B-150737, MAR. 27, 1963

B-150737: Mar 27, 1963

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THE REQUEST WAS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE AS AIR FORCE REQUEST NO. HE WAS EN ROUTE TO HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT AND ENTERED ON HIS EXTENSION EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 20. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED ON MAY 10. DISCHARGE ORDERS STATED THAT THE MEMBER IS HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE EFFECTIVE MAY 10. IT IS STATED THAT UNDER THE ARMED FORCES LEAVE ACT. ACCRUED LEAVE SETTLEMENT IS PRECLUDED ON DISCHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTMENT. SINCE BOTH THE EXTENSION AND CANCELLATION THEREOF WERE VOLUNTARY ON THE PART OF THE MEMBER. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL PAY AND FOR ACCRUED LEAVE EXIST. IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE NEGATIVE.

B-150737, MAR. 27, 1963

TO MAJOR P. J. MARRKAND, USAF:

BY LETTER OF JANUARY 29, 1963, THE CHIEF, PAY AND TRAVEL DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1962, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION ON THE ENTITLEMENT OF TECHNICAL SERGEANT AUBREY Q. BUTLER, AF 144 57 267, TO TRAVEL PAY AND FOR ACCRUED LEAVE INCIDENT TO DISCHARGE AND REENLISTMENT ON MAY 10 AND 11, 1962, RESPECTIVELY. THE REQUEST WAS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE AS AIR FORCE REQUEST NO. DO AF 686.

YOU REPORT THAT SERGEANT BUTLER EXTENDED HIS ENLISTMENT FOR A PERIOD OF 24 MONTHS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 39-9 AT CHENNAULT AIR FORCE BASE, LOUISIANA, ON NOVEMBER 9, 1961. ON FEBRUARY 19, 1962, THE EXPIRATION DATE OF HIS NORMAL TERM OF SERVICE, HE WAS EN ROUTE TO HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT AND ENTERED ON HIS EXTENSION EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 20, 1962. HE ARRIVED AT HIS OVERSEAS STATION ON FEBRUARY 22, 1962, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED ON MAY 10, 1962, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF AIR FORCE REGULATIONS 39-10 AND REENLISTED ON MAY 11, 1962, FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR YEARS. DISCHARGE ORDERS STATED THAT THE MEMBER IS HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE EFFECTIVE MAY 10, 1962, CONTINGENT UPON REENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR AIR FORCE ON MAY 11, 1962.

IT IS STATED THAT UNDER THE ARMED FORCES LEAVE ACT, 37 U.S.C. 31 (A) (37 U.S.C. 33 (C) NOW CODIFIED IN 37 U.S.C. 501 (B) (, ACCRUED LEAVE SETTLEMENT IS PRECLUDED ON DISCHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTMENT. LIKEWISE, PARAGRAPH 4157-4, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DENIES TRAVEL PAY UPON SEPARATION TO REENLIST. SINCE BOTH THE EXTENSION AND CANCELLATION THEREOF WERE VOLUNTARY ON THE PART OF THE MEMBER, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL PAY AND FOR ACCRUED LEAVE EXIST. IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE NEGATIVE, YOU REQUEST ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"A. WOULD THE SAME HOLD TRUE IF THE WORD "CONTINGENT" WAS NOT IN THE DISCHARGE ORDERS?

"B. WOULD THE FACT THAT A MEMBER WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS OR LEAVE STATUS HAVE ANY EFFECT?

"C. WOULD THE ANSWER BE THE SAME IF PERSONNEL FAILED TO ENTER THE STATEMENT ON AF FORM 1411 AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 33C, AFM 39-9?

"D. WOULD THE LENGTH OF THE EXTENSION HAVE ANY EFFECT, E.G., AIRMAN EXTENDED FOR PERIOD OF NINE MONTHS?

"E. WOULD THE SAME HOLD TRUE IF MEMBER WAS DISCHARGED, ON HIS NORMAL ETS AND REENLISTED THE NEXT DAY WITHOUT ENTERING ON HIS EXTENSION?

