B-171916, MAY 28, 1971

B-171916: May 28, 1971

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THE INTENT OF CONGRESS IN 5 U.S.C. 6305(C) WAS TO GRANT EXTRA LEAVE TO THOSE SERVING ON OCEAN GOING VESSELS FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. AS THE GORDON WAS ABSENT FROM ITS HOME PORT FOR MORE THAN SEVEN (7) DAYS. USNR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER AND ENCLOSURES OF MAY 18. WHILE YOU HAVE INCLUDED WITH THE ENDORSEMENTS TO YOUR LETTER A PAYROLL CERTIFICATION AND SUMMARY FOR HILTON C. THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH A "PAYMENT" CAN BE MADE FOR SHORE LEAVE. A DECISION WILL BE RENDERED IN REGARD TO THE CREDITING OF LEAVE. WE PRESUME THE SHORE LEAVE CLAIMED IS FOR A PERIOD DURING WHICH MR. WILLIAMS WAS ASSIGNED TO THE GORDON. THE FACTS AS YOU STATE THEM ARE SUBSTANTIALLY AS FOLLOWS. THE GORDON WAS MOORED AT THE MILITARY OCEAN TERMINAL.

B-171916, MAY 28, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - SHORE LEAVE REGARDING PAYMENT OF SHORE LEAVE TO CIVILIAN CREW MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO MILITARY SEA TRANSPORT SHIP USNS GORDON. THE INTENT OF CONGRESS IN 5 U.S.C. 6305(C) WAS TO GRANT EXTRA LEAVE TO THOSE SERVING ON OCEAN GOING VESSELS FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. AS THE GORDON WAS ABSENT FROM ITS HOME PORT FOR MORE THAN SEVEN (7) DAYS, WHETHER IT LEFT UNDER ITS OWN POWER OR NOT, THE CREW MAY BE CREDITED WITH SHORE LEAVE.

TO LIEUTENANT N. A. SPOONER (SC), USNR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER AND ENCLOSURES OF MAY 18, 1970 (FILE REFERENCE SER 199L54), FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE WITH SIX ENDORSEMENTS BY SEVENTH ENDORSEMENT (FILE REFERENCE NAFC-3121/SER U131), DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1971, OF THE COMMANDER, NAVY ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER CIVILIAN MARINE CREW MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO THE MILITARY SEA TRANSPORTATION SERVICE SHIP USNS GORDON MAY BE CREDITED WITH SHORE LEAVE AS AUTHORIZED BY 5 U.S.C. 6305(C), AS ADDED BY PUBLIC LAW 89-747, APPROVED NOVEMBER 2, 1966, FOR THEIR SERVICE DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 18, 1969, TO OCTOBER 27, 1969. WHILE YOU HAVE INCLUDED WITH THE ENDORSEMENTS TO YOUR LETTER A PAYROLL CERTIFICATION AND SUMMARY FOR HILTON C. WILLIAMS, MSCA #25236, FOR THE PAY PERIOD FEBRUARY 16 THROUGH FEBRUARY 28, 1970, AS A SHORE LEAVE CLAIM FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 18 TO OCTOBER 27, 1969, THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH A "PAYMENT" CAN BE MADE FOR SHORE LEAVE. SEE 5 U.S.C. 6305(C)(2) AND 5 CFR 630.704. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE NATURE OF YOUR REQUEST AND THE DIVERGENT VIEWS AS EXPRESSED IN THE ENCLOSURES THEREWITH, A DECISION WILL BE RENDERED IN REGARD TO THE CREDITING OF LEAVE. WE PRESUME THE SHORE LEAVE CLAIMED IS FOR A PERIOD DURING WHICH MR. WILLIAMS WAS ASSIGNED TO THE GORDON.

THE FACTS AS YOU STATE THEM ARE SUBSTANTIALLY AS FOLLOWS. THE GORDON WAS MOORED AT THE MILITARY OCEAN TERMINAL, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, IN A READY RESERVE STATUS WHEN, IN MID-1969, THE DECISION WAS MADE TO UPGRADE ITS STATUS TO "12 DAYS' AVAILABILITY" BY PERFORMING CERTAIN WORK ON THE SHIP. THE WORK WAS TO BE PERFORMED IN HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY, AND CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. PURSUANT TO THAT DECISION, ON AUGUST 18, 1969, THE GORDON WAS TOWED FROM BROOKLYN TO HOBOKEN. DURING THE PERIOD THE GORDON SPENT IN THE YARD IN HOBOKEN, 12 MEN WERE ASSIGNED TO THE SHIP "FOR SECURITY WATCHES AND SUPERVISION OF REPAIRS DURING THE DRYDOCK PERIOD."

