B-143265, OCT. 27, 1960

B-143265: Oct 27, 1960

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 4. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 60-16. THE ENCLOSED NOTICES OF EXCEPTION (13 IN NUMBER) ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF NUMEROUS EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY OUR AUDIT PERSONNEL TO PAYMENTS OF MILEAGE TO MEMBERS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM PLACE OF REENLISTMENT TO FIRST STATION. THE EXCEPTIONS WERE BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2. MEMBERS WHOSE FIRST ASSIGNMENT IS FOR BASIC TRAINING. OR PROCESSING WILL BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL TICKETS FOR TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF ENLISTMENT OR INDUCTION TO FIRST STATION. NO REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED IF AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL TICKETS ARE NOT UTILIZED. * * *" IT IS APPROPRIATE TO POINT OUT THAT THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH 5052-2 HAS BEEN AMENDED BY CHANGE 80.

B-143265, OCT. 27, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 4, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF NOTICES OF EXCEPTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE TO PAYMENTS OF MILEAGE TO CERTAIN ENLISTED MEMBERS FROM PLACE OF REENLISTMENT TO FIRST DUTY STATION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 60-16.

AS POINTED OUT BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, THE ENCLOSED NOTICES OF EXCEPTION (13 IN NUMBER) ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF NUMEROUS EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY OUR AUDIT PERSONNEL TO PAYMENTS OF MILEAGE TO MEMBERS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM PLACE OF REENLISTMENT TO FIRST STATION, SUCH TRAVEL HAVING COMMENCED PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1959. THE EXCEPTIONS WERE BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1959, WHICH PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"2. INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO TRAINING, INDOCTRINATION, OR PROCESSING STATIONS. MEMBERS WHOSE FIRST ASSIGNMENT IS FOR BASIC TRAINING, INDOCTRINATION, OR PROCESSING WILL BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL TICKETS FOR TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF ENLISTMENT OR INDUCTION TO FIRST STATION. NO REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED IF AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL TICKETS ARE NOT UTILIZED. * * *"

IT IS APPROPRIATE TO POINT OUT THAT THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH 5052-2 HAS BEEN AMENDED BY CHANGE 80, EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 1959, TO CONTINUE THE APPLICATION OF ITS PROVISIONS TO MEMBERS WHOSE FIRST ASSIGNMENT IS FOR BASIC TRAINING, INDOCTRINATION, OR PROCESSING "UNLESS SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED.'

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT THE INTENT OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2 OF THE REGULATIONS AS EXISTING PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1959, WAS TO PROVIDE A MEANS OF DISCOURAGING MEMBERS FIRST ENTERING THE SERVICE FROM DRIVING THEIR CARS TO BASIC TRAINING CENTERS, THE PRESENCE OF WHICH DID NOT PROVE TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE MEMBER OR THE SERVICE. IT IS FURTHER STATED, IN EXPLANATION OF THE SITUATIONS BELIEVED TO BE CONTEMPLATED BY THE REGULATIONS THAT BECAUSE OF THEIR AGE AND INEXPERIENCE, BASIC TRAINEES REQUIRE STRICTER SUPERVISION THAN MEMBERS WHO HAVE HAD SUFFICIENT TIME IN THE SERVICE TO ADJUST TO BEING AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES, AND THAT THOSE MEMBERS, AS WELL AS MEMBERS WITH PRIOR SERVICE REENLISTING IN PAY GRADES E -1 AND E-2, REQUIRE MORE EXTENSIVE TRAINING THAN PERSONS REENTERING THE SERVICE IN HIGHER GRADES AND IT WAS OFTEN POSSIBLE AND NECESSARY TO TRANSFER THEM IN GROUPS TO ANOTHER STATION FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT NO LOGICAL REASON WAS PERCEIVED FOR DENYING A MEMBER THE PRIVILEGE OF DRIVING HIS AUTOMOBILE TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION THROUGH ENFORCEMENT OF THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHEN HE HAD YEARS OF PRIOR SERVICE AND WAS OF A PAY GRADE IN WHICH CONSIDERABLE RESPONSIBILITY IS ENTRUSTED.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT ON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE CONSIDERATIONS, AND UNTIL DECEMBER 21, 1959, THE AIR FORCE LIMITED THE APPLICATION OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TO PERSONS ENLISTING OR REENLISTING AT A RECRUITING MAIN STATION IN PAY GRADES E 1 OR E-2 WHO WERE EITHER (1) ASSIGNED TO A MILITARY TRAINING WING OR (2) ASSIGNED TO AN AIR TRAINING COMMAND BASE FOR FURTHER PROCESSING AND ASSIGNMENT UNDER INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 39D, AIR FORCE MANUAL 39-9, DATED JULY 1, 1957, AS SUPERSEDED BY PARAGRAPH 41101, AIR FORCE MANUAL 173-30, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 20, 1959. IT IS STATED THAT THE TERM "MILITARY TRAINING WING" AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 39D HAD SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THOSE LOCATIONS WHERE BASIC MILITARY TRAINING WAS CONDUCTED AND THAT THE ONLY MILITARY TRAINING WING NOW IN EXISTENCE IS LOCATED AT LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. IT IS THE VIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, AS STATED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, THAT THE TERM "BASIC TRAINING" AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 5052-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS APPLIES TO THOSE BASIC MILITARY TRAINING SITUATIONS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TECHNICAL TRAINING IN THE CAREER FIELD.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253 (A), THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES GOVERNING ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED, OR TO BE PERFORMED, UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON ENLISTMENT, FROM HOME OR FROM THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIRST STATION. THE ABOVE-QUOTED PARAGRAPH 5052-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WAS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT PROVISION. STATUTORY REGULATIONS, THAT IS, REGULATIONS SUCH AS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ISSUED BY THE TERMS OF SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT TO EFFECTUATE THE STATUTE, HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. HENCE, DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS ISSUED TO IMPLEMENT AND ADMINISTER SUCH STATUTORY REGULATIONS ARE VALID ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE BASIC REGULATIONS.