WE RECENTLY CONSIDERED A SIMILAR QUESTION IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 4, 1963, B-150599, 42 COMP. GEN. - , COPY HEREWITH. IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT WHILE A MEMBER WHO ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT TO EXTEND HIS ENLISTMENT MAY BE OBLIGATED UNDER SUCH AGREEMENT FROM THE DATE IT IS ENTERED INTO, SERVICE UNDER THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT COMMENCE UNTIL AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE ENLISTMENT CURRENT WHEN THE AGREEMENT IS SIGNED. CONSEQUENTLY, WE CONCLUDED THAT IF THE EXTENSION AGREEMENT IS CANCELLED BEFORE THE MEMBER COMMENCES TO SERVE THEREUNDER AND HE IS DISCHARGED AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS CURRENT ENLISTMENT, IT IS TO BE REGARDED AS A DISCHARGE AT EXPIRATION OF TERM OF SERVICE, RATHER THAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENTERING INTO AN ENLISTMENT EVEN THOUGH THE CANCELLATION OF THE AGREEMENT WAS TO PERMIT THE MEMBER TO REENLIST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS DISCHARGE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR ACCRUED LEAVE AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

IF THE MEMBER ACTUALLY COMMENCES SERVICE UNDER THE EXTENSION, HOWEVER, AFTER THE NORMAL DATE OF EXPIRATION OF THE ENLISTMENT WHICH HE EXTENDED, THEN THE EXTENSION HAS BECOME FULLY EFFECTIVE AND HIS OBLIGATED PERIOD OF SERVICE IS THE PERIOD OF HIS ENLISTMENT AS EXTENDED. IF THE EXTENSION IS THEN CANCELLED AND HE IS DISCHARGED BEFORE COMPLETING THE EXTENSION IN ORDER TO REENLIST, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE DISCHARGE IS NOT ISSUED BECAUSE HIS TERM OF SERVICE HAS EXPIRED BUT IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTINUING IN THE SERVICE WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF PARAGRAPH 4157-4, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND 37 U.S.C. 501 (B) (1). IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AND FOR ACCRUED LEAVE TO A MEMBER OF THE ARMY OR AIR FORCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THUS, A MEMBER OF THE ARMY OR AIR FORCE WHO ENTERS UPON AN EXTENSION OF ENLISTMENT AND IS DISCHARGED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE EXTENSION FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTING IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE COMPLETED THE EXTENSION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BUTLER VOLUNTARILY EXTENDED HIS ENLISTMENT FOR A PERIOD OF 24 MONTHS AND WAS SERVING IN SUCH EXTENSION AT TIME OF DISCHARGE WHEN HE REENLISTED FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR YEARS. THUS, HIS DISCHARGE WAS NOT AT EXPIRATION OF HIS OBLIGATED TERM OF SERVICE AND WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTMENT. COMPARE 30 COMP. GEN. 531. THEREFORE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT TO BUTLER OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AND FOR UNUSED ACCRUED LEAVE UPON HIS DISCHARGE FROM HIS EXTENDED ENLISTMENT AND THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE REMAINING QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE SUBMISSION IT MAY BE STATED THAT THIS OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED TO RENDER A DECISION TO A DISBURSING OFFICER ONLY ON A QUESTION SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT. 25 COMP. DEC. 653; 22 COMP. GEN. 588.

HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO CLARIFY THE MATTER, WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (A) IT APPEARS THAT THE OMISSION OF THE WORD "CONTINGENT" IN THE DISCHARGE ORDERS WOULD NOT CHANGE THE ABOVE CONCLUSIONS SINCE THE ACTUAL PURPOSE OF THE DISCHARGE WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTMENT. QUESTION (B) IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (C), THE STATEMENT ON AIR FORCE FORM 1411 TO THE EFFECT THAT THE MEMBER UNDERSTANDS THAT HE MAY CANCEL THE EXTENSION OF HIS ENLISTMENT ON THE NORMAL DATE OF SEPARATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTING IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE APPLIES ONLY TO THE NORMAL DATE OF EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT. HENCE, THE FAILURE OF THE MEMBER TO EXECUTE THE STATEMENT WOULD BE IMMATERIAL IN A CASE SUCH AS THAT OF SERGEANT BUTLER'S WHERE HE ACTUALLY ENTERS ON DUTY UNDER THE EXTENSION AND THEN RECEIVES AN EARLY DISCHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REENLISTING.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (D), IT APPEARS THAT THE LENGTH OF THE EXTENSION IS IMMATERIAL SO LONG AS IT IS A VALID EXTENSION.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (E) IF THE MEMBER WAS DISCHARGED ON HIS NORMAL EXPIRATION OF TERM OF SERVICE AND REENLISTED THE NEXT DAY WITHOUT ENTERING ON HIS EXTENSION, THE EXTENSION NEED NOT BE REGARDED AS AFFECTING RIGHTS WHICH ACCRUED UPON DISCHARGE AT EXPIRATION OF NORMAL TERM OF SERVICE. QUESTION (E) IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. B 150599, MARCH 4, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. - . ..END :