Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[ocr errors]

*

*

*

*

The act of May 11, 1908 (35 Stat., 106, 109), fixes the monthly pay of a private of Infantry, during his first enlistment, at $15, and further provides:

“ That hereafter any soldier honorably discharged at the termination of an enlistment period, who reenlists within three months thereafter shall be entitled to continuous-service pay as herein provided, which shall be in addition to the initial pay provided for in this Act and shall be as follows, namely:

For those whose initial pay as provided for herein is fifteen

dollars, an increase of three dollars monthly pay for and during the second and third enlistments each, and a further increase of one dollar for and during each subsequent enlistment up to and including the seventh, after which the pay shall remain as in the seventh enlistment: Provided,

that the present enlistment period of men now in service shall be determined by the number of years continuous service they have had at the date of the approval of this Act, under existing laws, counting three years to an enlistment

At the time of the enactment of this law enlistments in the Army were for three years, whereas enlistments in the Marine Corps were for four years; and the question arose as to what should constitute an“ enlistment period” in the Marine Corps within the meaning of said law. It was decided (15 Comp. Dec., 79) that in determining the enlistment period of enlisted men of the Marine Corps for purposes of pay each three years of continuous service should be counted as one enlistment period, without regard to discharge and reenlistment.

Applying the provisions of the act of May 11, 1908, supra, as construed in the decision above cited, to the case now under consideration we find that Private Henderson was serving in his third enlistment period at the date of approval of said act, and that his fourth enlistment period began March 29, 1910.

The act of August 24, 1912 (37 Stat., 569, 590), increased the term of enlistments in the Army to seven years (effective November 1, 1912), and provided

6* * * That for all enlistments hereafter accomplished under the provisions of this Act, four years shall be counted as an enlistment period in computing continuous service pay.

A question arose as to the effect of this provision upon the continuous-service pay of enlisted men in the Marine Corps, and in a decision of this office of August 14, 1913, rendered to Col. Richards, Paymaster, United States Marine Corps, it was said and held: 6 * *

that men reenlisted in the Marine Corps on or after November 1, 1912, within three months of their discharge from a former service, should be treated as in the enlistment period from which discharged until they have completed a service of four years, and after such service they should be treated as in the next enlistment period without regard to discharge and reenlistment.”

*

[ocr errors]

Under this rule Private Henderson would have to be regarded as in his fourth enlistment period until March 29, 1914, as he was serving in his fourth enlistment period at the time of his discharge, March 28, 1913, and would not complete a service of four years under such period until March 28, 1914. This would be manifestly unjust, because it would operate to make the four-year enlistment period provision applicable to service rendered prior to the date of the act.

It will be observed that the above-quoted provision in the act of August 24, 1912, increases the enlistment period from three years to four years " for all enlistments hereafter accomplished under the provision of this act.” The interpretation which I am informed has been placed upon this provision by the War Department, and which I believe to be correct, is that it does not extend either the

enlistment period ” or the term of service of men who on November 1, 1912, were serving in the Army under an enlistment entered into prior to said date. In other words, that said provision operates only upon enlistments in the Army entered into on or after November 1, 1912.

Private Henderson's service in the Marine Corps has been continuous since March, 1901. If he had served continuously in the Army since said date, under the above construction by the War Department of the act of August 24, 1912, he would have completed his fourth enlistment period (of three years) upon his discharge of March 28, 1913, and, upon his reenlistment under the provisions of said act, on March 29, 1913, he would have entered upon his fifth enlistment period, which would be a four-year period.

If this construction of the law as applied to enlisted men in the Army is correct, and I am of opinion that it is, the rule announced in the decision of this office of August 14, 1913, supra, applying the provisions of the law to enlistments in the Marine Corps should be modified, because it would not give to an enlisted man of the Marine Corps the same pay that an enlisted man of the Army of like grade and the same amount of service would be entitled to receive under the law as herein construed.

