B-146432, SEP. 13, 1961

B-146432: Sep 13, 1961

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SHEPHARD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER RECEIVED HERE ON JULY 7. YOU WERE PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER. YOUR LEAVE ADDRESS WAS SHOWN AS PETOSKEY. UPON EXPIRATION OF LEAVE YOU WERE TO REPORT TO FORT DIX. YOU WERE RETAINED AT FORT SHERIDAN. YOUR REQUEST FOR REASSIGNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES WAS APPROVED AND BY ORDERS OF THE U.S. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT CARSON FOR DUTY AND ADVISED THAT DUE TO YOUR COMPASSIONATE STATUS ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL MUST BE BORNE BY YOU. WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL CONVENIENCE RATHER THAN ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY YOU UNDERSTAND THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES IS AT THE INDIVIDUAL'S OWN EXPENSE.

B-146432, SEP. 13, 1961

TO ROBERT L. SHEPHARD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER RECEIVED HERE ON JULY 7, 1961, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THAT PART OF THE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 26, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FROM FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, TO FORT CARSON, COLORADO.

BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 3, 1960, HEADQUARTERS, FIRST MISSILE BATTALION, THIRD ARTILLERY, APO 162, U.S. FORCES, YOU WERE PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING GRANTED AN EMERGENCY LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 30 DAYS DUE TO THE SERIOUS ILLNESS OF YOUR MOTHER. YOUR LEAVE ADDRESS WAS SHOWN AS PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN. UPON EXPIRATION OF LEAVE YOU WERE TO REPORT TO FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, FOR INDORSEMENT OF ORDERS TO INDICATE EXACT DATE OF RETURN TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AND RETURN TO YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION BY FIRST AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION.

YOUR ITINERARY SHOWS THAT YOU LEFT FRANKFURT, GERMANY, ON AUGUST 3, 1960, AND ARRIVED AT PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN, ON AUGUST 4, 1960. WHILE ON LEAVE YOU APPEALED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR A COMPASSIONATE REASSIGNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES DUE TO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES AT HOME. BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1960, YOU WERE RETAINED AT FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, TO AWAIT APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF YOUR REQUEST. BY MESSAGE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, DA 520438, DATED OCTOBER 4, 1960, YOUR REQUEST FOR REASSIGNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES WAS APPROVED AND BY ORDERS OF THE U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, FORT HAMILTON, NEW YORK, AND REASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS OF FORT SHERIDAN, BOTH ISSUED ON OCTOBER 6, 1960, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THAT MESSAGE, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT CARSON FOR DUTY AND ADVISED THAT DUE TO YOUR COMPASSIONATE STATUS ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL MUST BE BORNE BY YOU. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING THAT FROM FORT SHERIDAN TO FORT CARSON, WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL CONVENIENCE RATHER THAN ON PUBLIC BUSINESS.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY YOU UNDERSTAND THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES IS AT THE INDIVIDUAL'S OWN EXPENSE. HOWEVER, IT IS YOUR VIEW THAT THE ,PERSONAL CONVENIENCE" ASPECT OF THE REASSIGNMENT TERMINATED WHEN YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO FORT SHERIDAN, AND THAT YOUR SUBSEQUENT REASSIGNMENT TO FORT CARSON, WHICH WAS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE YOUR SKILL COULD BE UTILIZED, SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. THEREFORE, YOU CONTEND YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM FORT SHERIDAN TO FORT CARSON.

WHILE A MEMBER'S REQUEST FOR REASSIGNMENT TO A PARTICULAR STATION FOR COMPASSIONATE OR OTHER PERSONAL REASONS DOES NOT LESSEN HIS RIGHT TO TRAVELING EXPENSES IF HIS REASSIGNMENT IS NECESSARY IN THE SERVICE, IT IS NOT ENOUGH THAT A REASSIGNMENT IS MERELY NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. IT SHOULD APPEAR THAT MILITARY CONSIDERATIONS INDUCED THE REASSIGNMENT AND HENCE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, SINCE PUBLIC BUSINESS IS THE FOUNDATION ON WHICH THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES RESTS. PERRIMOND V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CL. 509; DAY V. UNITED STATES, 123 ID. 10, 18. IF A MEMBER HAS BEEN TRAINED IN A SKILL WHICH CANNOT BE USED AT HIS STATION AND HE IS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER STATION SO THAT THE SERVICE CONCERNED CAN HAVE THE BENEFIT OF THE SKILL FOR WHICH HE WAS TRAINED, TRAVEL TO THE NEW STATION WOULD SEEM TO BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND THE FACT THAT HE REQUESTED REASSIGNMENT FOR PERSONAL REASONS WOULD BE NO BASIS FOR DENYING PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF HIS TRAVELING EXPENSES. SEE B-117577, JUNE 16, 1955, COPY HEREWITH. HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT SUCH WAS THE SITUATION IN YOUR CASE.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE BEING UTILIZED AT YOUR OLD DUTY STATION AND THAT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN RETURNED TO DUTY THERE HAD YOU NOT REQUESTED REASSIGNMENT. WHILE IT MAY BE THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO FORT CARSON BECAUSE YOUR PARTICULAR SKILL COULD BE USED THERE, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE REASON FOR SUCH ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT THE NEED FOR YOUR SERVICES AT THAT STATION BUT THAT IT RESULTED FROM YOUR REQUEST. ALSO, YOU WERE NOT ASSIGNED TO FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, AS A COMPASSIONATE REASSIGNMENT. YOU WERE BEING RETAINED THERE PENDING APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF YOUR REQUEST FOR TRANSFER WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WHICH APPARENTLY WAS CONTINGENT UPON AVAILABILITY OF A VACANCY IN A POSITION YOU COULD FILL. IF SUCH VACANCY HAD NOT BEEN FOUND IN THE ORGANIZATION AT FORT CARSON, OR ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY FOR YOU TO RETURN TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION.

SINCE YOUR TRANSFER TO FORT CARSON WAS THE RESULT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR REASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES AND NOT THE NEED OF THE SERVICE, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRANSFER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 26, 1961, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.