B-125923, APRIL 6, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 555

B-125923: Apr 6, 1956

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PERSONNEL - SURVIVAL TRAINING EXERCISES A NAVAL OFFICER ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY TO PARTICIPATE IN SURVIVAL TRAINING WHICH REQUIRES PERSONNEL TO FORAGE FOR SUBSISTENCE AND TO IMPROVISE THEIR OWN SHELTER IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN FURNISHED RATIONS AND QUARTERS. 1956: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 17. AT THE COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION AND RESUME HIS REGULAR DUTIES. IT APPEARS THAT SUCH EXERCISE WAS A FORM OF FIELD EXERCISE INVOLVING THE DROPPING OF PERSONNEL IN ISOLATED AREAS FOR SURVIVAL TRAINING. IT IS STATED THAT. WHILE NO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. THE EXPENSES OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED ARE NEGLIGIBLE. WHEN BOTH RATIONS IN KIND (INCLUDING FIELD RATIONS) AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE.

B-125923, APRIL 6, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 555

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL - SURVIVAL TRAINING EXERCISES A NAVAL OFFICER ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY TO PARTICIPATE IN SURVIVAL TRAINING WHICH REQUIRES PERSONNEL TO FORAGE FOR SUBSISTENCE AND TO IMPROVISE THEIR OWN SHELTER IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN FURNISHED RATIONS AND QUARTERS, AND THEREFORE PER DIEM MAY NOT BE PAID FOR THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY TRAINING DUTY.

TO E. POE, JR., DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, APRIL 6, 1956:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 17, 1955, FORWARDED BY THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 27, 1955, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE RIGHT OF COMMANDER P. N. CHARBONNET, JR., USN, TO PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH EXERCISE TENDERFEET SIX DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 3 TO 10, 1955.

AFTER QUOTING A COMAIRLANT DISPATCH DATED MAY 27, 1955, DIRECTING THE ISSUANCE OF TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ORDERS UNDER INSTRUCTION, ORDERS OF JUNE 1, 1955, FROM THE COMMANDER, CARRIER AIR GROUP EIGHT, DIRECTED THE OFFICER TO PROCEED TO FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA, AND REPORT FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH EXERCISE TENDERFEET SIX FOR APPROXIMATELY 10 DAYS, AT THE COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION AND RESUME HIS REGULAR DUTIES. IT APPEARS THAT SUCH EXERCISE WAS A FORM OF FIELD EXERCISE INVOLVING THE DROPPING OF PERSONNEL IN ISOLATED AREAS FOR SURVIVAL TRAINING, AND IT IS STATED THAT, WHILE NO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE, THE EXPENSES OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED ARE NEGLIGIBLE.

SECTION 303 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 37 U.S.C. 253, AUTHORIZES THE PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING "TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED" BY MEMBERS AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY," THE INTENT APPARENTLY BEING TO PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY MEMBERS WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS. WHILE PARAGRAPH 4200, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PRESCRIBES PER DIEM "FOR ALL PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND TRAVEL IN CONNECTION THEREWITH," PARAGRAPH 4201-6 OF SUCH REGULATIONS BARS PAYMENT FOR PERIODS OF FIELD DUTY, FIELD EXERCISES, SIMULATED WAR GAMES AND OTHER SIMILAR ACTIVITIES--- WHICH WOULD APPEAR TO INCLUDE SURVIVAL TRAINING-- WHEN BOTH RATIONS IN KIND (INCLUDING FIELD RATIONS) AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A RIGHT TO PER DIEM DOES NOT ACCRUE TO A MEMBER WHEN HE IS ENGAGED IN COMBAT DUTY OR DUTY OF A COMBAT NATURE. COMP. GEN. 631 AND B-89787, NOVEMBER 18, 1949, BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION WHICH EXISTS AT SUCH TIMES WITH RESPECT TO RATIONS AND SHELTER, A MEMBER DOES NOT ORDINARILY INCUR MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE SO ENGAGED AND HE IS REGARDED AS BEING AT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY WHILE PERFORMING SUCH DUTY. ALTHOUGH THE CITED REGULATIONS RECOGNIZE THAT A TRAVEL STATUS MAY EXIST WHILE A MEMBER IS ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF FIELD DUTY, MANEUVERS, SIMULATED WAR GAMES OR OTHER SIMILAR ACTIVITIES, AND PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FOR SUCH DUTY IF BOTH RATIONS AND QUARTERS IN KIND ARE NOT AVAILABLE, IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR ALL PERIODS OF DUTY AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AT A MILITARY INSTALLATION.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT DURING SURVIVAL TRAINING DUTY, CONDITIONS EXIST WHICH APPROXIMATE THOSE WHICH WOULD BE ENCOUNTERED IN CERTAIN COMBAT SITUATIONS AND THE MEMBERS ARE TRAINED TO MAINTAIN THEMSELVES BY MEANS OTHER THAN THE PURCHASE OF MEALS AND QUARTERS. THUS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT BY ITS NATURE SUCH TRAINING REQUIRES PARTICIPATING PERSONNEL TO FORAGE FOR THEIR SUBSISTENCE AND IMPROVISE THEIR OWN SHELTER. THIS BEING SO, IT WOULD SEEM TO FOLLOW THAT IN CASES OF SURVIVAL TRAINING SUCH RATIONS AND QUARTERS AS ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THE DUTY ENJOINED ARE TO BE REGARDED AS AVAILABLE WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF PARAGRAPH 4201-6, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT PAYMENT ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED. COMMANDER CHARBONNET'S ORIGINAL ORDERS ARE RETURNED, BUT THE OTHER PAPERS CONSTITUTING HIS CLAIM WILL BE RETAINED HERE.