B-158501, MAR. 9, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 563

B-158501: Mar 9, 1966

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000 PRESCRIBED IN 37 U.S.C. 308 (C) ON THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AS A FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER SECTION 308 (A) TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS A FACTOR FOR CONSIDERATION IN COMPUTING THE VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 308 (G) FOR MEMBERS DETERMINED TO HAVE A CRITICAL MILITARY SKILL. 1966: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14. THAT HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE NAVAL RESERVE (INACTIVE) ON DECEMBER 12. IS THE FIRST FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE ANY REENLISTMENT BONUS. THIERLING WAS RECEIVING THE BASIC PAY OF A FIRE CONTROL TECHNICIAN WITH OVER 10 YEARS OF SERVICE AT $369.60 PER MONTH. WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $2. WHICH IS DETERMINED BY THE DEGREE OF CRITICALITY OF SHORTAGE OF HIS PARTICULAR MILITARY SKILL (DOD DIRECTIVE 1304.10.

B-158501, MAR. 9, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 563

GRATUITIES - REENLISTMENT BONUS - CRITICAL MILITARY SKILLS - PAYMENT COMPUTATION THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $2,000 PRESCRIBED IN 37 U.S.C. 308 (C) ON THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AS A FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER SECTION 308 (A) TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS A FACTOR FOR CONSIDERATION IN COMPUTING THE VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 308 (G) FOR MEMBERS DETERMINED TO HAVE A CRITICAL MILITARY SKILL, THE ADDITIONAL BONUS BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF THE FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS AS WELL AS THE MULTIPLE ESTABLISHED FOR THE DEGREE OF CRITICALITY OF SHORTAGE OF A MEMBER'S MILITARY SKILL, THE RESTRICTION ON THE AMOUNT THAT MAY BE ESTABLISHED FOR A FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS APPLIES IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT PAYABLE AS A VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS.

TO LIEUTENANT (JG) JOHN L. FERGUSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MARCH 9, 1966:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURE, FORWARDED UNDER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE NUMBER DO-N-893, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS ALLOWABLE IN THE CASE OF DAVID E. THIERLING, FTC, USN, 482 91 76, UPON REENLISTMENT IN JANUARY 1966. AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION AS TO MR. THIERLING'S ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE A VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER 37 U.S.C. 308 (G), IN VIEW OF HIS PRIOR SERVICE, HAS BEEN PRESENTED BY THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MR. THIERLING ENLISTED IN THE NAVY ON OCTOBER 13, 1955, FOR A TOUR OF ACTIVE DUTY EXTENDING THROUGH DECEMBER 11, 1958; THAT HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE NAVAL RESERVE (INACTIVE) ON DECEMBER 12, 1958; THAT HE AGAIN ENLISTED IN THE NAVY ON APRIL 1, 1960, AND THAT HIS PRESENT REENLISTMENT (APPARENTLY ACCOMPLISHED JANUARY 12, 1966, FOR A 6-YEAR TERM OF SERVICE), IS THE FIRST FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE ANY REENLISTMENT BONUS. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME OF REENLISTMENT MR. THIERLING WAS RECEIVING THE BASIC PAY OF A FIRE CONTROL TECHNICIAN WITH OVER 10 YEARS OF SERVICE AT $369.60 PER MONTH, MAKING COMPUTATION OF HIS NORMAL FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER 37 U.S.C. 308 (A) FOR A 6-YEAR REENLISTMENT, $2,217.60, WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $2,000 PRESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (C) OF SECTION 308. PRESUMABLY HE HAS BEEN PAID THE NORMAL REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $2,000.

YOU STATE THAT MR. THIERLING'S VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS MULTIPLE, WHICH IS DETERMINED BY THE DEGREE OF CRITICALITY OF SHORTAGE OF HIS PARTICULAR MILITARY SKILL (DOD DIRECTIVE 1304.10, PARAGRAPH IIIC), IS 3 AND YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER THE VARIABLE BONUS SHOULD BE COMPUTED AT 3 TIMES $2,000, THE MAXIMUM NORMAL BONUS, OR 3 TIMES $2,217.60, THE NORMAL BONUS WITHOUT APPLYING THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT MR. THIERLING HAS BEEN PAID A FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE VARIABLE BONUS IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,000 PENDING A FINAL DECISION.

