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Now, he was called up in Korea. You know the standards were reduced there and men were called up for physical reasons that had been reiected in World War II. Mr. DUCANDER. Mr. Chairman. Mr. BRooks. Yes. Mr. DUCANDER. Another example, which is a real good example, I think, is the case of an airline pilot who volunteered for active duty during World War II as a member of a Reserve component. He was a Reserve officer. But they would not take him because he was of more use in his civilian occupation. After the war he leaves his occupation as an airline pilot, he is doing something else, and he is continuing in the Reserve and then Korea comes along and he is called up as a Reserve officer. The law says that a member of the Reserve comonent prior to August 1945, in order to secure retirement benefits as a |. officer, must have served in World War I or World War II. o the man who serves in Korea under the law today is not eligible. Mr. BRooks. Thank you very much, Mr. Marshall. Mr. PRICE. Were there a great number of those cases? Mr. BRooks. No. Mr. MARSHALL. Mr. Chairman, I wish to call to your attention that the Defense Department has recommended a change because of the recodification of some of these regulations, which I believe they have sent up to you. And I would like to say that that is in accord with my wishes also. Mr. BRooks. Why don't you have a seat right there, sir, and let's hear from the Defense Department witness while you are here. Mr. MARSHALL. All right. Mr. BRooks. Then we see what they recommend in the way of an amendment. Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, and other members of your committee, for the opportunity of appearing. Mr. BRooks. We are happy to have you, sir. Mr. DUCANDER. Colonel Zehala. Mr. BRooks. Colonel, you are Col. Michael A. Zehala? Colonel ZEHALA. Right, sir. Mr. BRooks. And you have a short statement in reference to H. R. 781, by Mr. Marshall, of Minnesota? Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. Would you care to take your statement up, sir? Colonel ZEHALA. If I may, sir. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am Lt. Col. Michael A. Zehala, Office of the Adjutant General, Department of the Army. The Department of the Army has been designated as the representative of the Department of Defense on this legislation. I have a prepared statement which I would like to present to the subcommittee. The purpose of H. R. 781 is to make eligible for retirement benefits under title III of the Army and Air Force Vitalization and Retirement Equalization Act of 1948, now codified as chapter 67 of title 10, United States Code, those individuals who were members of the Reserve components, on or before August 15, 1945, but who did not perform active duty in either the World War I or World War II periods but did perform active duty during the period of the Korean War.
The Department of Defense favors the extension of such retirement benefits to a small group of Reserve personnel who would be eligible for this benefit but É. the fact that they do not meet the requirement of having performed active service during World Wars I or II. During World War II these persons were employed in the merchant marine, in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or as commercial airline pilots or in defense work, and because of the critical nature of their employment they were not ordered to active service. They did, however, perform active service during the Korean war. As they were subject during that service to the same hardships and dangers that confronted personnel who served during World War I or II, it is felt that in Ali fairness and equity they should be eligible for this Reserve benefit. Accordingly, the Department of Defense favors enactment of H. R. #. as amended to reflect the codification of laws affecting the Armed Orces. I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before the subcommittee and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Mr. BRooks. Colonel, how many people are involved in this bill, that will be benefited by it? Colonel ZEHALA. We have not made a firm estimation due to the amount of work in reviewing the thousands of records of individuals who were called during the Korean conflict. However, in the preceding consideration by the House of the bill, it was estimated approximately 200. Mr. BRooks. Do you think that that estimate is a fairly accurate estimate? Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir; I do. Mr. BRooks. At this time? Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir; I do. Mr. BRooks. Now, what benefits, additional benefits will these men who served in korea, who were reservists during World War II or World War I—what additional benefits will they receive? Colonel ZEHALA. In addition to the entitlement to retired pay, the are permitted post exchange privileges, post theater privileges—well, the last one is hardly possible. If they had 8 years active duty immediately preceding being granted retirement pay, they could also get hospitalization. But I doubt seriously that any of these would fit in the latter category. Mr. BRooks. I don't see how they could have 8 years active. Colonel ZEHALA. No, sir. Mr. BRooks. Continuous active duty. Colonel ZEHALA. No, sir. Those are the benefits that are allowed individuals retired under this title III, public law 810. Mr. BRooks. Would it be continuous active duty or 8 years prior active duty? Colonel ZEHALA. Eight years prior active duty. Mr. BRooks. But not continuous active duty? Colonel ZEHALA. No, sir. Mr. BRooks. Of course, it is possible that a man on active duty might have been placed on inactive duty during World War II and then called back to active duty, and have a total of 8 years prior active duty? Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. That is possible, isn't it?
Mr. BROOKS. So they will get retirement benefits under 810, is that it?
Colonel ZEHALA. Public Law 810. That is the old
Mr. BROOKS. Public Law 810, and they will get commissary privileges.
Colonel ZEHALA. Right, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. Excepting if there is any case at all where a man served 8 years prior active duty before Korea.
Colonel ZEHALA. Then he could get hospitalization.
Mr. BROOKS. Let me ask you: Are you going to try to reach those individuals or are you going to depend on them coming to the service and requesting it?
