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Senator Duff. It only includes those who did subsequently so serve?
Mr. DARDEN. Yes, sir; that is correct. It is limited to those who served.
The committee has 2 bills on the subject, 1 of which was introduced by Senator Butler, of Maryland (S. 592), and the other 1 is this S. 2040, which the Department recommends enactment of, instead of the Butler bill.
They are different in at least three respects. The departmental bill would credit the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps service—the members of this auxiliary corps are known in military parlance as the WAACs would credit it in the form of amendment to the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948.
That difference between the two bills appears to be insignificant. However, the second difference is that the Butler bill would credit WAAC service only for those persons who subsequently served in the WAC, which was the Women's Army Corps and which was integrated and whose members were actually members of the Army.
Senator SYMINGTON. What is the difference between the WAAC and the WAC?
Mr. DARDEN. The difference, Senator, is the WAAC were an auxiliary and served with, but not in, the Army, and the WAC was in exactly the same status as the WAVES, the SPARS, and the Women Marines.
Senator DUFF. There is a matter of actual service; there is no question of the service. It was just in the technical setup in which that service was given; is that right?
Mr. DARDEN. Well, it was denominated in law as auxiliary Army service.
Senator DUFF. I know, but while they were not incorporated in, they were rendering a service in connection with.
Mr. DARDEN. They were serving with them. They wore uniforms. Their pay
scales were the same. Senator DUFF. In other words, the only distinction was the artificial distinction of incorporation; isn't that right?
Senator SYMINGTON. In other words, 1 was inhaling and 1 was exhaling but they were both pleasing; is that it?
Mr. DARDEN. Well, that is a fine point that the staff perhaps would not make as vigorous a presentation on as would the departmental witnesses. I don't know; I am not convinced that you can say it is exactly the
; same, but that is a matter of policy that once the committee is fully advised of
Senator DUFF. I think the two members of the committee would be inclined to agree and go along with them, that the technical difference as to whether or not they were incorporated wouldn't be vital. Do you agree with that?
Senator SYMINGTON. Yes, sir.
Senator DUFF. With that statement, do you ladies desire to be heard ?
General POWELL. We agree, certainly, Senator Duff.
Senator DUFF. I think we have resolved your difficulties; haven't we?
Colonel GALLOWAY. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DUFF. If that is so, we will overrule the staff in that particular.
Mr. DARDEN. I have here a statement by Brig. Gen. Herbert B. Powell and also a statement by T. O. Kraabel.
(The statements referred to follow:)
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. HERBERT B. POWELL ON BEHALF OF S. 2040
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Brig. Gen. Herbert B. Powell, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Department of the Army, representing the Department of Defense before your committee.
The proposed legislation, if enacted, would amend title I of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 (62 Stat. 356) to provide that active service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps on or after May 14, 1942 and before September 30, 1943 shall be credited as active military service for all purposes, provided that active military service in the Armed Forces is subsequently performed, and subject to the limitations that no back pay or allowances would be paid and no additional service would be credited for promotion purposes. The additional service credit would enable those former WAAC's who are participating in the Reserve program, as well as those remaining on active duty, to qualify for increased longevity pay and retirement credit. In certain instances, the additional service credit will enable reservists to qualify for retirement benefits at age 60 under title III, Public Law 810, 80th Congress.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was authorized by the act of May 14, 1942 (56 Stat. 278). The Women's Army Corps, Army of the United States, was established by the act of July 1, 1943 (57 Stat. 371), and the Women's Army Corps, Regular Army, was established by the act of June 12, 1948 (62 Stat. 356).
S. 2040 is a proposal that is part of the Department of Defense legislative program. The Department of Defense has a long record of opposing any bill which would give the same benefits for civilian service as are provided for service in the Armed Forces. That position remains unchanged. In the past, the Department of Defense has opposed granting service credit for Women's Army Auxiliary Corps service on the basis that such service was civilian service. A careful analysis of Women's Army Auxiliary Corps service indicates that such service was essentially military.
Unlike a variety of civilian groups, such as war correspondents, members of the merchant marine, American Red Cross personnel, and so forth, pay for the various grades in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was in accord with the then existing pay scales for the Regular Army, and was paid by the Army. This meant only $21 per month for the auxiliary for the first 4 months' service, the same rate of pay as for the male private.
