B-17761, JULY 14, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 15

B-17761: Jul 14, 1941

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IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH TAKEN FOR ACTIVE DUTY. PAYMENT OF THE COMMUTED VALUE THEREOF IS UNAUTHORIZED. PROVIDED AN APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10. ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHEN EMPLOYED ON ACTIVE DUTY OR ON TRAINING DUTY WITH PAY OR WHEN EMPLOYED IN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO AND FROM SUCH DUTY ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR NAVY. ARE ENTITLED ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH THEY ENTERED ON ACTIVE DUTY. 2. IT HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY GIVEN A MEDICAL SURVEY DISCHARGE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22.

B-17761, JULY 14, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 15

TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FOR NAVAL RESERVISTS UPON DISCHARGE - COMMUTATION IN LIEU OF WHILE A NAVAL RESERVE ENLISTED MAN ON ACTIVE DUTY, DISCHARGED OTHER THAN AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR ANY OF THE CAUSES WHICH WOULD ENTITLE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY, IF SO DISCHARGED, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH TAKEN FOR ACTIVE DUTY, PAYMENT OF THE COMMUTED VALUE THEREOF IS UNAUTHORIZED. WHILE NAVAL RESERVE ENLISTED MEN ON ACTIVE DUTY, RETAINED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD OF HOSPITAL TREATMENT AFTER DISCHARGE OTHER THAN AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT UPON RECOMMENDATION OF A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY, MAY BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE AT THE TERMINATION OF THEIR HOSPITALIZATION TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH TAKEN FOR ACTIVE DUTY, PROVIDED AN APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR, THEY MAY NOT BE PAID, AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE, THE COMMUTED VALUE OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE FURNISHED AT THAT TIME.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 14, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1941, REQUESTING DECISION ON THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED BY THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS IN LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

1. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938, ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHEN EMPLOYED ON ACTIVE DUTY OR ON TRAINING DUTY WITH PAY OR WHEN EMPLOYED IN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO AND FROM SUCH DUTY ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR NAVY. THIS PROVISION HAS BEEN INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE DISCHARGED AT OTHER THAN EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR ANY OF THE CAUSES WHICH WOULD ENTITLE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY, IF SO DISCHARGED, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, ARE ENTITLED ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH THEY ENTERED ON ACTIVE DUTY.

2. IT HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY GIVEN A MEDICAL SURVEY DISCHARGE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922, OR TO SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO HIS HOME IF A RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE OPTION OF THE MAN. THE CURRENT NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION UNDER THE HEADING " TRANSPORTATION AND RECRUITING OF NAVAL PERSONNEL: "

" * * * TRANSPORTATION TO THEIR HOME, IF RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, OF ENLISTED MEN AND APPRENTICE SEAMEN DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY, WITH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSFERS EN ROUTE, OR CASH IN LIEU THEREOF.'

3.IN CONNECTION WITH A SMALL NUMBER OF NAVAL RESERVISTS ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY FOR DISCHARGE AND RETENTION FOR TREATMENT IN A HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE OR IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL, THE DURATION OF THE PERIOD OF DETENTION BEING INDEFINITE, THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO THE PROPER METHOD OF FURNISHING SUCH MEN, UPON DISCHARGE FROM TREATMENT, WITH TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND, OR CASH IN LIEU THEREOF, TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY. ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE CASES IN QUESTION, THE FOLLOWING ARE CITED:

MAN ENLISTED AUGUST 22, 1940, AT BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN. REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY AT THE RECEIVING STATION, PHILADELPHIA, PA., ON OCTOBER 11, 1940, PURSUANT TO ORDERS ADDRESSED TO HIM AT COLOMA, MICHIGAN. TRANSFERRED TO ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C., NOVEMBER 29, 1940. A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY HAS FOUND THAT HE IS SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA PRAECOX, DISABILITY NOT THE RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, NOT INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY, AND THAT HE IS UNFIT FOR SERVICE. THE BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT HE BE DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND RETAINED AT ST. ELIZABETHS FOR FURTHER TREATMENT.