Colonel ZEHALA. Sir, we have no immediate way of identifying them. However, through the normal publications and the normal publicity given a thing of this kind, I think it will reach them.
Mr. BROOKS. You might depend on men like Miles Kennedy we have back there, with the American Legion, to reach out and locate these veterans-I mean all patriotic organizations.
Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Mr. Chairman. Could you tell us how many would be affected?
Colonel ZEHALA. It is estimated about 200.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. How many of them are merchant marine or with the merchant marine?
Colonel ZEHALA. I wouldn't know, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Isn't it true that while they were in the merchant marine that they could have collected a handsome monthly pay plus a bonus for being in the war zone?
Colonel ZEHALA. I am not positive of that,sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. I think we should look into it. And then the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They were on the Government payroll, and I think they are entitled to some kind of retirement benefits from their civilian employment.
Have we a report on the bill?
Mr. Brooks. I think the main thing is that they were serving in Korea.
Mr. Van Zandt. Are you talking about Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Mr. BROOKS. No; I mean the fact that they served in Korea and therefore they wouldn't be- although they served in Korea.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. I am thinking about World War II, Mr. Chairman.
My experiences with members of the merchant marine in the far Pacific during World War II were not good. They were collecting a bonus.
Mr. Price. Mr. Chairman, as I understand this legislation, though, they would have to participate in the Korean war, would they not?
Colonel ZEHALA. Definitely; ves, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. I understand that, but during the course of World War II they were not in the military. They were in the merchant marine.
Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDr. And now we are giving them credit under Public Law 810 for the time they were in the Reserve during the course of World War II.
Mr. PRICE. Jim, I think the difference here is that the provision of the other act was to make certain that they had participated in a wartime activity. At the time of the passage of the act we didn't anticipate Korea.
Colonel ZEHALA. That is correct.
Mr. BROOKS. For instance--Colonel, if I may interrupt my distinguished colleague, one of these men could have left the merchant marine and sent to Korea and had his arm shot off or his leg shot off over there and come back and he would not be entitled to retirement privileges under 810.
Colonel ZEHALA. Not under 810, no, sir.
As I understand it, Colonel, io make an individual, we will say Vr. X, eligible for benefits under Public Law 810 and in view of the fact that he was not on active duiv during World War II, but he was on active duty in Korea, it is necessary to amend the law?
Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir.
Vir. Vax ZANDT. Now comes the question. In arriving at the 20 or 30 years of satisfactory service, which would include Korea, will vou include in those 20 or 30 years of satisfactory service the time he was on inactive duty as a reservist in World War II if he was in the merchant merine during World War II?
Colonel ZEHALA. All of his service would be included during the period in which he held an active or, let me say, current reserve appointment. If during World War II he held a current appointment in the Reserve or National Guard, that service would be creditable.
Mr. Brooks. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. Price. I think what the gentleman from Pennsylvania is getting at is something that naturally occurred. You are thinking of a
man who sat out World War II. But the fellow who served in World War II may have sat out the Korean war. And if this legislation had been enacted after the Korean war, it would have automatically included the Korean war. Is that the situation?
Colonel ZEHALA. Yes, sir. The proviso is that the original bill says that an individual who was appointed prior to August 16, 1945, must have served in either World War I or World War II.
Mr. PRICE. Yes. And the act was enacted in about 1948.
Mr. PRICE. So if it had been enacted in 1953 the Korean war would have been included.
Colonel ZEHALA. More than likely; yes, sir.
Mr. Brooks. Colonel, if I may ask this question in reference to the matter that Mr. Van Zandt was following: that applies to a requirement in 810 which makes eligible those people who prior to the enactment of the act were in the service 10 years?
Isn't there some stipulation like that I mean have been in the Reserves for 10 years, and in the event they had been, then they must have served in World War I or World War II?
Colonel ZEHALA. Well, the requirement, sir, is 20 years' satisfactory service.
Mr. BROOKS. I understand that is the normal requirement.
Colonel ZEHALA. Now, it is possible that an individual who was appointed prior to August 16, 1945
Mr. Brooks. That is the date the act was passed?
Colonel ZEHALA. The act was passed in June 1948, but it specifies if he were appointed prior to August 16, 1945, he must have served in World War I or World War II in order to be eligible for the benefits.
Mr. BROOKS. So, it wouldn't in effect be giving credit, generally speaking, to those who served in the Reserve but who did not take part in an active conflict. It wouldn't be establishing that precedent, but would simply apply to that group that had been in the Reserve appointed prior to the enactment of this statute.
Colonel ZEHALA. Prior to August 16, 1945. That is the only group that would be affected by this legislation. If they were appointed prior to August 16, 1945, and did not serve in World War I or II but did serve on extended active duty during the Korean war, then they would be eligible.
Mr. BROOKS. That was the clause-that was the only way, as I remember, that we dated the bill back to cover groups that has been in the Reserves and on active duty; isn't that correct?
Colonel ZEHALA. I am sorry, I didn't quite follow that, sir.