Unlike civilian groups who were free to terminate their employment at will, the term of service of members of the Women's Auxiliary Corps was for the period of war, plus 6 months. Conditions governing discharge prior to expiration of term of service closely paralleled those of male members. The oath taken by members of the WAAC did not permit them to withdraw from the WAAC prior to the expiration of their enrollment periods. A WAAC could be discharged for the convenience of the Government only for the following reasons : Minority, dependency, disability, violation of code of conduct, undesirable habits or traits of character, fraudulent enrollment, conviction by civil court, convenience of the Government (to accept commission), convenience of individual in cases of utmost urgency, and on the basis of emotional instability. In addition, pregnancy was cause for discharge from the corps. When circumstances warranted such action, members of the WAAC were liable for discharge under other than honorable conditions.
Members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps were subject to military discipline imposed through a code of conduct prescribed by the Secretary of War, as well as being liable to trial by court-martial to the extent that they were subject to the Articles of War.
In addition to meeting the prerequisites of military pay, military length of service, and military discipline, there still remains another compelling reason for passage of S. 2040. Members of other women's organizations of the military service (WAVES, Women Marines, SPARS) established subsequent to the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps were given, immediately upon being organized, the status of Reserve components, and as such were serving in an active military capacity as opposed to their opposite members in the Army, who were considered to be in an auxiliary status. only, Thus, WAVES, Women Marines, and SPARS can have approximately 1 year more creditable service than former members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, who were changed from their auxiliary status to an Army of the United States status in September 1943, with no change in assignment or responsibility.
The proposed relief is a merited acknowledgment of pioneer voluntary service by American women whose successful performance of military duty constituted an essential element of the total World War II effort.
The Director of the Women's Army Corps; Col. Irene 0. Galloway, is present with me to answer your specific questions about the WAAC and the WAC.
STATEMENT OF T. 0. KRÁABEL, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL REHABILITATION COMMISSION,
THE AMERICAN LEGION, ON S. 2040. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the American Legión, appreciates this opportunity to testify in support of enactment by this 83d Congress of S. 2040.
The purpose of this bill is to define service as a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps as 'active military service provided there is subsequent active military or naval service in any component of any of the Armed Forces.
On September 3, 1953, our annual national convention assembled in St. Louis, Mo., adopted resolution No. 465. which sought enactment of the legislation proposed in this bill.
Authority for creation of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps for noncombatant service with the Army of the United States was conferred by Public Law 554, 77th Congress, approved May 14, 1942. The act provided that the corps shall not be a part of the Army:
07 July 1, 1943, Public Law 110, 78th Congress, was approved.' This act established in the Army of the United States the Women's Army Corps. As a component of this armed force, the corps replaced the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps which the act abolished as of September 30, 1943.
Members of the WAVES, Marines, and SPARS, were actually enlisted or commissioned in Reserve components of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. It was recognized by statute that they were serving in an active military capacity, unlike the women serving in the WAAC.
Some 50,000 women, we have been informed, who had served in the WAAC, served later in the WAC or other components of the armed force. Women on active duty with the other services gained active credit performing those functions carried on at the same time by the women auxiliaries of the Army, who received no credit. This is an inequality which we believe this Congress will want to remove.
Section 11, Public Law 554, 77th Congress, provided benefits for members of the WAAC under the United States Employees' Compensation Act. Public Law 10, 78th Congress, approved March 17, 1943, made available hospitalization and medical treatment, domiciliary care, and burial benefits under laws administered by the Veterans' Administration to former members of the corps.
S. 2040 would extend creditable service for the purposes of basic pay, retirement, and sererance pay. Many women now in the Armed Forces will become entitled to more active service credit. This bill will lengthen the active-service period to be credited for the purpose of State bonus laws. The measure will make these veterans eligible under compensation and pension laws administered by the Veterans' Administration.
The American Legion has consistently refrained from support of any legislation crediting civilian 'service as active military service. It is considered that the women who served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps performed military service and are thus as entitled to credit for active military service during the period they were on active duty between May 14, 1942 and September 30, 1943, if they had later service in the Armed Forces, as are those who served during the same period in the Women's Reserve of the Navy, Marines, or Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard.
We strongly urge early enactment of this benefiical legislation.