B-16293, MAY 29, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 832

B-16293: May 29, 1941

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PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 302 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 TO RESERVE OFFICERS REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY OR TRAINING AT A LOCATION WHERE UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN. IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS THERE IS A SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER POSSESSES THE REQUIRED UNIFORM. MAY BE PAID WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN AT THE PLACE OF REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY OR WHETHER THE OFFICER POSSESSES THE REQUIRED UNIFORM. THE PAYMENT TO WHICH YOU REFER WAS MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 2010. REED WAS ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 16. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT OF THE UNIFORM GRATUITY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON: * * * WHILE SECTION 302 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 (52 STAT. 1180).

B-16293, MAY 29, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 832

UNIFORM GRATUITY - NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 - UNIFORM POSSESSION REQUIREMENT PAYMENT OF THE PEACETIME $100 UNIFORM GRATUITY, PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 302 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 TO RESERVE OFFICERS REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY OR TRAINING AT A LOCATION WHERE UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN, IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNLESS THERE IS A SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER POSSESSES THE REQUIRED UNIFORM, BUT THE $150 SUM AUTHORIZED BY THE LAST PROVISO OF SECTION 302, PAYABLE IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY, MAY BE PAID WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN AT THE PLACE OF REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY OR WHETHER THE OFFICER POSSESSES THE REQUIRED UNIFORM. DECISION B-6594, OCTOBER 25, 1949, MODIFIED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MAY 29, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 17, 1941, WITH WHICH YOU TRANSMITTED LETTER FROM THE PAYMASTER, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, DATED APRIL 11, 1941, REQUESTING REVIEW OF A DISALLOWANCE IN THE AMOUNT OF $150 REPRESENTING PAYMENT OF UNIFORM GRATUITY TO CAPT. WILLARD REED, JR., UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE.

THE PAYMENT TO WHICH YOU REFER WAS MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 2010, COVERING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 16 TO 30, 1940, ACCOUNT OF LT. COL. M. B. CURTIS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 1940. BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 13, 1940, CAPT. REED WAS ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 16, 1940. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT OF THE UNIFORM GRATUITY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:

* * * WHILE SECTION 302 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 (52 STAT. 1180), PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF $150 GRATUITY FOR THE PURCHASE OF REQUIRED UNIFORM, SUCH GRATUITY, BY THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF THE ACT IS PROVIDED AS A "FURTHER" ALLOWANCE IN CONTEMPLATION OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCES THERETOFORE PAID. HENCE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER HAS THE REQUIRED UNIFORMS IN HIS POSSESSION, PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $150 IS UNAUTHORIZED.

SECTION 302 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938, 52 STAT. 1180, PROVIDES:

IN TIME OF PEACE, UPON FIRST REPORTING FOR ACTIVE OR TRAINING DUTY WITH PAY, AFTER ENACTMENT HEREOF, AT A LOCATION WHERE UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN, OR AFTER THE AUTHORIZED PERFORMANCE OF FOURTEEN DRILLS, A COMMISSIONED OR WARRANT OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE SHALL BE PAID A SUM NOT TO EXCEED $100 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE REQUIRED UNIFORMS, * * * AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY A FURTHER SUM OF $150 FOR THE PURCHASE OF REQUIRED UNIFORMS SHALL BE PAID TO OFFICERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHEN THEY FIRST REPORT FOR ACTIVE DUTY.

ONE OF THE CONDITIONS FOR PAYMENT OF THE PEACETIME ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED IN THE STATUTE IS THAT THE OFFICER REPORT FOR ACTIVE DUTY "AT A LOCATION WHERE UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN.' THIS ALLOWANCE IS NOT TO EXCEED $100 AND THE PAYMENT THEREOF IS "AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE REQUIRED UNIFORMS.' OBVIOUSLY, PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER TO WHOM PAYMENT IS MADE HAS IN HIS POSSESSION THE REQUIRED UNIFORM. HOWEVER, THE SUM AUTHORIZED IN THE LAST PROVISO OF SECTION 302 SUPRA, IS FOR THE PURCHASE OF REQUIRED UNIFORMS AND IS PAYABLE WHEN THE OFFICER FIRST REPORTS FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF WAR OR IN A NATIONAL EMERGENCY. THIS PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER UNIFORMS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN AT THE PLACE OF REPORTING AND THE POSSESSION OF THE REQUIRED UNIFORM BY THE OFFICER IS NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE PAYMENT.

BY THE TERMS OF THE PROVISO THE $150 ALLOWANCE IS A "FURTHER SUM" PAYABLE WHEN THE CONDITIONS IN THE PROVISO ARE MET. TO BE ENTITLED TO THIS ALLOWANCE AN OFFICER MUST REPORT FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY BUT HE IS NOT REQUIRED TO MEET THE CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO PAYMENT OF THE PEACETIME ALLOWANCE. UPON REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY THE OFFICER MAY NOT BE REQUIRED TO WEAR THE UNIFORM, BUT THE NATURE OF HIS SERVICE AND THE FACT THAT HE IS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN SUCH A PERIOD MAKES HIM OPEN TO ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AT ANY TIME WHERE THE WEARING OF THE UNIFORM IS REQUIRED. THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF THE PROVISO IS TO PROVIDE AN ALLOWANCE WHICH IS OBTAINABLE WHEN FIRST REPORTING FOR ACTIVE DUTY DURING SUCH A PERIOD IN ORDER THAT THE OFFICER MAY BE IN A POSITION TO OBTAIN SUCH UNIFORMS AS ARE REQUIRED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT OF THE $150 UNIFORM GRATUITY MADE TO CAPTAIN REED WILL BE REMOVED. APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED ACCORDINGLY.

B-6594 DATED OCTOBER 25, 1939, IS MODIFIED INSOFAR AS IT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE HOLDING HEREIN.