B-28373, SEPTEMBER 10, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 216

B-28373: Sep 10, 1942

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AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 1. WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS: "THAT THERE IS HEREBY CREATED FOR THE ARMY AIR FORCES THE TITLE OF "FLIGHT OFFICER.'. A FLIGHT OFFICER SHALL HAVE THE RANK. DISABILITY AS ARE APPLICABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN CALLED OR ORDERED INTO THE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER EXISTING STATUTORY AUTHORIZATIONS AND SHALL BE ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY PAY AS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21. WITH RESPECT TO THE BASIS ON WHICH LONGEVITY PAY WILL BE COMPUTED FOR FLIGHT OFFICERS. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHICH LAW GOVERNS IN THE COMPUTATION OF LONGEVITY PAY OF FLIGHT OFFICERS. IT WILL BE NOTED THE ACT OF JULY 8.

B-28373, SEPTEMBER 10, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 216

PAY - LONGEVITY - "FLIGHT OFFICERS" THE LONGEVITY PAY OF FLIGHT OFFICERS IN THE ARMY SHOULD BE COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS BY THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, AND NOT UPON THE BASIS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS BY THE PRIOR, LESS LIBERAL, ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941, EVEN THOUGH THE STATUTE CREATING THE TITLE OF ,FLIGHT OFFICER" IN THE ARMY STATES THAT THE LONGEVITY PAY OF FLIGHT OFFICERS SHALL BE AS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS BY THE SAID ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941, IT BEING CLEAR THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT THE LONGEVITY PAY OF THE TWO CLASSES OF OFFICERS SHOULD BE COMPUTED ON THE SAME BASIS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, SEPTEMBER 10, 1942:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 1, ACT OF JULY 8, 1942 ( PUBLIC LAW 658, 77TH CONGRESS), WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THERE IS HEREBY CREATED FOR THE ARMY AIR FORCES THE TITLE OF "FLIGHT OFFICER.' A FLIGHT OFFICER SHALL HAVE THE RANK, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES, PROVIDED FOR A WARRANT OFFICER, JUNIOR GRADE, AND SHALL TAKE RANK AS OF THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT. FLIGHT OFFICERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF ALL EXISTING LAWS OR REGULATIONS COVERING RETIREMENT, PENSIONS, AND DISABILITY AS ARE APPLICABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN CALLED OR ORDERED INTO THE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER EXISTING STATUTORY AUTHORIZATIONS AND SHALL BE ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY PAY AS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941 ( PUBLIC LAW 230, SEVENTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS). FLIGHT OFFICERS (WARRANT OFFICERS, JUNIOR GRADE) APPOINTED UNDER THIS AUTHORITY SHALL NOT BE LIMITED BY THE RESTRICTION AS TO NUMBERS ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941 ( PUBLIC LAW 230, SEVENTY-SEVENTH GRESS).'

SECTION 1, ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941 (55 STAT. 651), READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * AND ALL WARRANT OFFICERS SHALL RECEIVE, AS A PERMANENT ADDITION TO THEIR PAY, AN INCREASE OF 5 PERCENTUM OF THEIR BASE PAY FOR EACH FOUR YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE NOW COUNTED FOR PAY PURPOSES, NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENTUM.'

SECTION 8, ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942 (56 STAT. 369), WHICH PRESCRIBES THE RATES OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF WARRANT OFFICERS, READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * EVERY PERSON PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL RECEIVE AN INCREASE OF 5 PERCENTUM OF THE BASE PAY OF HIS PERIOD FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF SERVICE, NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY YEARS. * * *"

IN VIEW OF THE APPARENT CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ACTS CITED, WITH RESPECT TO THE BASIS ON WHICH LONGEVITY PAY WILL BE COMPUTED FOR FLIGHT OFFICERS, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHICH LAW GOVERNS IN THE COMPUTATION OF LONGEVITY PAY OF FLIGHT OFFICERS.

IT WILL BE NOTED THE ACT OF JULY 8, 1942, 56 STAT. 649, CREATES THE TITLE "FLIGHT OFFICER," AND PROVIDES THAT SUCH OFFICERS SHALL HAVE THE RANK, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS, JUNIOR GRADE, AND, FURTHER, THAT THEY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY PAY AS PROVIDED FOR WARRANT OFFICERS IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1941, 55 STAT. 651. THIS LATTER SECTION READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * AND ALL WARRANT OFFICERS SHALL RECEIVE, AS A PERMANENT ADDITION TO THEIR PAY, AN INCREASE OF 5 PERCENTUM OF THEIR BASE PAY FOR EACH FOUR YEARS OF ACTIVE SERVICE NOW COUNTED FOR PAY PURPOSES, NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENTUM.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION IS A RESTATEMENT, WITHOUT ANY MATERIAL CHANGE, OF THE BASIS PROVIDED FOR LONGEVITY PAY FOR WARRANT OFFICERS BY THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 625.

THE FLIGHT OFFICER ACT WAS INTRODUCED IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS ON MAY 25, 1942. SUBSEQUENT TO ITS INTRODUCTION AND PRIOR TO ITS ENACTMENT THERE WAS PASSED THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, 56 STAT. 359, 362, PUBLIC LAW 607, 77TH CONGRESS. SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT, COVERING PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF WARRANT OFFICERS, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

EVERY PERSON PAID UNDER THE PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL RECEIVE AN INCREASE OF 5 PERCENTUM OF THE BASE PAY OF HIS PERIOD FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF SERVICE, NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY YEARS. * * *

THE OBVIOUS INTENT OF THE FLIGHT OFFICER ACT WAS TO PUT SUCH OFFICERS ON A PARITY AS TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES WITH WARRANT OFFICERS, JUNIOR GRADE, AND THIS IT DOES IN PLAIN LANGUAGE IN THE SECOND SENTENCE OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT. THE PROVISION IN THE ACT RELATING TO LONGEVITY PAY IS UNNECESSARY AND WAS, WHEN DRAFTED, A MERE REITERATION OF THE THEN EFFECTIVE BASIS FOR SUCH PAY. THE FACT THAT THE LONGEVITY PROVISION WAS NOT DELETED FROM THE ACT, THEN IN PROCESS OF ENACTMENT, UPON PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, IS NOT SUFFICIENT INDICATION OF AN INTENT TO DEPRIVE FLIGHT OFFICERS OF THE MORE LIBERAL LONGEVITY PAY TO WHICH THEY WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED UNDER THE LATTER ACT, PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DATED JULY 1, 1942, TWO WEEKS SUBSEQUENT TO THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, THAT THE FLIGHT OFFICER ACT WOULD "CREATE THE TITLE OF FLIGHT OFFICER IN THE ARMY AIR FORCES WITH THE RANK, PAY (INCLUDING LONGEVITY PAY), AND ALLOWANCES OF A WARRANT OFFICER, JUNIOR GRADE.'

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT LONGEVITY PAY OF FLIGHT OFFICERS IN THE ARMY AIR FORCES SHOULD BE COMPUTED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942.