B-130205, FEB. 12, 1957

B-130205: Feb 12, 1957

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THAT YOUR HOME OF RECORD WAS ALEXANDRIA. INCIDENT TO THAT RELEASE YOU WERE PAID A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF SIX CENTS PER MILE FOR 1. APPEARS TO HAVE RESULTED ONLY BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PLACE YOU HAPPENED TO BE STATIONED WHEN DISCHARGED AS AN ENLISTED MAN FOR THAT PURPOSE. PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AT OTHER THAN EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTINUING IN THE SERVICE IN ANOTHER STATUS IS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ON SUCH DISCHARGE. THAT UPON ULTIMATE SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM THE PLACE OF SEPARATION OR RELEASE TO THE PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE SERVICE. WHICH WAS STATED TO BE THE AUTHORITY FOR THE ACTION TAKEN IN YOUR CASE.

B-130205, FEB. 12, 1957

TO MR. WILLIAM C. GUMM, JR.:

YOUR UNDATED LETTER TO THE DEBT BRANCH, CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POSTMARKED APRIL 11, 1956, REQUESTS FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $117.40, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE RECEIVED AS AN ARMY OFFICER INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTED ON JUNE 26, 1953.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU DEPARTED FROM FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, ON JUNE 26, 1953, IN COMPLIANCE WITH ORDERS RELEASING YOU FROM ACTIVE DUTY, AND THAT YOUR HOME OF RECORD WAS ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. INCIDENT TO THAT RELEASE YOU WERE PAID A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF SIX CENTS PER MILE FOR 1,414 MILES AND ACTIVE-DUTY PAY AND ALLOWANCES THROUGH JUNE 30, 1953, ON THE BASIS OF THE DISTANCE TO FORT RILEY, KANSAS, THE PLACE WHERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY AS AN OFFICER. ENTRY UPON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN OFFICER AT FORT RILEY, HOWEVER, APPEARS TO HAVE RESULTED ONLY BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PLACE YOU HAPPENED TO BE STATIONED WHEN DISCHARGED AS AN ENLISTED MAN FOR THAT PURPOSE.

SECTION 201 (E) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 807, PROVIDES THAT IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES CALLED OR ORDERED TO EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY IN EXCESS OF 30 DAYS, ACTIVE DUTY SHALL INCLUDE THE TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM TRAVEL "FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME" BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDERS. SECTION 303 (A) OF THE ACT, 63 STAT. 813, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES "FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME OR TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY.' CASE 19, PARAGRAPH 4156 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AT OTHER THAN EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTINUING IN THE SERVICE IN ANOTHER STATUS IS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ON SUCH DISCHARGE, BUT THAT UPON ULTIMATE SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM THE PLACE OF SEPARATION OR RELEASE TO THE PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE SERVICE, THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO DUTY, OR THE HOME OF RECORD, AS HE MAY ELECT.

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1954, B-120297, WHICH WAS STATED TO BE THE AUTHORITY FOR THE ACTION TAKEN IN YOUR CASE, IT WAS HELD THAT THE CITED PROVISIONS OF LAW DO NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL TIME TO ANY PLACE OTHER THAN THE MEMBER'S HOME OF RECORD, AND THAT THE PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE, AUTHORIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOME OR PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE SERVICE FROM CIVILIAN LIFE, DOES NOT CONFER A RIGHT ON A MEMBER WHO WAS DISCHARGED PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ENLISTMENT TO REENTER THE SERVICE AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER, TO MILEAGE TO THE PLACE OF SUCH REENTRY, THAT PLACE HAVING NO SIGNIFICANCE IN DETERMINING THE PLACE TO WHICH ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCE TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE.

IT WAS PROPERLY CONCLUDED THAT SINCE YOUR HOME OF RECORD WAS ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, YOU WERE ENTITLED, UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES ONLY THROUGH JUNE 26, 1953, WHICH ALLOWED SUFFICIENT TIME FOR YOUR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME, AND TO MILEAGE FOR 173 MILES, THE DISTANCE FROM FORT EUSTIS TO ALEXANDRIA. ACCORDINGLY, IT WAS FOUND THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR PAY AND ALLOWANCES RECEIVED FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 27 TO 30, 1953 ($42.94), AND FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MILEAGE AT SIX CENTS PER MILE FOR 1,414 AND 173 MILES ($74.46), TOTALING $117.40.

YOU INDICATE A BELIEF THAT THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1954, SHOULD NOT BE APPLIED RETROACTIVELY IN YOUR CASE TO DISTURB THE PAYMENTS WHICH YOU APPARENTLY FEEL WERE PROPER WHEN MADE. SUCH DECISION, HOWEVER, WAS BUT A RESTATEMENT OF WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE RIGHT OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCES UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED, WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME IN QUESTION. SEE, FOR INSTANCE, PARAGRAPH 19C, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, DATED JANUARY 30, 1948, TO WHICH YOU REFERRED IN LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 11, 1955, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS, IN WHICH MILEAGE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY WAS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING THAT FOR THE DISTANCE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME OF RECORD. SEE, ALSO, 24 COMP. GEN. 613 AT PAGE 615, AND 24 ID. 291.

SINCE YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OVERPAYMENTS INDICATED, TOTALING $117.40, PAYMENT OF THAT AMOUNT, OR A SUBSTANTIAL INITIAL PAYMENT, TOGETHER WITH THE STATEMENT OF A PLAN FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE REMAINDER WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY.