B-126856, MAY 31, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 670

B-126856: May 31, 1956

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THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION TO THE CURRENT OVERSEAS STATION WHEN THE MEMBER ATTAINS THE NECESSARY GRADE OR COMPLETES THE REQUIRED SERVICE TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. 1956: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 26. IT IS STATED IN THE SUBMISSION THAT CONCERN NOW EXISTS FOR THOSE MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO ATTAIN AN ELIGIBLE GRADE (OR REQUISITE SERVICE IN GRADE) SOON AFTER THEY ARE TRANSFERRED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT SUCH MEMBERS. ARE IN FACT DENIED THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR PERIODS AS LONG AS THREE YEARS. THAT THIS IS CONSIDERED TO BE UNJUST TREATMENT OF A MEMBER WHO.

B-126856, MAY 31, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 670

TRANSPORTATION - MILITARY PERSONNEL - DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - ENTITLEMENT THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ACCRUES ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS WHICH DIRECT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION TO THE CURRENT OVERSEAS STATION WHEN THE MEMBER ATTAINS THE NECESSARY GRADE OR COMPLETES THE REQUIRED SERVICE TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, MAY 31, 1956:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1956, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO PAYMENTS FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO PARAGRAPHS 7000 AND 8001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

IT IS STATED IN THE SUBMISSION THAT CONCERN NOW EXISTS FOR THOSE MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO ATTAIN AN ELIGIBLE GRADE (OR REQUISITE SERVICE IN GRADE) SOON AFTER THEY ARE TRANSFERRED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT SUCH MEMBERS, ALTHOUGH HAVING ATTAINED AN ELIGIBLE RANK OR GRADE, ARE IN FACT DENIED THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR PERIODS AS LONG AS THREE YEARS; THAT THIS IS CONSIDERED TO BE UNJUST TREATMENT OF A MEMBER WHO, BY ACHIEVING A HIGHER GRADE, BY REENLISTING, OR BOTH, HAS DEMONSTRATED A CAREER POTENTIAL AND MOTIVATION; THAT PROLONGED SEPARATION FROM DEPENDENTS AFFORDS A DETERRENT TO FUTURE REENLISTMENT; AND THAT SHORTER PERIODS OF OVERSEAS DUTY FOR MEMBERS SEPARATED FROM DEPENDENTS IS NOT ECONOMICAL.

AS A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM, IT IS STATED THAT THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES CURRENTLY HAVE UNDER CONSIDERATION A PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH WOULD MODIFY THE PRESENT LIMITATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AUTHORIZE THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO AN OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AT WHICH A MEMBER IS SERVING WHEN HE IS PROMOTED TO AN ELIGIBLE GRADE OR ATTAINS 4 YEARS OF SERVICE IN PAY GRADE E-4. THAT IS TO SAY, AS TO SUCH MEMBER THE CONTEMPLATED CHANGE IN THE REGULATIONS WOULD PURPORT TO AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A CURRENT STATION INCIDENT TO A CHANGE IN HIS STATUS OR RANK OCCURRING AT THAT STATION AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, 31 U.S.C. 71, PROVIDES IN PART THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AND "FOR SUCH RANKS, GRADES, OR RATINGS" AND TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR DEPENDENTS, OR TO REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT "IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION (WHETHER TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT)" MEMBERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AND WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTES AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS TO RELIEVE A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE BURDEN OF PERSONALLY DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD WHEN SUCH MOVE IS MADE NECESSARY BY AN ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 5 OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1942, 56 STAT. 365, 37 U.S.C. 112, 1946 USED., PROVIDED THAT:

WHEN ANY OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN ABOVE THE FOURTH GRADE, HAVING DEPENDENTS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 4, HEREOF, IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND * * * TO HIS NEW STATION FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS. * * * THAT THE PERSONNEL OF ALL THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT SHALL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF ALL EXISTING LAWS APPLYING TO THE ARMY AND THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: * * * THAT IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION FOR DEPENDENTS, THE PRESIDENT MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT IN MONEY * * * EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION * * * WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, SIMILAR PROVISIONS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF OFFICERS, AND ENLISTED MEN IN THE HIGHER GRADES, IN THE SEVERAL ARMED SERVICES, WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, WERE CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604 AND SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631. OUR DECISIONS UNIFORMLY HAVE HELD THAT THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THESE STATUTES ACCRUES AND BECOMES FIXED ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. ON THIS BASIS, IT WAS HELD THAT WHERE PERSONNEL IN AN INELIGIBLE PAY GRADE WERE ORDERED TO DUTY OVERSEAS, TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR DEPENDENTS AT PUBLIC EXPENSE INCIDENT TO SUCH ORDERS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT PRIOR TO SUCH TRAVEL THE PERSONNEL CONCERNED HAD BEEN PROMOTED TO AN ELIGIBLE GRADE. 24 COMP. GEN. 750; B-81653, JANUARY 27, 1949.

UNLIKE THE EARLIER STATUTES, SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 CONFERS UPON THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED THE AUTHORITY TO DESIGNATE BY REGULATIONS THE RANKS, GRADES, OR RATINGS OF PERSONNEL WHO SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. THERE APPARENTLY WAS NOT, HOWEVER, ANY MATERIAL CHANGE IN LANGUAGE CONCERNING THE TIME WHEN THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ACCRUES TO PERSONNEL FOR WHOM SUCH BENEFITS ARE PRESCRIBED. IT FOLLOWS THAT, UNDER THE EXISTING STATUTORY PROVISIONS, WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO PAYMENTS MADE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A STATION AT WHICH THE MEMBER CONCERNED ATTAINED AN ELIGIBLE STATUS. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.