THE TERMS "BASIC TRAINING," "INDOCTRINATION," AND "PROCESSING," AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 5052-2 OF THE REGULATIONS ARE NOT THERE DEFINED AND, WHILE SUCH TERMS ARE USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PHRASE, "FIRST ASSIGNMENT," WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE APPLICATION OF THOSE TERMS IS TO BE VIEWED AS NECESSARILY LIMITED OR RESTRICTED TO PERSONS WITHOUT PRIOR SERVICE AND PERSONS WITH PRIOR SERVICE ENLISTED IN PAY GRADES E-1 OR E 2. ANY PERSON WHOSE FIRST ASSIGNMENT UPON ENLISTMENT UNQUESTIONABLY IS FOR "BASIC TRAINING, INDOCTRINATION, OR PROCESSING," WOULD APPEAR CLEARLY TO COME UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2, REGARDLESS OF HIS PRIOR SERVICE STATUS OR THE GRADE IN WHICH ENLISTED. HENCE, WHILE THE BASIS FOR THE AIR FORCE INTERPRETATION OF THAT PARAGRAPH AS EXPRESSED IN PARAGRAPH 39D, AIR FORCE MANUAL 39-9, IS NOT UNREASONABLE, WE MAY NOT ACCEPT SUCH INTERPRETATION AS BEING PROPER IN ALL CASES ARISING UNDER THE PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2 OF THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1959.

EACH OF THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED IN THE ENCLOSURES TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER ENLISTED FOLLOWING PRIOR SERVICE AND WAS FIRST ASSIGNED EITHER TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, OR TO A PORT OF EMBARKATION FOR FURTHER PROCESSING AND ASSIGNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT, OR TO A STATION FOR "FURTHER PROCESSING AND ASSIGNMENT" OR "CLASSIFICATION AND ASSIGNMENT.' NO BASIC TRAINING APPEARS TO BE INVOLVED IN ANY OF SUCH ASSIGNMENTS AND, IN VIEW OF THE PRIOR SERVICE STATUS OF THE ENLISTEES, IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT NONE OF THE ASSIGNMENTS WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF "INDOCTRINATION.' THUS, ONLY THE "PROCESSING" ASPECT OF PARAGRAPH 5052-2 WOULD BE FOR APPLICATION IN THE SUBMITTED CASES IN ANY EVENT.

THE TERM "PROCESSING" MEANS TO SUBJECT TO ANY KIND OF A PROCESS AND ITS INTENDED SCOPE AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 5052-2 IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. CONSIDERING THE TERM IN THE LIGHT OF THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5052, HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT IT PROPERLY MAY BE APPLIED AS HAVING REFERENCE TO THE VARIOUS STEPS INCIDENT TO AND INVOLVED IN EFFECTING THE ENTRANCE OF A PERSON INTO THE MILITARY SERVICE BY ENLISTMENT, AND A CONCLUSION THAT THE PERSONS HERE CONCERNED ARE TO BE REGARDED AS INCLUDED IN THE PROCESSING PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS WOULD NOT BE COMPLETELY UNTENABLE. IN VIEW, HOWEVER, OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER, THE PRIOR SERVICE STATUS OF SUCH PERSONS AND THE USE OF THE TERMS "FURTHER PROCESSING AND ASSIGNMENT" AND "CLASSIFICATION AND ASSIGNMENT" IN CERTAIN OF THE ORDERS, WE WILL CONSIDER SUCH PROCESSING AS MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEIR ASSIGNMENTS AS PERTAINING TO THEIR FUTURE ACTIVE DUTY EMPLOYMENTS RATHER THAN AS INCIDENT TO EFFECTING THEIR ENTRANCE INTO THE SERVICE. THE EXCEPTIONS TAKEN TO THE MILEAGE PAYMENTS IN THE SUBMITTED AND SIMILAR CASES WILL BE REMOVED.