B-114672, APR 24, 1953

B-114672: Apr 24, 1953

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REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED. WAS PLACED ON DETACHED SERVICE WITH HIS CONSENT AT HIS HOME. IT BEING PROVIDED THAT HE WAS SUBJECT TO RECALL AT ANY TIME FOR FURTHER PROCESSING AND THAT ALL TRAVEL INVOLVED WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT HAVING BEEN DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR DUTY BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY. HE WAS PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST AT BROOKE ARMY HOSPITAL. THE FORM WHICH HE USED STATES THAT IT WAS EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT SHOULD HE BE PERMANENTLY RETIRED FROM THE MILITARY SERVICE HE HAD ONE YEAR "FROM DATE OF RETIREMENT" TO SELECT A HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVEL THERETO AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.

B-114672, APR 24, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES H. COMINGS, FC, DISBURSING OFFICER:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY 1ST INDORSEMENT DATED APRIL 10, 1953, YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1953, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF PRIVATE JOHN W. BREEDLOVE, JR., RA, RETIRED, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HIS TRAVEL FROM BROOKE ARMY HOSPITAL, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, TO CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED.

BY PARAGRAPH 26, SPECIAL ORDERS 142, DATED JULY 3, 1952, PRIVATE BREEDLOVE, HAVING APPEARED BEFORE THE PHYSICAL EVALUATION BOARD AT BROOKE ARMY HOSPITAL, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, WAS PLACED ON DETACHED SERVICE WITH HIS CONSENT AT HIS HOME, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, EFFECTIVE JULY 3, 1952, TO AWAIT FINAL ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON THE BOARD'S FINDINGS, IT BEING PROVIDED THAT HE WAS SUBJECT TO RECALL AT ANY TIME FOR FURTHER PROCESSING AND THAT ALL TRAVEL INVOLVED WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. BY PARAGRAPH 85, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 165, DATED AUGUST 15, 1952, IT HAVING BEEN DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR DUTY BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY, HE WAS PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST AT BROOKE ARMY HOSPITAL, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 31, 1952. THE ORDERS STATED THAT HE WOULD PROCEED TO HIS HOME AT PROPER TIME. ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1952, HE FURNISHED AN ITINERARY SHOWING THAT HE TRAVELED FROM THE HOSPITAL TO CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, JULY 3 TO 6, 1952, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE FORM WHICH HE USED STATES THAT IT WAS EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT SHOULD HE BE PERMANENTLY RETIRED FROM THE MILITARY SERVICE HE HAD ONE YEAR "FROM DATE OF RETIREMENT" TO SELECT A HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVEL THERETO AT PUBLIC EXPENSE. WHILE THE RECORD DOES NOT CLEARLY SHOW THAT HE SELECTED CHATTANOOGA AS HIS HOME UPON RETIREMENT, APPARENTLY IT IS HIS INTENTION TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL THERETO INCIDENT TO HIS RETIREMENT, THUS IMPLYING SUCH SELECTION.

SECTION 303(A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED "UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS" UPON RETIREMENT FORM LAST STATION TO HOME. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 1150-3) THAT IN CONNECTION WITH RETIREMENT THE TERM "HOME" MEANS THE PLACE WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL SELECTS AND PERFORMS TRAVEL TO WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF RETIREMENT; THAT (PARAGRAPH 3000) REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN ANTICIPATION OF OR PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS; AND THAT (PARAGRAPH 4153, CASE 12A) A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE TO HIS HOME UPON PERMANENT RETIREMENT PROVIDED THAT HE PERFORMS TRAVEL THERETO DURING THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD.

THUS, THE LAW AND REGULATIONS CLEARLY PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL UPON RETIREMENT ONLY WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED PURSUANT TO RETIREMENT ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE MEMBER TRAVELED BEFORE ORDERS DIRECTING HIS RETIREMENT WERE ISSUED, AND WHEN THE ORDERS WERE ISSUED HE WAS AT THE PLACE SELECTED BY HIM AS HIS HOME AND NO FURTHER TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY. IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHERE THE MEMBER IS AT THE PLACE SELECTED BY HIM AS HIS HOME WHEN RETIRED OR WHEN ORDERED TO AWAIT RETIREMENT. 2 COMP. GEN. 625; 19 ID. 422; AND SEE ELMORE V. UNITED STATES, 61 C. CLS. 173, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT UNTIL A MEMBER IS ORDERED TO MOVE HE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN AT HIS POST UNLESS GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE, DURING WHICH TIME HE TRAVELS AT OWN EXPENSE.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT THEREON NOT BEING AUTHORIZED, THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.