B-132209, AUG. 27, 1957

B-132209: Aug 27, 1957

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THE ENLISTED MAN WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE NAVAL AIR TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER. THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION HE WAS DIRECTED TO ATTEND WAS SCHEDULED FOR LESS THAN 20 WEEKS. UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION HE WAS. PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $4 TO OFFICERS AND $1 TO ENLISTED MEMBERS UNDERGOING COURSES OF INSTRUCTION IN A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT INSTALLATIONS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN BOTH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESS ARE AVAILABLE. IT IS STATED IN THE COMMANDANT'S ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 30. THAT SINCE MEMBERS IN THE CATEGORY OF PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ARE FURNISHED QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE AND ARE NOT REQUIRED TO INCUR EXPENSES WHILE ON DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION TO ANY GREATER EXTENT THAN THEY WOULD INCUR AT A STATION TO WHICH ORDERED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD.

B-132209, AUG. 27, 1957

TO CAPTAIN R. S. SASSER, USMC, DISBURSING OFFICER, THROUGH COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 30, 1957, THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1957, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JOHN M. BENNETT, USMC, FOR PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $1 PER DAY, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN.

BY ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 11, 1957, ISSUED AT CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA, THE ENLISTED MAN WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE NAVAL AIR TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, FOR DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION. THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION HE WAS DIRECTED TO ATTEND WAS SCHEDULED FOR LESS THAN 20 WEEKS. HE REPORTED AS DIRECTED AT JACKSONVILLE ON FEBRUARY 21, 1957. UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION HE WAS, BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 12, 1957, TRANSFERRED FROM JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, TO MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, FOR DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION, EFFECTIVE APRIL 15, 1957. HE CLAIM PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $1 PER DAY FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 22 TO APRIL 14, 1957.

PARAGRAPH 4205-6D (4), CHANGE 50, DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1956, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $4 TO OFFICERS AND $1 TO ENLISTED MEMBERS UNDERGOING COURSES OF INSTRUCTION IN A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT INSTALLATIONS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN BOTH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESS ARE AVAILABLE. IT IS STATED IN THE COMMANDANT'S ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 30, 1957, THAT SINCE MEMBERS IN THE CATEGORY OF PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ARE FURNISHED QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE AND ARE NOT REQUIRED TO INCUR EXPENSES WHILE ON DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION TO ANY GREATER EXTENT THAN THEY WOULD INCUR AT A STATION TO WHICH ORDERED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD, IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE TO ISSUE PERMANENT RATHER THAN TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS TO THESE MEMBERS. THERE IS NO INDICATION, HOWEVER, THAT ANY DUTY OTHER THAN DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION WAS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ORDERS. IT GOES ON TO STATE THAT OUR DECISION, B 130101, OF JANUARY 9, 1957, IMPLIEDLY ACCEPTS SIMILAR ARMY PROCEDURES AS BEING CORRECT.

IT SEEMS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT THE DIFFERENCE IN EXPENSES INCURRED AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AS AGAINST THOSE WHICH WOULD BE INCURRED DURING A LIKE PERIOD AT A PERMANENT STATION CONSISTS ESSENTIALLY OF THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN OBTAINING FOOD AND LODGING WHILE ON SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, AND THAT THE BASIC PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE IN AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WITHIN SPECIFIED LIMITS IS TO AFFORD THE TRAVELER RELIEF AGAINST EXPENSES SO INCURRED. WHERE BOTH QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE A MONEY PAYMENT OF A PART OF THE PER DIEM, PRESUMABLY TO COVER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES. BEARING IN MIND THAT THIS REIMBURSEMENT MUST BE ON ACCOUNT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE MEMBER FOR PERSONAL NEEDS ARISING AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND NOT ON ACCOUNT OF ANY OBLIGATIONS HE MAY HAVE ELSEWHERE, AND THAT THIS ALLOWANCE IS FIXED FOR OFFICERS AT $4 AS AGAINST $1 FOR ENLISTED MEN, NO BASIS IS PERCEIVED FOR THE CONCLUSION THAT MEMBERS IN THE CATEGORY OF PRIVATE FIRST CLASS ARE IN A SITUATION WITH RESPECT TO NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ANY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ENLISTED MEN IN ANY OTHER CATEGORY. OUR DECISION, B-130101, OF JANUARY 9, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 487, INVOLVED A CASE WHERE ORDERS WERE ISSUED BASED ON AN ARMY MESSAGE WHICH REFERRED SPECIFICALLY TO PARAGRAPH 13C (4), CHANGE 1, ARMY REGULATIONS 611-215, AS AMENDED, AND OUR DECISION RECOGNIZED THAT THE ASSIGNMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN OF A TEMPORARY RATHER THAN A PERMANENT CHARACTER. NO MENTION WAS MADE IN THE DECISION OF ANY PART OF ARMY REGULATIONS 611-215 OTHER THAN THAT SPECIFICALLY CITED, AND THIS DECISION WAS NOT INTENDED, AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED, AS MODIFYING IN ANY WAY OUR DECISION IN 34 COMP. GEN. 260. THIS DECISION HELD, IN SUBSTANCE, THAT THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE SECRETARY CONCERNED BY THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802, TO DEFINE THE TERM "PERMANENT STATION" MAY NOT BE EXERCISED IN SUCH A WAY THAT A DUTY ASSIGNMENT MAY AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME BE EITHER A TEMPORARY OR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, DEPENDING UPON THE CHOICE OF THE ORDER ISSUING AUTHORITY, OR OF THE MEMBER HIMSELF.

THE MEMBER HERE INVOLVED WAS ORDERED TO JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, TO ATTEND A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION SCHEDULED FOR LESS THAN 20 WEEKS, AND UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, FOR DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION. HENCE, SUCH ASSIGNMENT TO ATTEND A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION AT JACKSONVILLE IS CONSIDERED AS FALLING WITHIN PARAGRAPH 3003 -2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH.