10 U.S. Code § 6483 - Retired members: grade

§ 6483.
Retired members: grade

An officer who has been advanced on the retired list or in the Retired Reserve under former section 6150 of this title to a grade above captain in the Navy or above colonel in the Marine Corps, when recalled to active duty, may, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, be recalled either in the grade he holds on the retired list or in the Retired Reserve or in the grade from which he was advanced.

(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 417; Pub. L. 85–422, § 6(5), May 20, 1958, 72 Stat. 129; Pub. L. 88–132, § 5(m), Oct. 2, 1963, 77 Stat. 215; Pub. L. 90–623, § 2(10), Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1314; Pub. L. 96–513, title III, § 363, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2903.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


34 U.S.C. 410n (1st proviso).

Aug. 7, 1947, ch. 512, § 412(a) (1st proviso), 61 Stat. 874; Oct. 12, 1949, ch. 681, § 522(a), 63 Stat. 835.

50 U.S.C. 1052(c) (2d sentence).

July 9, 1952, ch. 608, § 413(c) (2d sentence), 66 Stat. 500.

Subsection (a) states the general rule that a retired officer, when recalled to active duty, shall be recalled in the grade he holds on the retired list. The rule is derived, not from a specific provision of law, but from the fact that special legislative authority is required to recall a retired officer in any other grade.

The desirability of including a positive statement of the rule is pointed up by the legislative history of the Act of February 21, 1946, ch. 34, § 8(a), 60 Stat. 28, amending the Act of July 24, 1941, ch. 320, § 10(d), 55 Stat. 605 (34 U.S.C. 350i(d)). The 1946 amendment states the rule, but only as to a limited class of retired personnel, namely persons temporarily appointed or promoted under the 1941 Act while on the retired list. The amendment provided that such persons, when released to inactive duty, should be given the highest grade in which they had served satisfactorily and, if subsequently recalled to active duty, should be recalled in the grade so accorded them. The legislative history shows that the bill (S. 1405, 79th Cong., 1st sess.), originally was written so as to provide that retired personnel should be recalled in their prior permanent grades or ratings instead of in the higher grades accorded them on the retired list while on inactive duty. When a member of the Naval Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives suggested an amendment to allow retired personnel to be recalled in the higher grades, the Navy spokesman pointed out that no law was required to permit this; in fact, retired personnel would be required to be recalled in the grades they hold on the retired list in the absence of any law to the contrary. Thus the result desired by the committee member could be achieved, simply by deleting the provision instead of amending it. After some discussion, however, it was decided to adopt the suggested amendment in order not to “leave things to inference” (H. Rept. No. 158, December 6, 1945, pp. 2290–2292).

Section 412(a) of the Officer Personnel Act of 1947 (34 U.S.C. 410n) (codified, except for the first proviso, in § 6150 of this title), supplies a further reason why a positive statement of the rule is desirable. That section provides that an officer who has been specially commended for the performance of duty in actual combat shall, when retired, be placed on the retired list in the grade next higher than that in which serving at the time of retirement. The first proviso, codified in subsection (b) of this section, provided further that an officer advanced under § 412(a) to a flag or general officer grade could be recalled either in the advanced grade or in the grade from which advanced. The law was silent as to the grade in which other officers advanced under § 412(a) should be recalled. It was understood that they would be recalled in the advanced grade accorded them on the retired list, because there was no authority to recall them in any other grade. However, the Comptroller General raised a question as to their right to the pay of the higher grade when recalled. Although the final decision of the Comptroller General was in favor of the higher pay (30 Comp. Gen. 242, December 20, 1950), the fact that the question was raised indicates the confusion that results from leaving the rule to inference.

It appears that the rule was never in doubt until after the enactment of the two recent laws cited above, one applying the rule to a limited class, and one stating a discretionary exception without stating the rule itself. These two laws make it more difficult than it was formerly to derive the correct conclusion by inference alone.


1980—Pub. L. 96–513 struck out provisions formerly set out as subsec. (a) which authorized each retired member of the naval service, when called to active duty, to be recalled in the grade held by him on the retired list and deleted subsec. (b) designation from remaining provisions.

1968—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 90–623 inserted “former” before “section 6150”.

1963—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 88–132 repealed subsec. (c) which provided for recomputation of retired pay of retired members of the naval service, recalled to active duty in the higher grade for officers specially commended and released from such duty, on basis of the then monthly basic pay of the grade held on the retired list after continuous 2-year period of service. See section 1402 of this title.

1958—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 85–422 added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–513 effective Sept. 15, 1981, but the authority to prescribe regulations under the amendment by Pub. L. 96–513 effective on Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701 of Pub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 90–623 intended to restate without substantive change the law in effect on Oct. 22, 1968, see section 6 of Pub. L. 90–623, set out as a note under section 5334 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Effective Date of 1963 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 88–132 effective Oct. 1, 1963, see section 14 of Pub. L. 88–132, set out as a note under section 201 of Title 37, Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services.

Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 85–422 effective June 1, 1958, see section 9 of Pub. L. 85–422.


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