMENTS. THE CLOTHING OUTFIT FOR ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY IS LIMITED TO THE FIRST ENLISTMENT AND DURING ANY SUBSEQUENT ENLISTMENT MEN IN THE NAVY ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH THEIR CLOTHING. UNDER THE NAVY RESERVE LAW AND REGULATIONS PURSUANT THERETO, THE OUTFIT OF UNIFORM, BEDDING, AND EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZED TO BE ISSUED TO MEN REMAINS THE PROPERTY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND, THEREFORE, THE ISSUE IS IN FACT A LOAN AND NOT A GRATUITOUS ISSUE AS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY. A MAN'S FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY, WITH RESPECT TO HIS RIGHT TO A CLOTHING OUTFIT, IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT HE HAD PRIOR SERVICE IN THE NAVAL RESERVE. IN THIS RESPECT THE 1938 NAVAL RESERVE ACT IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS PROVIDED IN THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1925, 43 STAT. 1083. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 554; A-12682, JANUARY 29, 1926. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE AMOUNT OF CLOTHING THAT MAY HAVE BEEN ISSUED TO A MAN WHILE IN SERVICE IN THE NAVAL RESERVE UNDER THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN QUESTIONS A, B, C, AND D IN NO WAY AFFECTS THE MAN'S RIGHT TO A CLOTHING OUTFIT IN HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY.

THAT PART OF YOUR QUESTION REQUESTING THAT CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO "THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH SUCH ENLISTED MEN ARE AUTHORIZED TO RETAIN CLOTHING, PREVIOUSLY ISSUED TO THEM GRATUITOUSLY, UPON DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY, AND ALSO THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE RETURN OF SUCH GRATUITOUS ISSUES OF CLOTHING IS REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE H-8705, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL, AS QUOTED IN THE ENCLOSURE" IS NOT CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD. HOWEVER, IT SEEMS TO IMPLY THAT IN SOME INSTANCES A MAN IS ALLOWED TO RETAIN CLOTHING ISSUED TO HIM WHILE IN THE NAVAL RESERVE AND UPON ENLISTING IN THE REGULAR NAVY HE MAY HAVE IN HIS POSSESSION SOME PART OF THE UNIFORM REQUIRED ON ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE ANSWER IS THAT SINCE THE CLOTHING ISSUED TO HIM AS A NAVAL RESERVIST IS NOT HIS OWN PROPERTY, THE METHOD OF ACCOUNTING THEREFOR WOULD SEEM TO BE A MATTER OF PROPERTY ACCOUNTING SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE MAN'S RIGHT TO A CLOTHING OUTFIT IN HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY.