B-126894, APR. 20, 1956

B-126894: Apr 20, 1956

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NAVY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 12. WAS FURTHER AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4. FOR SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED.'. WHICH WERE IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE. IS CONSIDERED TO BE REQUIRED VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE INVOLVING THE LESSER EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE YOU WERE CREDITED UNDER THAT AUTHORITY WITH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM ARGENTIA TO ANNETTE ISLAND. YOU WERE CREDITED WITH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM SEATTLE.

B-126894, APR. 20, 1956

TO MR. NEWELL S. SCOTT, PHC, U.S. NAVY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 12, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE INCIDENT TO YOUR DISCHARGE ON MAY 25, 1950, AT ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, AND REENLISTMENT THE FOLLOWING DAY.

SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, 34 U.S.C. 895, WAS FURTHER AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1949, 63 STAT. 558, TO PROVIDE:

"SEC. 126. AN ENLISTED PERSON OF THE ARMY, NAVY, OR MARINE CORPS, INCLUDING RESERVE COMPONENTS THEREOF, UPON DISCHARGE EXCEPT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE, RETIREMENT, OR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY, SHALL, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE FOR PERSONNEL UNDER HIS JURISDICTION, RECEIVE A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO HIS HOME, OR PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ACTIVE DUTY, OR PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, OR SUCH OTHER PLACE AS MAY BE DETERMINED TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. FOR SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED.'

COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES UNDER THE QUOTED PROVISIONS, WHICH WERE IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE, IS CONSIDERED TO BE REQUIRED VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE INVOLVING THE LESSER EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT, AS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. IT APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE YOU WERE CREDITED UNDER THAT AUTHORITY WITH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM ARGENTIA TO ANNETTE ISLAND, ALASKA (PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ACTIVE DUTY ON LAST ENLISTMENT), ON THE BASIS OF A DETERMINATION BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT THE OFFICIAL ROUTE--- THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE INVOLVING THE LESSER EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT--- CONSISTED OF LAND TRAVEL ONLY FROM ARGENTIA TO ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND, 83 MILES, AND WATER TRANSPORTATION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE JOURNEY FROM ST. JOHNS TO ANNETTE ISLAND. HOWEVER, IN ADDITION TO THE LAND TRAVEL IN NEWFOUNDLAND, YOU WERE CREDITED WITH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, 757 MILES, PRESUMABLY IN THE BELIEF THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO THAT AMOUNT UNDER THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 247: "* * * BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS, OR FOR OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN ON DISCHARGE, TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO, THE HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO, THE HOME WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL AND SHALL BE PAID FOR AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY LAW FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES.'

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED, HOWEVER, THAT THE TERMINI OF A JOURNEY ARE DETERMINATIVE AS TO WHETHER THE TRAVEL COMES WITHIN THE TERRITORY DESIGNATED IN SUCH PROVISIONS. 28 COMP. GEN. 603, 606. TRAVEL BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE UNITED STATES MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS LAND TRAVEL UNDER THAT ACT IF IT CONSTITUTES BUT A PART OF A JOURNEY WITH TERMINI IN ALASKA AND IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, NOT THE UNITED STATES. SINCE THE TERMINI OF YOUR JOURNEY ON DISCHARGE WERE ARGENTIA AND ANNETTE ISLAND, BOTH OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO BENEFITS UNDER THE QUOTED PROVISIONS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906. IT APPEARS, THEREFORE, THAT THE ONLY LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN THOSE POINTS, AND CONSEQUENTLY THE ONLY TRAVEL FOR WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON YOUR DISCHARGE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, WAS THAT FOR THE 83 MILES FROM ARGENTIA TO ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND.

UPON REVIEW IT IS CONCLUDED THAT YOU WERE ERRONEOUSLY PAID TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON YOUR DISCHARGE OF MAY 25, 1950, TO THE EXTENT OF THAT CREDITED TO YOU FOR THE DISTANCE FROM SEATTLE TO KETCHIKAN, 757 MILES, IN THE SUM OF $37.85. ACCORDINGLY, YOU SHOULD REMIT THAT AMOUNT BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND FORWARDED TO POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :