B-77169, OCTOBER 18, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 242

B-77169: Oct 18, 1948

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WHEREIN DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS AND THE NURSE CORPS RESERVE ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THEIR APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO COUNT FOR ALL PAY PURPOSES. ARE HEREBY MADE APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF NURSE CORPS * * * (B) LONGEVITY PAY FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS SHALL BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL OF ALL PERIODS OF ACTIVE SERVICE DURING WHICH THEY HAVE HELD OR SHALL HOLD APPOINTMENTS AS NURSES OR AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS IN THE NURSE CORPS OF THE ARMY. WHILE IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT ONE OF THE PURPOSES OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE ARMY-NAVY NURSES ACT OF 1947 WAS TO GIVE OFFICER-NURSES OF THE NAVY THE BENEFIT OF PAY PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MALE OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN EVERY COMPARABLE AND PRACTICABLE RESPECT (27 COMP.

B-77169, OCTOBER 18, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 242

PAY - LONGEVITY - SERVICE CREDITS - NAVY NURSE CORPS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 208 (B) OF THE ARMY-NAVY NURSES ACT OF 1947, PRESCRIBING THE SERVICE THAT MAY BE COUNTED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE LONGEVITY PAY OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS, SUCH OFFICERS, WHILE NOT ENTITLED TO BE CREDITED WITH ANY INACTIVE SERVICE, MAY BE CREDITED WITH ACTIVE CIVILIAN SERVICE UNDER APPOINTMENTS AS NURSES IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FOR PURPOSES OF LONGEVITY PAY.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 18, 1948.

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1948, WITH ENCLOSURE, WHEREIN DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS AND THE NURSE CORPS RESERVE ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THEIR APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO COUNT FOR ALL PAY PURPOSES---

(A) INACTIVE COMMISSIONED SERVICE IN THE ARMY AND NAVY NURSE CORPS RESERVE;

(B) INACTIVE COMMISSIONED SERVICE IN THE GRADE OF NURSE IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE RESERVE;

(C) INACTIVE COMMISSIONED SERVICE IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER APPOINTMENTS MADE UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1944;

(D) ACTIVE, FULL-TIME SERVICE UNDER AN APPOINTMENT AS A NURSE (CIVILIAN) IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.

SECTION 208 OF THE ARMY-NAVY NURSES ACT OF 1947, PUBLIC LAW 36, APPROVED APRIL 16, 1947 (61 STAT. 50), PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT---

(A) ALL PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATING TO PAY, LEAVE, MONEY ALLOWANCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND RENTAL OF QUARTERS, MILEAGE AND OTHER TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, OR OTHER ALLOWANCES, BENEFITS, OR EMOLUMENTS, OF MALE OFFICERS OF THE NAVY, EXCEPT THOSE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER PROVIDED FOR IN SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, ARE HEREBY MADE APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF NURSE CORPS * * *

(B) LONGEVITY PAY FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS SHALL BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL OF ALL PERIODS OF ACTIVE SERVICE DURING WHICH THEY HAVE HELD OR SHALL HOLD APPOINTMENTS AS NURSES OR AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS IN THE NURSE CORPS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, OR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, OR THE RESERVE COMPONENTS THEREOF. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

WHILE IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT ONE OF THE PURPOSES OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE ARMY-NAVY NURSES ACT OF 1947 WAS TO GIVE OFFICER-NURSES OF THE NAVY THE BENEFIT OF PAY PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MALE OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN EVERY COMPARABLE AND PRACTICABLE RESPECT (27 COMP. GEN. 155), SUCH PURPOSE MAY NOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE CLEAR WORDING OF THE STATUTE. THUS, WHILE MALE OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR NAVY MAY COUNT CERTAIN INACTIVE SERVICE FOR LONGEVITY PAY PURPOSES, IT WOULD SEEM APPARENT THAT UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF LAW ONLY "ACTIVE" SERVICE IN THE NURSE CORPS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE MAY BE CREDITED IN COMPUTING LONGEVITY PAY FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS. THAT SUCH WAS THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS WAS CLEARLY BROUGHT OUT AT THE HEARINGS ON H.R. 1943--- THE BILL WHICH BECAME THE ARMY-NAVY NURSES ACT OF 1947--- BEFORE SUBCOMMITTEE NO. 9, HOSPITALIZATION AND HEALTH, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, EIGHTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION. IN DISCUSSING THE PROVISIONS IN QUESTION IT WAS STATED (PAGES 320 AND 321 OF THE REPORT OF THE HEARINGS/---

