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SEC. 2. No person is entitled to an increase in retired or retirement pay because of this Act for any period before the effective date of this Act.
We will at this point receive the statement of our colleague from California, the author of the bill, Mr. Teague.
Mr. TEAGUE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the purpose of this bill, H. R. 471, is to give a fair break to certain retired officers of the Armed Forces who heretofore have been unjustly denied the pay of the rank in which they served. For instance, I know of one who served as a warrant officer and later was advanced to the rank of lieutenant shortly before retirement. Retirement pay in his case as a lieutentant is less than retirement pay as a warrant officer. Men in such a category would not be inclined to revert to lower rank by choice to get the better retirement pay, for the simple reason that their wives would rather be "Mrs. Lieutenant" than “Mrs. Chief Boatswain," or that neighbors might wrongly think they were demoted if mail came addressed in a lower rank. Loss of social prestige through loss of rank, whatever the reason may be, can be a serious thing
Only a very small number of service people would be affected by enactment of this bill, so therefore the cost would be virtually negligible in the overall military budget, as I understand it. The bill would correct an inequity.
The Defense Department report suggests an amendment to this bill to avoid retroactivity in pay entitlement, probably for budgetary reasons, a position which is entirely understandable and acceptable to
I respectfully request and urge favorable consideration of this bill
Mr. KILDAY. Lt. Hugh St. Clair Sease, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Retirement Division. Come around, Lieutenant Sease. Lieutenant, we will be glad to have your statement.
Lieutenant SEASE. Mr. Kilday, I do not have a statement to make. I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have.
Mr. KILDAY. Mr. Blandford, do you have anything to develop in addition to the statement
Mr. BLANDFORD. Is there anything in the statement which the chairman read with which you disagree?
Lieutenant SEASE. No, sir.
Mr. BLANDFORD. You do agree that this will be applicable to 10 or fewer officers?
Lieutenant SEASE. The actual numbers I am not positive of-
Lieutenant SEASE. Excuse me. The actual numbers I am not positive of, but I believe that that is approximately correct.
Mr. BLANDFORD. And your only recommendation is with regard to an amendment to the citation and that it not be retroactive?
Lieutenant SEASE. Definitely.
Mr. BATEs. Were there any advantages to them not to revert back to their warrant rank?
Lieutenant SEASE. I cannot think of any, sir.
Lieutenant SEASE. Prestige would be the only thing that would keep a man for reverting back, say, from lieutenant to warrant officer.
Mr. BATEs. Don't we have any saving clause in that type of legislation which would permit them to hold the rank but get the highest pay to which they may be entitled ?
Lieutenant SEASE. Not under that law.
Mr. BLANDFORD. We now have a provision in the law which we put in in 1955, when this situation became very apparent. This actually developed, when we started upgrading the warrant officer structure and we created the four warrant grades, we reached a point where warrant officers were drawing considerably more pay, particularly the W-3 or W-4 pay than a lieutenant (j. g.) or lieutenant and possibly lieutenant commander, depending upon length of service. That is what really brought this problem about. You actually have a case of say an individual who was entitled to the highest warrant grade retired pay, but because he had been advanced to the highest grade, the law said he had to draw the pay of the highest grade.
Mr. KILDAY. Of course, the question comes up because of the election period contained in the Career Compensation Act of 1949. There were several groups in various services who had held commissioned status and enlisted status or warrant status. They were faced with the necessity of electing whether they would prefer more money, perhaps, under the Career Compensation Act or more prestige under previously existing laws. The only thing involved actually is the period of 1 year in which they had to make the election, because subsequent to the Career Compensation Act there were laws which made it to their advantage to change. I realize there is some feeling once he has elected, he ought not to be permitted to elect again. But that is pretty technical when the man is faced with more money or more prestige and he makes that decision.
Mr. Gavin. I move the bill be reported favorably.
The next bill is H. R. 7902, a bill to authorize travel and transportation allowances in the case of certain members of the uniformed services.
(The bill is as follows :)
[H. R. 7902, 85th Cong., 1st sess.] A BILL To authorize travel and transportation allowances in the case of certain members
of the uniformed services
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 3 of the Act of August 11, 1955 (69 Stat. 691), is amended by amending the second sentence to read as follows: "No additional amount may be paid as a result of the enactment of this section to a member of a uniformed service who was retired, discharged, or placed on the temporary disability retired list before August 11, 1955, unless travel to a home selected by that member was performed
(1) before April 29, 1953;
(2) within one year after that retirement, discharge, or placement on the temporary disability retired list; or
(3) within one year after a period of hospitalization or medical treatment which prevents qualification under clauses (1) or (2).” Mr. KILDAY, Mr. Gubser of California is the author of the bill. Mr. GUBSER. Mr. Blandford will explain it. Mr. KILDAY. We will include this statement in the record. (The statement is as follows:)
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize travel and transportation allowance in the case of certain members of the uniformed services.