UPON COMPLETION OF WORK AT HOBOKEN, THE GORDON WAS TOWED TO CHARLESTON, LEAVING HOBOKEN ON AUGUST 28, 1969, AND ARRIVING IN CHARLESTON ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1969. THE GOVERNMENT MARINE PERSONNEL DID NOT ACCOMPANY THE SHIP TO CHARLESTON, BUT RATHER PROCEEDED THERE SEPARATELY AND JOINED THE SHIP IN THE YARD. ADDITIONAL CREW MEMBERS WERE ASSIGNED ON VARYING DATES UNTIL THE MAXIMUM MANNING LEVEL WAS REACHED ON OCTOBER 6, 1969.

THE GORDON DEPARTED FROM CHARLESTON UNDER ITS OWN POWER ON OCTOBER 25, 1969, AND ARRIVED BACK IN NEW YORK ON OCTOBER 27, 1969.

THE PRINCIPAL QUESTION HERE IS WHETHER THESE MOVEMENTS OF THE GORDON CONSTITUTE AN "EXTENDED VOYAGE" SO AS TO ALLOW THE CREW MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO THE GORDON TO BE CREDITED WITH SHORE LEAVE PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 6305(C) AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS.

THE PERTINENT PART OF 5 U.S.C. 6305(C) READS AS FOLLOWS:

"(C) AN OFFICER, CREW MEMBER, OR OTHER EMPLOYEE SERVING ABOARD AN OCEANGOING VESSEL ON AN EXTENDED VOYAGE MAY BE GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE, UNDER REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED TWO DAYS FOR EACH THIRTY CALENDAR DAYS OF THAT SERVICE WITHOUT REGARD TO OTHER LEAVE PROVIDED BY THIS SUBCHAPTER. *** "

THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS ARE THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS, 5 CFR, SUBPART G, AND THE MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND CIVILIAN MARINE PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS, SECTION 8.

THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS, 5 CFR 630.702(B), DEFINES "VOYAGE" AS "THE SAILING OF AN OCEANGOING VESSEL FROM ONE PORT AND ITS RETURN TO THAT PORT OR THE FINAL PORT OF DISCHARGE." SUBPART 630.702(C) DEFINES AN "EXTENDED VOYAGE" AS "A VOYAGE OF NOT LESS THAN 7 CONSECUTIVE CALENDAR DAYS DURATION." THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, 1961, VOL. IX (SAILING 3.) DEFINES THE WORD "SAILING" AS THE DEPARTURE (OF A SHIP) FROM A PORT."

IN THE CASE OF GARDNER V L. N. DANZLER, 177 F. SUPP. 736, 741 (D.C. VA. 1959), AFFIRMED IN 281 F. 2D 719 (1960), THE COURT, IN CONSTRUING THE WORD VOYAGE AS USED IN ANOTHER STATUTE SAID:

"THE TERM 'VOYAGE' HAS NO FIXED MEANING, BUT IS DEPENDENT UPON THE PARTICULAR SITUATION. LA BOURGOGNE, 210 U.S. 95, 135, 28 S. CT. 664, 52 L. ED. 973. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE WORD "VOYAGE" MUST BE DETERMINED BY REFERENCE TO ITS CONTEXT IN THE STATUTE TO BE APPLIED AND BY DETERMINING THE CONGRESSIONAL INTENT IN ENACTING THE STATUTE SOUGHT TO BE ENFORCED. BUT TIMER V DETROIT SULPHITE TRANS. CO., D.C.E.D. MICH., 39 F SUPP. 222."

IN THIS CASE THE GORDON SAILED FROM (DEPARTED FROM) THE PORT OF BROOKLYN AND DID NOT RETURN TO THAT PORT IN LESS THAN 7 CONSECUTIVE CALENDAR DAYS. THE FACT THAT THE VESSEL DID NOT LEAVE UNDER ITS OWN POWER IS NOT MATERIAL HERE, SINCE THE APPARENT INTENTION OF CONGRESS WAS TO GRANT EXTRA LEAVE FOR THOSE SERVING ON OCEANGOING VESSELS AWAY FROM HOME FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. THEREFORE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCRUAL OF SHORE LEAVE UNDER 5 U.S.C. 6305(C) AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS, THE GORDON WAS ON AN EXTENDED VOYAGE DURING THE PERIOD FROM AUGUST 18, 1969, TO OCTOBER 27, 1969, AND THOSE SERVING ON THAT VESSEL DURING THAT PERIOD AND OTHERWISE MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE APPLICABLE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS MAY BE CREDITED WITH SHORE LEAVE FOR THEIR SERVICE DURING THAT PERIOD. THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE VIEWS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN THE MATTER AS STATED IN ITS LETTER TO US DATED APRIL 19, 1971.

SINCE, AS ABOVE INDICATED, NO PAYMENT IS INVOLVED, THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN OUR FILES.