As hereinbefore stated, three years' continuous service in the Marine Corps was regarded as an “enlistment period” for the purpose of computing continuous-service pay under the act of May 11, 1908, without regard to discharge and reenlistment. That is to say, the completion of a three-year period of service in the Marine Corps and the entering upon another period of service therein (without regard to discharge or reenlistment) was the equivalent, so far as payment of continuous-service pay was concerned, of a discharge after completion of a term of enlistment in the Army and a reenlistment therein.

I see no reason why the same principle should not be applied in administering the act of August 24, 1912, thus treating the pro

[ocr errors]

vision of said act relative to the four-year enlistment period as effective in the case of enlisted men serving in the Marine Corps at the time of its enactment) upon the completion of the enlistment period in which serving on November 1, 1912, and the entering upon another period after said date, rather than upon an actual discharge and reenlistment after said date.

On November 1, 1912, Private Henderson was serving in his fourth three-year enlistment period. He completed said period March 28, 1913, hence the enlistment period upon which he entered March 29, 1913, should be treated as his fifth enlistment period which under the provisions of the act of August 24, 1912, consists of four years. He would not, therefore, be entitled to pay as of his sixth enlistment period until after March 28, 1917.

Answering your question specifically you are advised that Private Henderson is entitled to pay as of his fifth enlistment period ($23 per month) from and after his reenlistment of March 29, 1913.

The decision of this office of August 14, 1913, hereinbefore referred to, is hereby modified to conform to the views herein expressed.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

HEAT AND LIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS OF NAVAL OFFICERS.

Where the quantity of illuminant consumed in the quarters of a naval officer

occupying as quarters more than the authorized number of rooms is not
in excess of the quantity allowed for the number of rooms to which such
officer is entitled, payment for the quantity of illuminant consumed is

authorized.
Where, by reason of a defective meter, the quantity of illuminant consumed in

the quarters of a naval officer occupying as quarters more than the author-
ized number of rooms can not be exactly determined, the maximum quan-
tity of illuminant allowed the number of rooms to which such officer
18 entitled is not a proper basis for payment if there is available evidence
upon which can be based a reasonably correct estimate of the quantity of

Illuminant consumed. As to nature of this evidence see opinion.
A certificate of an officer with respect to the quarters occupied by him should

show specifically the nature of the quarters-entire house, rooms in private
house, etc.-and that the rooms so occupied do not include bathrooms,

storerooms, or rooms used in common with other guests.
Where a payment for heat and light allowance of an officer is made to a person

other than the officer or regular dealer in said supplies, the voucher should

show the capacity in which such person furnished the supplies.
Comptroller Downey to H. A. Dent, Pay Inspector, U. S. Navy, September 6, 1913:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 16th ultimo requesting my
decision of questions presented, as follows:

“ Certificates for heat and light furnished officers are inclosed, as follows:

1. C. W. Dyson, captain. 2. E. G. Kintner, assistant naval constructor,

3. G. T. Stevenson, chaplain.
4. H. H. Richards, chief boatswain.
5. L. B. Anderson, lieutenant.
6. George Helms, chief carpenter.
7. F. G. McKay, chief carpenter.
8. H. G. Jacklin, chief boatswain.
9. C. Blackburn, lieutenant (junior grade).
10. G. W. Haines, lieutenant.
11. G. M. Malkin, acting assistant surgeon.
12. H. A. Bispham, captain.
13. G. S. Willets, rear admiral.
14. T. C. Fenton, commander, retired.
15. F. H. Atkinson, assistant paymaster.
16. G. W. Pigman, paymaster.
17. E. S. Stalnaker, paymaster.
18. W. Wortman, lieutenant commander.
19. J. J. Hyland, lieutenant commander.
20. P. L. Carroll, ensign.

“ Under the provisions of the act approved July 31, 1894, your decision is requested as to whether or not I am authorized to pay same, it being assumed that the officers are on duty, which entitles them to heat and light.

