Determination of Correct Amount of Selective Reenlistment Bonus

B-198159: Feb 17, 1981

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A decision was requested concerning the amount of the selective reenlistment bonus to be paid to a Navy member. The issue was whether the member should receive the reenlistment bonus amount agreed upon between him and the recruiting officer at the time of his reenlistment or the amount to which he was entitled under Navy regulations. A service member's entitlement to military pay is governed by statute and, in the absence of specific statutory authority, the government is not liable for the negligent or erroneous acts of its agents. Therefore, the amount of reenlistment bonus depends on the applicable statutes, and in no event can the bonus be established through private negotiation between a member and his recruiter. Assuming that the member was misinformed by the recruiting officer concerning his bonus entitlements, such misleading information did not entitle him to a bonus amount in excess of that authorized by regulation. Accordingly, the member was entitled to the selective reenlistment bonus amount authorized by statute and regulation, rather than the amount entered in the reenlistment agreement by the recruiting officer.