B-8644, MARCH 27, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 829

B-8644: Mar 27, 1940

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CORRESPONDENCE COURSES FOR REGULAR ARMY PERSONNEL WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR DETERMINES THAT CORRESPONDENCE COURSES ARE BEST SUITED TO ENABLE SELECTED REGULAR ARMY PERSONNEL TO ACQUIRE ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 3. IT IS HOPED THAT FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION MAY BE GIVEN IN THIS INSTANCE AS THERE IS AN URGENT NEED FOR TRAINED PERSONNEL IN THE ARMY AIR CORPS TO PROPERLY MEET THE EXPANSION PROGRAM NOW UNDER WAY. PROVIDES: WHEN THE FACILITIES OF THE ARMY FOR INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING IN AVIATION ARE DEEMED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO BE INSUFFICIENT HE MAY. OR INVESTIGATORS AT SUCH INDUSTRIAL PLANTS OR OTHER PLACES AS SHALL BE BEST SUITED TO ENABLE SUCH PERSONNEL TO ACQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF OR EXPERIENCE IN THE SPECIALTIES INCIDENT TO AVIATION IN WHICH THE TRAINING OF SUCH PERSONNEL IS ESSENTIAL: PROVIDED.

B-8644, MARCH 27, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 829

CORRESPONDENCE COURSES FOR REGULAR ARMY PERSONNEL WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR DETERMINES THAT CORRESPONDENCE COURSES ARE BEST SUITED TO ENABLE SELECTED REGULAR ARMY PERSONNEL TO ACQUIRE ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF, OR EXPERIENCE IN, SPECIALTIES INCIDENT TO AVIATION, SUCH COURSES REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1939, 53 STAT. 556, PROVIDING FOR THE DETAIL OF PERSONNEL AS STUDENTS AT TECHNICAL, PROFESSIONAL, OR OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ETC.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MARCH 27, 1940:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16, 1940, AS FOLLOWS: DURING THE PERIOD OF THEIR DETAIL MAY BE PAID FROM ANY FUNDS WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT BRANCHES.

BEFORE INAUGURATING THIS PROGRAM AND ENTERING INTO ANY CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL COURSES, YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1939, REFERRED TO ABOVE, CAN BE INTERPRETED TO INCLUDE CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL COURSES CONTEMPLATED FOR PERSONNEL OF THE AIR CORPS.

IT IS HOPED THAT FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION MAY BE GIVEN IN THIS INSTANCE AS THERE IS AN URGENT NEED FOR TRAINED PERSONNEL IN THE ARMY AIR CORPS TO PROPERLY MEET THE EXPANSION PROGRAM NOW UNDER WAY.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1939, 53 STAT. 556, PROVIDES:

WHEN THE FACILITIES OF THE ARMY FOR INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING IN AVIATION ARE DEEMED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO BE INSUFFICIENT HE MAY, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO ANY LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 127A OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED (10 U.S.C. 535), DETAIL PERSONNEL OF THE REGULAR ARMY AS STUDENTS AT ANY TECHNICAL, PROFESSIONAL, OR OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION, OR AS STUDENTS, OBSERVERS, OR INVESTIGATORS AT SUCH INDUSTRIAL PLANTS OR OTHER PLACES AS SHALL BE BEST SUITED TO ENABLE SUCH PERSONNEL TO ACQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF OR EXPERIENCE IN THE SPECIALTIES INCIDENT TO AVIATION IN WHICH THE TRAINING OF SUCH PERSONNEL IS ESSENTIAL: PROVIDED, THAT NO EXPENSE SHALL BE INCURRED BY THE UNITED STATES IN ADDITION TO THE AUTHORIZED EMOLUMENTS OF THE PERSONNEL SO DETAILED EXCEPT FOR THE COST OF TUITION AT SUCH EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, AND THE COST OF MAINTENANCE OF NECESSARY PERSONNEL WHO MAY BE DETAILED AS SUPERVISORS OR INSPECTORS AND OF THE EQUIPMENT ASSIGNED TO THEM FOR THEIR OFFICIAL USE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE TUITION FOR THE PERSONNEL DURING THE PERIOD OF THEIR DETAIL MAY BE PAID FROM ANY FUNDS WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT BRANCHES.

THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1940, ACT OF APRIL 26, 1939, PUBLIC, NO. 44, UNDER " AIR CORPS-- AIR CORPS, ARMY," APPROPRIATED FUNDS---

FOR CREATING, MAINTAINING, AND OPERATING AT ESTABLISHED FLYING SCHOOLS AND BALLOON SCHOOLS COURSES OF INSTRUCTION FOR OFFICERS, STUDENTS, AND ENLISTED MEN, INCLUDING COST OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES NECESSARY FOR INSTRUCTION, PURCHASE OF TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS, MACHINES, TEXTBOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, SCIENTIFIC AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, INSTRUMENTS, AND MATERIALS FOR THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL INSTRUCTION; * * *

IN SENATE REPORT NO. 80, 76TH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION, TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 3791, WHICH BECAME THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1939, THE PURPOSES AND NECESSITY FOR SECTION 2, HEREINBEFORE QUOTED, WERE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 2 AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO DETAIL ARMY PERSONNEL AS STUDENTS AT CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE IN AVIATION MATTERS. THE PRESENT TRAINING FACILITIES OF THE ARMY ARE INSUFFICIENT TO MEET THIS TRAINING PROBLEM; THEREFORE, IT IS NECESSARY TO UTILIZE THE TRAINING FACILITIES OF CERTAIN ACCREDITED CIVILIAN AVIATION SCHOOLS FOR THE TRAINING OF PERSONNEL OF THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT. PARTICULARLY DOES THIS PROGRAM CONTEMPLATE THAT PRIMARY FLYING TRAINING WILL BE GIVEN IN CIVILIAN SCHOOLS OVER A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 3 MONTHS FOR EACH STUDENT. WHILE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION IS TO AUTHORIZE PRIMARY FLYING TRAINING TO BE GIVEN IN CIVILIAN SCHOOLS, THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION WILL ALSO AUTHORIZE THE TRAINING IN CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONS OF OTHER SPECIALISTS. IN THE EVENT OF FAVORABLE ACTION UPON THE PROPOSED BILL, THE WAR DEPARTMENT MAY AT ITS DISCRETION ALLOCATE TO ACCREDITED CIVILIAN FLYING SCHOOLS SUCH PART OF THE REQUIRED FLYING TRAINING OF MILITARY PERSONNEL NOW OR TO BE CONDUCTED AT THE AIR CORPS TRAINING CENTER, AS MAY BE REQUIRED TO EFFECTUATE THE EXPANSION PROGRAM IN CONTEMPLATION. PRESENT PLANS CONTEMPLATE THAT INSTRUCTION SHALL BE PRESCRIBED AND SUPERVISED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE AIR CORPS.

THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION DOES NOT AFFECT EXISTING LAW AS FOUND IN PARAGRAPH 13, SECTION 127A OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY ACT OF JUNE 8, 1926, (44 STAT. 705; 10 U.S.C. 535), EXCEPT IN THE MATTER OF LIMITATION UPON NUMBERS OF AIR CORPS PERSONNEL WHO MAY BE THUS DETAILED AS STUDENTS. IN THIS MATTER, THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS GIVEN CONSIDERABLE LATITUDE IN THAT HE IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE SELECTIONS WITHOUT ANY LIMITATION IN NUMBER.

LITERALLY, THE LANGUAGE OF THE SAID SECTION 2, PROVIDING IN TERMS FOR THE DETAIL OF PERSONNEL AS STUDENTS AT TECHNICAL, PROFESSIONAL OR OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ETC., WOULD SEEM TO CONTEMPLATE THAT THEY BE PRESENT AND IN ATTENDANCE AT SUCH PLACES, AND THE PART OF THE SENATE REPORT QUOTED ABOVE LENDS NO SUPPORT TO A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE SECTION, BUT INSOFAR AS THE LIMITED CLASS OF PERSONNEL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 2 IS CONCERNED, THE PURPOSE OF THE SPECIAL TRAINING THEREIN AUTHORIZED IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT PROVIDED BY SECTION 127A OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 8, 1926, 44 STAT. 705, TITLE 10, U.S. CODE, SECTION 535. IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE DECISION DATED OCTOBER 21, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 393, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER SAID SECTION 127A (PRIOR TO THE AMENDMENT WHICH AUTHORIZED ENLISTED MEN TO BE SIMILARLY DETAILED) PAYMENT WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THE TUITION OF ARMY OFFICERS TAKING CORRESPONDENCE COURSES AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WHILE REMAINING AT THEIR RESPECTIVE POSTS OF DUTY, PROVIDED THE NUMBER OF OFFICERS SO DETAILED DID NOT CAUSE TO BE EXCEEDED THE STATUTORY LIMITATION THEREIN CONTAINED.

NO REASON IS APPARENT WHY THE SAME RULE SHOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 3, 1939, AND IF IT BE DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR THAT INSTRUCTIONS BY CORRESPONDENCE IS BEST SUITED TO ENABLE THE SELECTED PERSONNEL TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE OF OR EXPERIENCE IN THE SPECIALTIES INCIDENT TO AVIATION AND THAT THE TRAINING OF SUCH PERSONNEL IS ESSENTIAL, CORRESPONDENCE COURSES, LIMITED IN SCOPE TO SECURE SUCH TRAINING, REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS WITHIN THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF SAID SECTION 2. IT IS TO BE NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE EXPENSE OF CORRESPONDENCE COURSES UNASSOCIATED WITH AND HAVING NO DIRECT BEARING UPON THE ACQUISITION OF A "KNOWLEDGE OF OR EXPERIENCE IN THE SPECIALTIES INCIDENT TO AVIATION IN WHICH THE TRAINING OF SUCH PERSONNEL IS ESSENTIAL" WOULD NOT BE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 2 AND, CONSEQUENTLY, WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED.