B-126822, APR. 16, 1956

B-126822: Apr 16, 1956

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HE WAS DETACHED FROM TEMPORARY DUTY ON JULY 30. IT APPEARS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AT THE HOSPITAL AND THE RATE AT WHICH PER DIEM IS CLAIMED ($3 PER DAY) INDICATES THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS ALSO WAS AVAILABLE. WHILE NO INFORMATION IS FURNISHED AS TO HOW LONG HE STAYED AT THE HOSPITAL DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS CLAIM. IT IS REPORTED THAT HE COMMUTED TO HIS HOME APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT OF THE TIME. HE STATES THAT THE ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE HOSPITAL AND HIS HOME WAS ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES. THE EFFECT OF THE CITED REGULATIONS IS TO BAR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM A PERMANENT STATION. WHICH IN THE CASE OF INITIAL ORDERS TO ACTIVE DUTY IS THE MEMBER'S HOME.

B-126822, APR. 16, 1956

TO CAPTAIN MARSHALL WATWOOD, USMC:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 26, 1956, THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1956, FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF LIEUTENANT WALTER J. RUSSELL, MC, USNR, TO PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1 TO 29, 1955.

BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL ORDERS OF MARCH 14, 1955, DIRECTED THE OFFICER TO PROCEED FROM HIS HOME AT MERCER ISLAND, WASHINGTON--- FOLLOWING PHYSICAL EXAMINATION SHOWING HIM TO BE PHYSICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ACTIVE DUTY--- TO BREMERTON, WASHINGTON, ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30, 1955, AND REPORT AT THE NAVAL HOSPITAL FOR TEMPORARY ACTIVE DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL. HE WAS DETACHED FROM TEMPORARY DUTY ON JULY 30, 1955, UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO CAMP PENDLETON, OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE TO A NEW PERMANENT STATION OVERSEAS. IT APPEARS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AT THE HOSPITAL AND THE RATE AT WHICH PER DIEM IS CLAIMED ($3 PER DAY) INDICATES THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS ALSO WAS AVAILABLE. ENDORSEMENTS ON HIS ORDERS SHOW THAT HE LEFT HIS HOME AT 9:30 P.M. ON JUNE 30, AND REPORTED FOR DUTY AT BREMERTON AT 11:45 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY. WHILE NO INFORMATION IS FURNISHED AS TO HOW LONG HE STAYED AT THE HOSPITAL DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS CLAIM, IT IS REPORTED THAT HE COMMUTED TO HIS HOME APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT OF THE TIME. HE STATES THAT THE ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE HOSPITAL AND HIS HOME WAS ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES, PLUS DELAYS WHILE AWAITING FERRIES.

YOU REFER TO PARAGRAPH 4201-4, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND TO OUR DECISION PUBLISHED IN 34 COMP. GEN. 597, AS THE SOURCE OF YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE OFFICER'S RIGHT TO THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. THE EFFECT OF THE CITED REGULATIONS IS TO BAR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM A PERMANENT STATION, WHICH IN THE CASE OF INITIAL ORDERS TO ACTIVE DUTY IS THE MEMBER'S HOME, OR THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO DUTY. THE OFFICER IN 34 COMP. GEN. 597, WAS ORDERED TO REPORT FROM HIS HOME IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT. NO INFORMATION WAS FURNISHED IN THAT CASE AS TO HOW LONG THE OFFICER'S DUTIES REQUIRED HIM TO BE ABSENT FROM HIS HOME. HIS SITUATION WAS SUCH, HOWEVER, THAT IT SEEMED REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE REQUIRED DAILY ABSENCES FROM HOME WERE NOT OF SUCH DURATION AS TO PLACE HIM IN A TRAVEL STATUS. HENCE, HIS CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 6450, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH BAR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO SHORT TRIPS WITHIN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE DUTY STATION. IT IS NOT SHOWN WHEN LIEUTENANT RUSSELL RETURNED TO HIS HOME AFTER HIS DEPARTURE FOR BREMERTON ON THE NIGHT OF JUNE 30. MERCER ISLAND, HOWEVER, IS LOCATED SOME DISTANCE FROM BREMERTON, AND THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BECAUSE OF THE DISTANCE INVOLVED AND THE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION NECESSARILY USED, ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL WOULD REQUIRE NOT LESS THAN THREE AND ONE-HALF HOURS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT THE OFFICER ENTERED A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM HIS HOME ON JULY 1, 1955, AND HENCE, THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE PROPER RATE DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS CLAIM. B-123540, FEBRUARY 8, 1956, AND B-126666, APRIL 5, 1956. THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.