In 1935, this subcommittee considered and the Congress subsequently enacted Public Law 368, an act designed to put members of the Reserve components in the same position as Regular members of the uniformed services, with respect to the right to select a home upon discharge, retirement, or placement on the temporary disability retired list for the purpose of collecting travel and transportation allowance for themselves and their dependents.
Prior to enactinent of that law, Regular members of the uniformed services had the right to so select a home, but members of the Reserve components were entitled to travel and transportation benefits only to their home of record upon entry into active service.
Public Law 368, which was approved on August 11, 1935, was retroactive to April 1, 1951. However, it contained a provision in section 3 that no additional almount could be paid members of the uniformed services as a result of its enactment unless travel to such selected horne was performed on or prior to April 28, 1953, or within 1 year after such retirement, lolacement on the disability retired list, or discharge, whichever was later. Because of this limitation upon actually performing the travel, a small number of individuals could not avail themselves of the benefits of Public Law 368 because physical incapacity prevented their actually performing the travel within the limiting 1-year period.
Thus, the purpose of the proposed legislation is to correct this inequity for these few individuals by amending section 3 of I’ublic Law 368 to provide entitlement to selection of a home for these people, provided the travel to that home was performed within 1 year after the period of hospitalization or Inedical Treatment.
Mr. GUBSER. I yield to Mr. Blandford. Mr. BLANDFord. I think the best way to explain this bill is to read the Ramseyer on this bill. Mr. KILDAY. This is one of those travel allowance things that is always very difficult and technical. Mr. BLANDFord. In 1955, in an effort to take care of the people who were placed on the temporary disability retired list and also to take care of Reserves who retired for ..o. we passed on August 11, 1955, the following act, with this section in it: This Act shall be effective from April 1, 1951, no additional amount may be paid to the members of the uniformed services as a result of enactment of this amendatory Act unless travel to such elected home he on or prior to April 28, 1953, or within one year after such retirement, placement upon the temporary disability retired list or discharge whichever is later. It has now been disclosed that there are some certain number of individuals who could not perform that travel within that period of time because actually they were hospitalized and not discharged within 1 year. So that what they recommend is that the law would read: No additional amount may be paid as a result of the enactment of this section to a member of a uniformed service who is retired, discharged or placed on the temporary disability retired list before August 11, 1955, unless travel to a home selected by that member was performed, (1) before April 29, 1953, (2) within one year after that retirement discharge or placement on the temporary disability retired list, or (3) within one year after a period of hospitalization or Inedical treatment which prevents qualification under clauses 1 or 2. The hospitalization provision is the one that is important. This question was actually discussed in 1955 when we had these hearings in 1955 and the witness at that time didn't think that a problem would come up. The subcommittee did think the problem would come up. Mr. KILDAY. At that point I think we .. hear from the Department. Colonel Quinlan, Mr. Baier, and Mr. Spence, will you come around, please? You can all take seats there at the table together. Do you have a statement?