“ In view of your decision of May 26 I am in doubt as to whether these vouchers are in correct form for payment. In numbers 1 to 5, inclusive, it appears that the officers occupy more than the authorized allowance of quarters, and the specific question is whether payment in kind should be made in full in these cases. In number 5 the additional question of a meter being out of order temporarily is involved.

“In numbers 6 to 20, inculsive, the first question is whether or not the certificate as to the number of rooms occupied is such as to meet the requirements of the accounting officers. It will be noted that the certificates as to the number of rooms occupied vary greatly. If these are not satisfactory it is requested that the form in which such evidence should be presented be given.

"An additional doubt has arisen also in view of articles 4514, paragraph 4, and 4515, paragraph 1, Navy Regulations, 1913, which read in part as follows: *

settlement will be made by the Government with the owner or authorized agent

“In certificates 6 to 20 there is nothing to show that the persons designated for payment are the owners or authorized agents.

“ If these certificates are not in proper form in that respect it is requested that the form of the evidence in regard thereto be given."

In the cases numbered consecutively from 1 to 4, supra, it appears that the quarters occupied in each case consisted of a greater numbers of rooms than the authorized allowance of the respective officers, but that said quarters were either houses or apartments with meters installed to measure the quantity of electricity or gas consumed. As the quantity consumed in each case as shown by the meter readings does not exceed the maximum allowance prescribed in the regulations for the number of rooms to which said officers were entitled payment in accordance with the certificates submitted, if

a

*

6

*

*

otherwise correct, is authorized (63 MS. Comp. Dec., 254, Oct. 18, 1912; 64 id., 830, Feb. 14, 1913; 19 Comp. Dec., 396). Attention is invited to the fact that in case number four electric current is charged for at the rate of 15 cents per kilowatt hour, whereas in the case of other officers occupying quarters in the same city (Philadelphia) electric current is charged for at the rate of 10 cents per kilowatt hour. This would appear to be an overcharge and should not be paid unless it can be satisfactorily explained.

In case No. 5 it would appear that the officer occupied as quarters a nine-room house (2513 South Nineteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa.); that a meter was installed to measure the quantity of electric current consumed; and that for the months in question, May and June, 1913, said meter was out of order so that the current consumed can not be exactly determined. The rank of the officer entitles him to four rooms as quarters, and it is proposed to pay the party furnishing the light the full amount prescribed in the regulations as the maximum allowance for four rooms.

The party furnishing the electric current in this case is entitled to pay only for the current actually consumed; and if, owing to a defective meter, the quantity consumed can not be exactly determined the best evidence obtainable upon which to base an estimate should be required, such as the record of the amount used during the same period of the preceding year, record of amount used for same quarters for preceding and subsequent months or for similar quarters during the months in question. (In this connection see 18 Comp. Dec., 280.) The maximum allowance fixed by the regulations is not a proper basis for payment in this case.

It is also proposed to pay the maximum heat allowance in this case without any explanation as to why fuel could not have been furnished in kind. Such payment is not authorized upon the facts presented.

As to the other cases (numbered from 6 to 20, inclusive), payment is not authorized upon any of the certificates submitted. Evidence should be furnished in each case showing whether the quarters occupied consist of an entire house, an entire apartment, or rooms in a private house, hotel, or club, etc. Said evidence should also show the number of rooms actually and exclusively occupied as quarters, and that said number does not include bathrooms, storerooms, halls, etc., nor rooms used in common with other guests or tenants, such as public dining rooms, kitchens, parlors, lobbies, halls, etc. (60 MS. Comp. Dec., 1080, Mar. 7, 1912; 66 id., 471, July 30, 1913; and decisions rendered by this office to the Secretary of the Navy Aug. 15 and 18, 1913.)

Where a payment for the heat or light allowance of an officer is made to any person other than the officer or a regular dealer in fuel

« AnkstesnisTęsti »