Giving WASP Veteran Status

PUBLIC LAW 95-202--NOV. 23, 1977

Sec. 401. (a) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the service of any person as a member of the Women's Air Forces Service Pilots (a group of Federal civilian employees attached to the United States Army Air Force during World War II), or the service of any person in any other similarly situated group the members of which rendered service to the Armed Forces of the United States in a capacity considered civilian employment or contractual service at the time such service was rendered, shall be considered active duty for the purposes of all laws administered by the Veterans' Administration if the Secretary of Defense, pursuant to regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe--
  1. (A) after a full review of the historical records and all other available evidence pertaining to the service of any such group, determines, on the basis of judicial and other appropriate precedent, that the service of such group constituted active military service, and
  2. (B) in the case of any such group with respect to which such Secretary has made an affirmative determination that the service of such group constituted active military service, issues to each member of such group a discharge from such service under honor-and conditions where the nature and duration of the service of such member so warrants

Discharges issued pursuant to the provisions of the first sentence of this paragraph shall designate as the date of discharge that date, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, on which such service by the person concerned was terminated.

(2) In making a determination under clause (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to any group described in such paragraph, the Secretary of Defense may take into consideration the extent to which--

  1. (A) such group received military training and acquired a military capability or the service performed by such group was critical to the success of a military mission.
  2. (B) the members of such group were subject to military justice, discipline, and control,
  3. (C) the members of such group were permitted to resign,
  4. (D) the members of such group were susceptible to assignment for duty in a combat zone, and
  5. (E) the members of such group had reasonable expectations that their service would be considered to be active military service.

(b) (1) No benefits shall be paid to any person for any period prior to the date of enactment of this title as a result of the enactment of subsection (a) of this section.

(2) The provisions of section 106(a) (2) of title 38, United States Code, relating to election of benefits, shall be applicable to persons made eligible for benefits, under laws administered by the Veterans Administration, as a result of implementation of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.


Sec. 501. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on the first day of the first month beginning 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, except that the provisions of title I and section 304(a) (1) (A) shall be effective retroactively to October 1, 1977, the provisions of sections 201 and 202 shall become effective on January 1, 1978, the provisions of section 203 shall be effective retroactively to May 31, 1976, and the provisions of sections 301, 302(2), 304(a)(1)(B), 304(a)(2), 305(a)(3), 305(b)(3), 305(b)(4), 305(c), 306, 307, 308, 309, and 310 and of title IV shall be effective upon enactment.

Approved November 23, 1977.*


HOUSE REPORT No. 95--586 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).

SENATE REPORTS: No. 95--486 and No. 95--468, pt. II accompanying S. 457 (both for Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).


Sept. 12, considered and passed House.

Oct. 19, considered and passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 457.

Nov. 3, House agreed to Senate amendment with an amendment.

Nov. 4, Senate concurred in House Amendment.


Nov. 23, Presidential statement.

* On March 8, 1979 the service of the WASP was determined by the Secretary to be active military service. On May 21, 1979 the first Honorable Dishcharge from the Air Force was issued to a WASP.

Active duty status.

38 USC 106 note

Record review.





38 USC 101 note