The opinion of the court was delivered by: GESELL
In the fall of 1972, plaintiff Carol A. Miskill was a career Marine Corps officer stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, for a minimum 18-month tour. By letter dated June 11, 1973, Miskill tendered her resignation of her regular commission and requested a Reserve Commission, stating:
My reason for submitting my letter for resignation of permanent appointment is that I was married 24 April 1973 to Lt. (jg) Donald K. Miskill, Jr. and have recently obtained positive proof of my pregnancy . . . . I desire my resignation to become effective on or about 15 August 1973, so that I may return to CONUS [the continental United States] with my husband in October 1973 and begin Reserve Service.
Plaintiff and her husband, a Navy pilot, returned to the United States where plaintiff accepted a Marine Reserve commission. In 1979 plaintiff applied for and was accepted into full-time active service in the Reserves, where she is presently serving. In the meantime, plaintiff had advanced from the position of Lieutenant to Major.
At the time plaintiff offered her resignation, Marine Corps regulations provided for presumptive discharge of pregnant servicemen, although discharge might be waived upon application in the discretion of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. An earlier version of this regulation, which called for presumptive discharge with no possibility of waiver, was declared invalid as violating both the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Constitution in Crawford v. Cushman, 531 F.2d 1114 (2d Cir. 1976).
Although Miskill was not discharged but resigned her regular commission voluntarily to take up a Reserve commission, she claims that but for the 1973 presumptive discharge regulation she would have retained her status as a regular career officer, and that the 1973 regulation is also invalid under the standards of Crawford, supra. She brought this claim before the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) in 1980, requesting that the Board correct her military record to reflect that she was not discharged in 1973 from regular service but continued in active duty in the regular Corps until the present time. Plaintiff supported her application for relief with a detailed statement of the circumstances of her resignation and supporting documents reflecting this and her continued efforts to pursue a career in the Corps through the Marine Corps Reserve. The BCNR met and considered Miskill's application and by letter dated October 1, 1980, denied her requested relief. The BCNR found that plaintiff's resignation was motivated at least in part by her desire to return to the United States with her husband, and that since plaintiff had neither been discharged nor applied for a waiver, but had resigned voluntarily, it could not be said that she had been improperly discharged pursuant to an invalid regulation.
Defendant has moved for dismissal on a number of grounds and the Court has before it plaintiff's military record and the record that was before the BCNR. Defendant's motion shall be treated as a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). No material facts are in dispute and the motion must be granted and the complaint dismissed on the grounds that the action of the BCNR must be upheld under the relevant standard of review and judicial review of the underlying events in 1973 is barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
Section 2401(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that
every civil action commenced against the United States shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within six years after the right of action first accrues.
Plaintiff resigned her regular commission and entered the Reserves in 1973. This action was filed in 1983. On its face, plaintiff's challenge to the 1973 regulation appears to be barred by the statute. However, case law on the application of § 2401(a) is in disarray, and courts have frequently heard challenges to military courts-martial and discharges long after the statute would appear to have barred them. Walters v. Secretary of Defense, 533 F. Supp. 1068, 1070 (D.D.C. 1982), on appeal, Appeal No. 82-2089. See Homcy v. Resor, 147 U.S. App. D.C. 277, 455 F.2d 1345 (D.C. Cir. 1971); Ashe v. McNamara, 355 F.2d 277 (1st Cir. 1965).
The factors to be considered by the Court in determining whether to apply the statute have never been clearly articulated. However, based on a review of the cases this Court concludes that under all the circumstances of this case application of the statute to bar any challenge to the events of 1973 is appropriate.
Unlike other cases in which courts have reviewed challenges to military action after the six-year period, plaintiff in this case has not suffered either court-martial or involuntary administrative discharge under less than honorable conditions. Consequently, plaintiff is not tained with the "unmistakable social stigma which greatly limits the opportunities for both public and private civilian employment" associated with such discharge. Bland v. Connally, 110 U.S. App. D.C. 375, 293 F.2d 852, 858 (D.C. Cir. 1961); see Baxter v. Claytor, 209 U.S. App. D.C. 188, 652 F.2d 181 (D.C. Cir. 1981) (bad-conduct discharge following court-martial conviction); Van Bourg v. Nitze, 128 U.S. App. D.C. 301, 388 F.2d 557 (D.C. Cir. 1967) (discharge under conditions less than honorable); Homcy, supra (court-martial conviction and dishonorable discharge), and Ashe, supra (court-martial conviction and dishonorable discharge). Plaintiff resigned voluntarily, was offered and accepted a Reserve commission, and has since pursued a successful career in the Marine Corps Reserve. See Saffron v. Department of the Navy, 183 U.S. App. D.C. 45, 561 F.2d 938 (D.C. Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1033, 54 L. Ed. 2d 780, 98 S. Ct. 765 (1978) (statute of limitations applies to action by civilian employee of Navy challenging termination of employment).