MRS. SMITH. * * * WILL YOU READ (B) (SECTION 9 (B), OR SECTION 208 (B) OF THE BILL AS ENACTED), CAPTAIN NUNN?

CAPTAIN MUNN (SIC) (READING):

"LONGEVITY PAY FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS SHALL BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL OF ALL PERIODS OF SERVICE DURING WHICH THEY HAVE HELD OR SHALL HOLD APPOINTMENTS AS NURSES OR AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS IN THE NURSE CORPS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, OR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, OR THE RESERVE COMPONENTS THEREOF.'

MR. VINSON. IT SHOULD BE ACTIVE DUTY.

CAPTAIN NUNN. YES, SIR; YOU SHOULD PUT THE WORD "ACTIVE" BETWEEN THE WORDS "OF" AND "SERVICE" ON LINE 16.

MRS. SMITH. DOES SOMEONE MAKE THAT AS A MOTION?

MR. DURHAM. I MAKE THE MOTION.

MRS. SMITH. SECONDED?

MR. VINSON. I SECOND IT.

MRS. SMITH. IT HAS BEEN MOVED AND SECONDED THAT SUBSECTION (B) BE CHANGED TO READ, LINE 16:

"SHALL BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL OF ALL PERIODS OF ACTIVE SERVICE.'

WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS ADOPTED. IS THERE ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION ON (B/?

ANY QUESTIONS?

WITHOUT OBJECTION, SUBSECTION (B) IS ADOPTED BY THE COMMITTEE.

THE FOREGOING LEAVES NO DOUBT THAT ONLY ACTIVE SERVICE MAY BE COUNTED BY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS IN COMPUTING LONGEVITY PAY AND THE SAME IS TRUE WITH RESPECT TO PERIOD PAY. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 155, ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS (A), (B), AND (C) ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR QUESTION (D) IT MAY BE NOTED THAT, EXCEPT AS TO NURSES OF THE COMMISSIONED CORPS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SERVING THEREIN DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 29, 1945, TO THE END OF THE WAR (SEE EXECUTIVE ORDER 9575, DATED JUNE 21, 1945, EFFECTIVE JULY 29, 1945), ALL NURSES IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SERVE IN A CIVILIAN CAPACITY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY MAY BE SERVING AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF SUCH SERVICE. SEE 25 COMP. GEN. 774, 776. IT MAY BE ASSUMED THAT IF THE CONGRESS INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE LONGEVITY CREDIT ONLY FOR MILITARY SERVICE AS A NURSE IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE MORE CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL LANGUAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN USED. ALSO, CONSIDERING THAT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ESSENTIALLY IS A CIVILIAN ORGANIZATION, THE LANGUAGE THE CONGRESS DID USE IN AUTHORIZING LONGEVITY CREDIT FOR OFFICERS OF THE NAVY NURSE CORPS FOR ALL PERIODS OF ACTIVE SERVICE DURING WHICH THEY HAVE HELD OR SHALL HOLD "APPOINTMENTS AS NURSES OR AS COMMISSIONED OFFICERS" IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE STRONGLY INDICATES AN INTENT TO INCLUDE BOTH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY SERVICE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, I AM OF THE OPINION THAT ANY DOUBT THAT THERE MAY BE IN THE MATTER SHOULD BE RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF THE OFFICERS CONCERNED. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION (D) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.