A disbursing officer of the Marine Corps requested an advance decision as to whether a retired reservist, who had completed 5 years of continuous active duty and was not accepted when he volunteered for an additional tour of duty, was entitled to readjustment pay, which is an entitlement to facilitate reservists' readjustment to civilian pursuits if they are released from active duty against their wishes. Provisions of statutory law established the member's entitlement to readjustment pay upon release, but prior to his scheduled release a medical condition disqualified him for that release. He was ordered retained on active duty at the convenience of the Government, pending information on his medical condition. He was removed from the temporary disability retired list when he become fit for duty and was reappointed in the Marine Corps Reserve; he was then transferred to the retired list without pay and allowances since he lacked the age and service requirements to qualify for retired pay at that time. The case has been under consideration in a U.S. Court of Claims, and the presiding judge granted a stay, requesting a decision by GAO. GAO held that readjustment pay does not accrue to a Reserve officer who serves over 5 years of continuous active duty, if upon release from active duty the member is immediately eligible for retired pay, including temporary disability retired pay. Since a member on the temporary disability retired list is not on active duty when he is declared fit for duty and is removed from the list, he must begin a new period of 5 continuous years of active duty to qualify for readjustment pay. Accordingly, the claim was denied.
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