B-43288, AUGUST 10, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 100

B-43288: Aug 10, 1944

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

RETIREMENT - SERVICE CREDITS - INCAPACITATED ARMY ENLISTED MEN - SERVICE IN COAST GUARD WHEN NOT OPERATING AS PART OF NAVY SINCE THE 20 OR MORE YEARS "IN THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES" WHICH AN ARMY ENLISTED MAN MUST HAVE SERVED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. IS LIMITED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT TO SERVICE COUNTABLE FOR RETIREMENT AFTER 30 YEARS' SERVICE. THE SERVICE COUNTABLE UNDER SAID SECTION 2 DOES NOT INCLUDE SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD WHILE THAT ORGANIZATION IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD DURING PERIODS WHEN THE COAST GUARD IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY MAY BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE SERVICE NECESSARY FOR ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30.

B-43288, AUGUST 10, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 100

RETIREMENT - SERVICE CREDITS - INCAPACITATED ARMY ENLISTED MEN - SERVICE IN COAST GUARD WHEN NOT OPERATING AS PART OF NAVY SINCE THE 20 OR MORE YEARS "IN THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES" WHICH AN ARMY ENLISTED MAN MUST HAVE SERVED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1941, WHEN PERMANENTLY INCAPACITATED, IS LIMITED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT TO SERVICE COUNTABLE FOR RETIREMENT AFTER 30 YEARS' SERVICE, WHICH SERVICE, AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1907, AS AMENDED, INCLUDES THAT IN THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS, ONLY, THE SERVICE COUNTABLE UNDER SAID SECTION 2 DOES NOT INCLUDE SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD WHILE THAT ORGANIZATION IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AUGUST 10, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 12, 1944, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD DURING PERIODS WHEN THE COAST GUARD IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY MAY BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE SERVICE NECESSARY FOR ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1941, 55 STAT. 394; THAT IS, WHETHER OR NOT THE COAST GUARD, WHEN NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY, IS A PART OF "THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT PHRASE AS USED IN SECTION 2 OF THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 30, 1941, 10 U.S.C. 939, WHICH READS---

AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR ARMY OR OF THE PHILIPPINE SCOUTS WHO HAS SERVED TWENTY YEARS OR MORE IN THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AND WHO HAS BECOME PERMANENTLY INCAPACITATED FOR ACTIVE SERVICE DUE TO PHYSICAL DISABILITY INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY SHALL BE PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 28, 1915, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1941, 55 STAT. 585, AS CODIFIED, 14 U.S.C. 1 ( SUPP. III), PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THE COAST GUARD AS HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED IN LIEU OF THE REVENUE CUTTER SERVICE AND THE LIFE SAVINGS SERVICE, EXISTING PRIOR TO JANUARY 28, 1915, IS CONTINUED. THE COAST GUARD WHICH SHALL BE MILITARY SERVICE AND CONSTITUTE A BRANCH OF THE LAND AND NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AT ALL TIMES AND SHALL OPERATE UNDER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN TIME OF PEACE AND OPERATE AS A PART OF THE NAVY, SUBJECT TO THE ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, IN TIME OF WAR OR WHEN THE PRESIDENT SHALL SO DIRECT. * * *

HOWEVER, SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1941, 55 STAT. 395, APPEARS TO ATTACH CERTAIN LIMITATIONS TO THE OTHERWISE BROAD PHRASE "MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES" AS USED IN SECTION 2 THEREOF. THE SAID SECTION 5 (10 U.S.C. 959) PROVIDES:

ALL PERIODS OF SERVICE WHICH ARE NOW COUNTED UNDER PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAW IN COMPUTING THE TIME NECESSARY TO ENABLE AN ENLISTED MAN TO RETIRE UPON COMPLETION OF THIRTY YEARS OF SERVICE SHALL BE CREDITED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE NECESSARY TO CONFER ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIREMENT HEREUNDER.

THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1907, 34 STAT. 1217, 10 U.S.C. 947, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 19 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1942, 56 STAT. 369, AUTHORIZES THE RETIREMENT OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AFTER THEY HAVE COMPLETED THIRTY YEARS' SERVICE AND PROVIDES "THAT IN COMPUTING THE NECESSARY THIRTY YEARS' TIME ALL SERVICE IN THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS SHALL BE CREDITED.' SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD, WHILE THE COAST GUARD IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY, IS NOT SERVICE IN ONE OF THE FORCES MENTIONED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1907, AND I FIND NO STATUTE AMENDING THAT ACT SO AS TO AUTHORIZE COUNTING SUCH SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES BY AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE ARMY.

ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1941, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE PHRASE "IN THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES" AS USED IN SECTION 2 OF THAT ACT MUST BE VIEWED AS NOT INCLUDING SERVICE IN THE COAST GUARD WHILE THAT ORGANIZATION IS NOT OPERATING AS A PART OF THE NAVY, AND, THEREFORE, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.