THE VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS IS AUTHORIZED IN 37 U.S.C. 308 (G), WHICH WAS ADDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1965, PUBLIC LAW 89-132, 79 STAT. 547, AND WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, OR THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY WITH RESPECT TO THE COAST GUARD WHEN IT IS NOT OPERATING AS A SERVICE IN THE NAVY, A MEMBER WHO IS DESIGNATED AS HAVING A CRITICAL MILITARY SKILL AND WHO IS ENTITLED TO A BONUS COMPUTED UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION UPON HIS FIRST REENLISTMENT MAY BE PAID AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT NOT MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THAT BONUS. THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT SHALL BE PAID IN EQUAL YEARLY INSTALLMENTS IN EACH YEAR OF THE REENLISTMENT PERIOD. HOWEVER, IN MERITORIOUS CASES THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT MAY BE PAID IN FEWER INSTALLMENTS IF THE SECRETARY CONCERNED DETERMINES IT TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE MEMBERS. AN AMOUNT PAID UNDER THIS SUBSECTION DOES NOT COUNT AGAINST THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SUBSECTION (C) OF THIS SECTION ON THE TOTAL AMOUNT THAT MAY BE PAID UNDER THIS SECTION.

WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE REENLISTMENT IN JANUARY 1966 CONSTITUTES A FIRST REENLISTMENT WHICH WOULD MAKE THE MEMBER ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER SUBSECTION (G) OF SECTION 308, WE ARE ENCLOSING A COPY OF OUR DECISION, 45 COMP. GEN. --, B-158477 DATED TODAY WHEREIN WE HELD THAT A MEMBER WHO IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF A REENLISTMENT BONUS FOR A "FIRST REENLISTMENT" UNDER SUBSECTION (A) SHOULD NOT BE DENIED PAYMENT OF THE VARIABLE BONUS UNDER SUBSECTION (G) BECAUSE OF AN EARLIER REENLISTMENT FOR WHICH NO BONUS WAS AUTHORIZED.

SUBSECTION (G) DOES NOT SPECIFY A DOLLAR LIMITATION ON THE AMOUNT OF THE VARIABLE BONUS AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT CONTAINS NO INDICATION THAT CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO THE SITUATION OF MEMBERS IN SUCH A HIGH PAY CATEGORY THAT THEIR NORMAL FIRST REENLISTMENT BONUS UNDER SUBSECTION (A) WOULD EXCEED $2,000. HOWEVER, THE VARIABLE BONUS IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID IN AN AMOUNT WHICH IS NOT MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE BONUS TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED UNDER SUBSECTION (A). ENTITLEMENT TO A BONUS UNDER SUBSECTION (A) CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED WITHOUT APPLYING THE RESTRICTION IN SUBSECTION (C/--- THE MAXIMUM CUMULATIVE AMOUNT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS PAYMENTS NOT TO EXCEED $2,000. ON PAGE 18 OF S.REPT. NO. 544, DATED AUGUST 6, 1965, THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES OF THE SENATE ON H.R. 9075, WHICH WAS ENACTED AS PUBLIC LAW 89-132, IT IS STATED:

SECTION 3 CONTAINS LANGUAGE PROVIDING THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ENLISTED MEMBERS DESIGNATED AS HAVING A CRITICAL MILITARY SKILL MAY BE PAID UPON THEIR FIRST REENLISTMENT AN ADDITION BONUS WHICH MAY BE A MAXIMUM OF FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT WHICH CAN BE PAID UNDER PRESENT LAW AS A REENLISTMENT BONUS. * * *.

SINCE MR. THIERLING'S ENTITLEMENT UNDER SUBSECTION (A) IS $2,000 AND HIS VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS MULTIPLE IS 3, HE IS ENTITLED UNDER SUBSECTION (G) TO A VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS COMPUTED AT 3 TIMES $2,000. ACCORDINGLY, THE PAYMENT OF $1,000 WHICH HAS BEEN MADE TO HIM AS THE FIRST OF SIX EQUAL INSTALLMENTS OF VARIABLE REENLISTMENT BONUS, WAS PROPERLY COMPUTED.