Colonel QUINLAN. Yes, I have a statement which I will read or
offer for insertion in the record, as you desire.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Lt. Colonel E. W. Quinlan, Office, Chief of Finance, United States Army. If enacted, this legislation would amend the act of August 11, 1955 (Public Law 368, 84th Cong.), to provide authority between April 1, 1951, and August 11, 1955, for travel and transportation allowances to a home of selection for members who were confined in a Government hospital on date of separation from active service, provided such members performed the travel before April 29, 1953. or within 1 year after release from the hospital. The facts which created the need for this legislation are these: The joint travel regulations, effective April 1, 1951, provided authority for travel and transportation allowances for all retired members (Reserves and Regulars) to a home of selection, provided travel was performed within 1 year after termination of active duty. The provision therein relating to members of the Reserve components were held to be invalid by the Comptroller General in a decision dated September 21, 1953, because section 303 of the Career Compensation Act did not contain authority which would authorize such allowances to a home of selection for Reserve members. Effective September 1, 1953, the joint travel regulations were changed to provide that if members were hospitalized on date of retirement, the time limitation to travel to a home of selection was extended to 1 year after release from the hospital. However, because of the Comptroller General's decision, this provision was applicable only to members of the Regular components. Section 303 of the Career Compensation Act was amended by the act of August 11, 1955 (Public Law 368), to correct the inequity between Regulars and reservists by supplying permanent authority for travel and transportation for reservists to a home of selection. Specifically, that act provided for payment of travel ant! transportation allowances to all members of the uniformed services to a home of selection when (1) a member is retired for physical disability or placed upon the temporary disability retired list, or (2) is retired with pay for any other reason. or discharged with severance pay immediately following at least 8 years of continuous active duty. Section 3 of the amendatory act made the provisions retroactive to April 1, 1951, and provide that no additional amounts could be paid members as a result of the act unless travel to the selected home was performed before April 29, 1953 (1 year after the termination of the national emergencies) or within 1 year after retirement, discharge, or placement on the temporary disability retired list, whichever was later. This bill would provide authority for members, otherwise eligible to select a home under the retroactive provisions of the act of August 11, 1955 (Public Law 368), who could not qualify because of being confined in a hospital or undergoing treatment and were prevented from traveling to a home of selection within the time limitation imposed by section 3 of that act. This includes— (1) Members (Regular and Reserve) whose names were placed on the temporary disability retired list, (2) Members (Regular and Reserve) discharged with severance pay with 8 or more years of continuous active duty immediately prior to discharge. (3) Members of the Reserve components, retired with pay immediately following 8 years of continuous active duty, and (4) Members of the Regular components retired with pay with 8 or more years of continuous active duty between the dates of April 1, 1951, and September 1, 1953. To obtain uniformity and equitable treatment for Reserve and Regular members, this bill should be enacted. Current regulations authorize such travel allowances. If enacted, this legislation will not increase the budgetary requirements of the Department of I)efense. Amounts due members who can qualify will be absorbed in the current appropriations. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. If you have any questions, I shall be happy to answer them.
Mr. KILDAY. Are there any questions?
Colonel QUINLAN. Mr. Blandford explained it quite well. Mr. RIVERs. Do you agree with it? Colonel QUINLAN. Yes, sir, his explanation was 100 percent correct. Mr. Rivers. You agree with it 100 percent, too? Colonel QUINLAN. "Yes, sir. Mr. BATEs. This is just for officers? Colonel QUINLAN. All members. Mr. BLANDFORD. This actually goes into the question of a person being able to select a place to which his household effects—to which he and his effects will be transported when he retires for disability. The question arises: The Regular officers can always select the home to which he wants to send his gear. The Reserve officer could not. Also, it was disclosed that for some reason or other the Comptroller General ruled that an officer placed on the temporary disability retired list, including Regulars, could not select a home but had to be controlled by his home of record. Well, when a Reserve comes on active duty and stays on for a period of time, it is assumed that he is a career reservist just as a Regular, and many of these people, for health reasons, had to move to California or Arizona, or something of that nature and— Mr. BATEs. Or Massachusetts. Mr. BLANDFORd. Yet their home of record might have been Red Bank, N. J., or some place of that nature. And the cost of travel— of course, they could only be compensated from the place of discharge to their home of record. Mr. Rivers. That is confined to the continental limits? Mr. BLANDFORD. Confined to the continental limits except you can have your gear shipped to an embarkation point and they won't pay to take it off if you are going to go to Hawaii or Europe. Mr. RIVERS. Hawaii is the continental limits. Mr. BLANDFord. No, I don’t believe so. Mr. RIVERS. What about Alaska? Colonel QUINLAN. Alaska and Hawaii you are allowed to have your household goods shipped there. Mr. BLANDFORD. § to the point of embarkation? Colonel QUINLAN. No, sir. If that is your home of record. Mr. BATEs. This applies to everybody? An enlisted man automatically has the right to have his household goods shipped to his place entering the service. But to any other point, does he have that right, a new election? Colonel QUINLAN. Under this he would if he were hospitalized. Mr. BATEs. What would he do under the bill we are trying to amend? Mr. BLANDFord. He would have the same right asColonel QUINLAN. All members are in the same position, be they enlisted or officer. Mr. WILSON. I would like to have either Mr. Gubser or Mr. Blandford explain the significance of the dates in this. Mr. BLANDFord. If you want me to explain the dates, the 1953 date was based, I think, upon a Comptroller General's decision, if I recall correctly. The 1955 date is the law we passed in 1955 to take care of this situation. The 1953 date was the date that either the Comptroller General issued his ruling, or the regulations were changed, which denied a person that right. We had some retroactive claims that