MAN ENLISTED DECEMBER 29, 1938, AT LOS ANGELES, CALIF. REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY AT THE NAVAL RESERVE AVIATION BASE, LONG BEACH,CALIF., ON JUNE 1, 1940. A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY HAS FOUND THAT HE IS SUFFERING FROM MYELITIS, DISABILITY INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, NOT IN LINE OF DUTY AND THAT HE IS UNFIT FOR SERVICE. THE BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT HE BE DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND RETAINED AT THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, PENSACOLA, FLA., FOR FURTHER TREATMENT.

3. THE ACCOUNTS OF THE MEN REFERRED TO WILL BE CLOSED OUT AS OF DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND AT TIME OF DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL THEY WILL BE IN A CIVILIAN STATUS. IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE OBTAINED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL AS TO WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS OF THE MEN CONCERNED MAY BE CREDITED WITH THE COMMUTATION VALUE OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND OTHERWISE DUE AT TIME OF DISCHARGE, OR, IF NOT, WHETHER THEY MAY BE FURNISHED WITH TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL TREATMENT REGARDLESS OF TIME ELAPSING BETWEEN DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL RESERVE AND DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL AT WHICH RETAINED FOR TREATMENT.

IN DECISION OF JULY 1, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 1, IT WAS HELD THAT ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHO ARE DISCHARGED AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE EXISTING EMERGENCY ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, 42 STAT. 1021, 34 U.S.C. 895, BUT SEE B-10730, TO YOU, JULY 9, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 11 IN DECISION OF MARCH 14, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 519, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE DECISION OF JULY 1, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 1, CONSIDERED THE STATUS OF MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHO ARE DISCHARGED AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND WHO MAY SHIP OVER. IN THAT CASE THEY WOULD NOT RETURN TO THEIR HOMES AND IF THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS A MILE WERE DENIED THEM THEY WOULD NOT RECEIVE THE SAME ALLOWANCE AS ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR NAVY IN THE SAME SITUATION. WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE IS DISCHARGED BEFORE EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR ANY OF THE CAUSES WHICH WOULD ENTITLE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY, IF SO DISCHARGED, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, THERE WOULD BE NO REENLISTMENT AND THE MAN WOULD BE FREE TO RETURN TO HIS HOME. THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1925 WAS CONSISTENTLY INTERPRETED, AND ADMINISTRATIVELY APPLIED, AS AUTHORIZING ONLY TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FOR ENLISTED MEMBERS TRAVELING TO AND FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE NAVAL RESERVE ACT OF 1938 CONTAINS NO PROVISION EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZING COMMUTATION OF THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL. THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RETURN AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE TO HIS HOME OR THE PLACE FROM WHICH TAKEN FOR ACTIVE DUTY UPON RELEASE THEREFROM IS NOT INCREASED IF AT SUCH TIME HE IS DISCHARGED FROM HIS ENLISTMENT CONTRACT. WHEN SO RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY (THAT IS, BY DISCHARGE) EITHER DURING A TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY OR IN TIME OF PEACE, THE MAN IS ENTITLED TO NOTHING MORE THAN TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE ENTERED ON ACTIVE DUTY.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHO ARE DISCHARGED OTHER THAN AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT WHEN ON ACTIVE DUTY IN TIME OF WAR OR NATIONAL EMERGENCY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT 5 CENTS PER MILE.

WHILE AN ENLISTED MEMBER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH TAKEN FOR ACTIVE DUTY AT THE TIME OF HIS DISCHARGE OTHER THAN AT EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR ANY OF THE CAUSES WHICH WOULD ENTITLE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY, IF SO DISCHARGED, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, THIS IS A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND, THAT IS, A SERVICE, AND AS THE LAW MAKES NO PROVISION FOR PAYING THE COMMUTED VALUE OF THE SERVICE, SUCH PAYMENT IS UNAUTHORIZED. COMPARE 18 COMP. GEN. 588; 20 ID. 361. THE FACT THAT SOME ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ARE RETAINED FOR TREATMENT IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL OR A HOSPITAL OR A HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE AFTER DISCHARGE UPON RECOMMENDATION OF A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY, NEITHER INCREASES NOR DECREASES THEIR RIGHTS TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND, AND NO LEGAL OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED TO THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO SUCH PERSONS AT THE TERMINATION OF THEIR HOSPITALIZATION, PROVIDED AN APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR.