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The Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Logistics and Financial Management) requested an advance decision as to whether the service Secretaries may retroactively promote an enlisted member. Current regulations do not provide retroactive entitlement to increased pay and allowances for retroactive promotions of enlisted members; this includes cases in which unavoidable administrative errors or delays in promotions occur through no fault of the enlisted member. The only method by which an enlisted member may collect backpay and allowances is to submit an application to his service's Board for Correction of Military Records. GAO held that, without a statute that specifically empowers the service Secretaries to retroactively promote enlisted members, there is no authority for making payment from the earlier date. GAO also held that, under 10 U.S.C. 1552, the service Secretaries, when acting through boards of civilians, may correct any military record of their department and that such a correction is effective for retroactive payment of pay allowances.


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