B-19438, OCTOBER 16, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 338

B-19438: Oct 16, 1941

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WHO WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN ALL UNIFORM OUTER CLOTHING UPON DISCHARGE PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF SUCH ENLISTMENT. IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER THE ACT TO A GRATUITOUS ISSUE OF CLOTHING UPON REENLISTMENT. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4. REQUESTING DECISION ON THE QUESTION WHETHER A NAVY ENLISTED MAN WHO WAS FURNISHED AN OUTFIT OF CLOTHING UPON FIRST ENLISTMENT. WHO WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN SUCH CLOTHING WHEN GIVEN AN INAPTITUDE DISCHARGE UNDER " HONORABLE CONDITIONS. IS ENTITLED TO A GRATUITOUS ISSUE OF CLOTHING OF THE MAXIMUM VALUE OF $60 UPON REENLISTMENT. INCLUDED IN THE CORRESPONDENCE ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER IS A SECOND INDORSEMENT OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS. WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS: SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR DECISION AS TO CLOTHING TO WHICH ENLISTED MEN ENTITLED DURING SECOND ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY.

B-19438, OCTOBER 16, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 338

CLOTHING - UNIFORMS - NAVY ENLISTED MEN - RIGHTS ON REENLISTMENT A NAVY ENLISTED MAN WHO RECEIVED A FULL CLOTHING OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT, AND WHO WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN ALL UNIFORM OUTER CLOTHING UPON DISCHARGE PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF SUCH ENLISTMENT, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING REFUNDED THE VALUE OF SUCH CLOTHING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915, AND, THEREFORE, IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER THE ACT TO A GRATUITOUS ISSUE OF CLOTHING UPON REENLISTMENT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 16, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1941, REQUESTING DECISION ON THE QUESTION WHETHER A NAVY ENLISTED MAN WHO WAS FURNISHED AN OUTFIT OF CLOTHING UPON FIRST ENLISTMENT, AND WHO WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN SUCH CLOTHING WHEN GIVEN AN INAPTITUDE DISCHARGE UNDER " HONORABLE CONDITIONS, IS ENTITLED TO A GRATUITOUS ISSUE OF CLOTHING OF THE MAXIMUM VALUE OF $60 UPON REENLISTMENT.

INCLUDED IN THE CORRESPONDENCE ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER IS A SECOND INDORSEMENT OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DATED JULY 28, 1941, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR DECISION AS TO CLOTHING TO WHICH ENLISTED MEN ENTITLED DURING SECOND ENLISTMENT IN THE REGULAR NAVY.

REFERENCE: (A) ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915 (38 STAT. 932).

(B) SECTION 125 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, JUNE 3, 1916 AS AMENDED (10 U.S.C. 1393).

(C) DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1917 (24 COMP. DEC. 191).

(D) DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL 6558 DATED JUNE 22, 1922 (1 COMP. GEN. 746) (ARTICLE 1431-3 BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MEMORANDA) (SELECTED DECISIONS).

(E) DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-13570 DATED MAY 17, 1926( ARTICLE 1431-3 BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MEMORANDA) (SELECTED DECISIONS).

(F) DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-31088 DATED MARCH 29, 1930.

(G) ARTICLE D-9120 BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL.

(H) NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941 APPROVED JUNE 11, 1940 ( PUBLIC NO. 588).

1. ALLAN CLIFFORD TRAFTON, APPRENTICE SEAMAN, USN., ENLISTED DECEMBER 12, 1940, AND WAS GIVEN AN INAPTITUDE DISCHARGE UNDER " HONORABLE" CONDITIONS FROM THE NAVAL TRAINING STATION, NEWPORT, R.I., ON MARCH 10, 1941. DURING HIS PERIOD OF NAVAL SERVICE HE WAS ISSUED ARTICLES OF "OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT" AMOUNTING TO $108.61 LEAVING A BALANCE DUE ON OUTFIT AT TIME OF DISCHARGE OF $4.14. PURSUANT TO THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE D-9120 (1) BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL, BASED ON REFERENCE (B) AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THAT WHEN AN ENLISTED MAN IS DISCHARGED OTHERWISE THAN HONORABLY, ALL UNIFORM OUTER CLOTHING IN HIS POSSESSION SHALL BE RETAINED FOR MILITARY USE, AND, WHEN AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, A SUIT OF CITIZENS OUTER CLOTHING TO COST NOT EXCEEDING $15 MAY BE ISSUED TO SUCH ENLISTED MAN: * *

TRAFTON WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN HIS OUTER GARMENTS AND DISTINCTIVE PARTS OF THE UNIFORM PREVIOUSLY ISSUED TO HIM AND WAS FURNISHED WITH A CIVILIAN OUTFIT AS AUTHORIZED IN THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941 UNDER THE HEADING " PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL.'

2. THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915 (38 STAT. 932) PROVIDES:

"THAT HEREAFTER THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE A CLOTHING OUTFIT TO ALL ENLISTED MEN SERVING IN THEIR SECOND ENLISTMENT WHO FAILED TO RECEIVE AN OUTFIT OF THE VALUE AUTHORIZED BY LAW ON THEIR FIRST ENLISTMENT OR WHO, HAVING RECEIVED SUCH OUTFIT, WERE REQUIRED TO REFUND ITS VALUE ON ACCOUNT OF DISCHARGE PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE NET COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CLOTHING OUTFITS FURNISHED ANY ONE ENLISTED MAN SHALL NOT EXCEED $60.'

3. THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN DECISION OF MAY 17, 1926 CONSIDERED THE RIGHT OF AN ENLISTED MAN WHO FIRST ENLISTED ON JUNE 22, 1925, DISCHARGED FOR INAPTITUDE (HERNIA) ON AUGUST 14, 1925, REENLISTED ON DECEMBER 28, 1925, TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915. AT THAT TIME THE VALUE OF THE "OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT" WAS SET AS $100 AND THE MAN IN QUESTION PRIOR TO DISCHARGE HAD BEEN ISSUED AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT OF THE VALUE OF $89.65. NO MENTION WAS MADE IN THE SUBMISSION OR THE DECISION WHETHER THE MAN WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN CLOTHING UPON DISCHARGE. THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HELD THAT THE MAN HAVING RECEIVED AN OUTFIT NOT LESS THAN $60 IN VALUE NO ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE FOR CLOTHING OUTFIT MAY BE MADE IN SECOND ENLISTMENT UNDER THE REMEDIAL PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915.

4. THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1917, HELD THAT:

"AN ENLISTED MAN WHO HAS BEEN DISCHARGED BY PURCHASE OR BY SPECIAL ORDER, AND WHO UPON SUCH DISCHARGE HAS REFUNDED THE COST OF CLOTHING OUTFIT, IS ENTITLED, UPON REENTRY INTO THE SERVICE ON A SECOND ENLISTMENT, TO A NEW OUTFIT, SUBJECT ONLY TO THE CONDITION THAT THE TOTAL NET COST OF OUTFITS FURNISHED ANY ONE MAN SHALL NOT EXCEED $60. ( ACT OF MAR. 3, 1915, 38 STAT. 932.)"

5. DURING HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT TRAFTON WAS FURNISHED WITH AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT IN EXCESS OF $60.00; HE WAS NOT REQUIRED TO REFUND ITS VALUE IN CASH, BUT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO TURN IN HIS CLOTHING ON DISCHARGE, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT A DECISION BE OBTAINED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL AS TO WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO GRATUITOUS ISSUE OF CLOTHING NOT TO EXCEED $60.00 UPON REENLISTMENT.

TRAFTON IS ENTITLED TO AN ISSUE OF CLOTHING IN HIS SECOND ENLISTMENT ONLY IF HIS CASE COMES WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE QUOTED ACT OF MARCH 3, 1915, 38 STAT. 932, U.S.C.A. 917. THAT ACT AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO ISSUE A CLOTHING OUTFIT TO ENLISTED MEN SERVING IN THEIR SECOND ENLISTMENT WHO (1) FAILED TO RECEIVE AN OUTFIT OF THE VALUE AUTHORIZED BY LAW ON THEIR FIRST ENLISTMENT, OR (2) WHO, HAVING RECEIVED SUCH OUTFIT, WERE REQUIRED TO REFUND ITS VALUE ON ACCOUNT OF DISCHARGE PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT.

SINCE TRAFTON RECEIVED AN OUTFIT ON FIRST ENLISTMENT VALUED AT $108.61, HIS CASE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE FIRST OF THESE ALTERNATIVE CONDITIONS OF THE STATUTE AS CONSTRUED IN DECISION OF MAY 17, 1926, A 13570, CITED BY THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, SUPRA; AND HIS CASE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE SECOND CONDITION OF THE STATUTE, AS HE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE REFUNDED THE VALUE OF THE CLOTHING ISSUED TO HIM IN HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT MERELY BECAUSE THE CLOTHING, OR A PART THEREOF, WHICH HE HAD WORN DURING HIS FIRST ENLISTMENT WAS RETAINED FOR MILITARY USE IN COMPLIANCE WITH STATUTE.