B-152047, DEC. 17, 1963

B-152047: Dec 17, 1963

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IN WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $20.31 IN FAVOR OF CAPTAIN JACK BIGGER STAFF FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS PURCHASED FOR A BURIAL DETAIL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF WAS APPOINTED SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE OFFICER IN THE CASE OF JAMES M. THIS REQUEST WAS DENIED ON NOVEMBER 2. CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF WAS INFORMED THAT THE BURIAL DETAIL MUST BE FURNISHED BY VOLUNTEERS FROM THE ROTC CADET CORPS AT MURRAY STATE COLLEGE. A DETAIL OF 14 CADET VOLUNTEERS WAS ORGANIZED TO FUNCTION AS PALL BEARERS. WAS DETAILED TO THIS DUTY UNTIL AFTER THE BURIAL ON NOVEMBER 5.

B-152047, DEC. 17, 1963

TO MAJOR W. B. ANDRESEN, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY FIRST INDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1963, HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, WASHINGTON, D.C., FORWARDED YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 13, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $20.31 IN FAVOR OF CAPTAIN JACK BIGGER STAFF FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS PURCHASED FOR A BURIAL DETAIL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BELOW. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. DO-A-726 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF WAS APPOINTED SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE OFFICER IN THE CASE OF JAMES M. LYNN, PFC, RA 15573091, DECEASED. ON OCTOBER 31, 1962, CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF MADE PERSONAL CONTACT WITH MRS. SHIRLEY MAE LYNN, WIFE AND NEXT OF KIN OF THE DECEASED, WHO REQUESTED A MILITARY FUNERAL. HE RELAYED THIS REQUEST TO HEADQUARTERS,XX U.S. ARMY CORPS, FORT HAYES, COLUMBUS, OHIO, REQUESTING THAT REGULAR ARMY PERSONNEL BE FURNISHED FOR THIS PURPOSE. THIS REQUEST WAS DENIED ON NOVEMBER 2, 1962, AND CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF WAS INFORMED THAT THE BURIAL DETAIL MUST BE FURNISHED BY VOLUNTEERS FROM THE ROTC CADET CORPS AT MURRAY STATE COLLEGE, MURRAY, KENTUCKY. A DETAIL OF 14 CADET VOLUNTEERS WAS ORGANIZED TO FUNCTION AS PALL BEARERS, FIRING SQUAD AND BUGLER. NOVEMBER 2, 1962, LINDSEY'S FUNERAL HOME, PADUCAH, KENTUCKY, WHO HAD CHARGE OF THE ARRANGEMENTS, RECEIVED A TELEGRAM THAT THE DECEASED'S BODY WOULD ARRIVE VIA COMMERCIAL AIR ON NOVEMBER 3, 1962, WITHOUT A MILITARY ESCORT. CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF INFORMED HEADQUARTERS, XX U.S. ARMY CORPS, OF THIS AND A NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER FROM THE U.S. ARMY ROTC INSTRUCTOR GROUP, MURRAY STATE COLLEGE, WAS DETAILED TO THIS DUTY UNTIL AFTER THE BURIAL ON NOVEMBER 5, 1962. IT IS REPORTED THAT TRAVEL, REHEARSALS, THE FUNERAL AND THE ACTUAL BURIAL REQUIRED THE CADET DETAIL TO BE ABSENT FOR MORE THAN ONE MEAL PERIOD AND THAT CAPTAIN BIGGER STAFF AS THE SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE OFFICER PAID FOR THE SUPPER MEAL FOR THE DETAIL IN THE SUM OF $20.31 WITH HIS OWN FUNDS. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE OFFICER STATES, IN SUBSTANCE, THAT THE DETAIL DEPARTED MURRAY STATE COLLEGE AT :00 A.M., IN ORDER TO REHEARSE ON SITE PRIOR TO THE FUNERAL AT 2:00 P.M. AFTER INTERMENT WAS CONCLUDED AT 5:00 P.M., THE DETAIL ARRIVED BACK AT THE COLLEGE AT APPROXIMATELY 8:00 P.M. SINCE THE COLLEGE CAFETERIA WAS UNABLE TO FEED STUDENTS AFTER 6:00 P.M., THE OFFICER STATES THAT THIS NECESSITATED THE PURCHASE OF AN ADDITIONAL MEAL FOR THE DETAIL. IT IS RECOMMENDED BY HEADQUARTERS, XX U.S. ARMY CORPS, FORT HAYES, COLUMBUS, OHIO, THAT THE CLAIM BE ALLOWED FOR PAYMENT.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1963, YOU REFER TO PARAGRAPH 31 (B), ARMY REGULATIONS 600-25, DATED JANUARY 23, 1959, WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHEN A FIRING SQUAD CANNOT BE PROVIDED BY A VETERANS' OR PATRIOTIC ORGANIZATION IN THE VICINITY OF POINT OF INTERMENT, OR SUCH ORGANIZATION IS PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE OF FURNISHING A FIRING SQUAD, ARMY COMMANDERS MAY AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF INVITATIONAL ORDERS, SO WORDED AS TO OBLIGATE THE GOVERNMENT FOR MEAL TICKETS ONLY FOR THE NOON OR EVENING MEAL, TO A VOLUNTEER ROTC FIRING SQUAD FROM AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF THE POINT OF INTERMENT. YOU SAY THAT IN THIS CASE ONE MEAL TICKET WAS FURNISHED EACH INDIVIDUAL OF THE ROTC FIRING SQUAD AND THEREFORE YOU QUESTION WHETHER THE LIMITATION IN THE REGULATION OF ONE MEAL TO EACH VOLUNTEER PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM.

THE REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF INVITATIONAL ORDERS TO VOLUNTEER ROTC FIRING SQUADS CLEARLY LIMIT THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION FOR MEALS TO THE FURNISHING OF ONE MEAL. WHILE THE NEED FOR A SECOND MEAL IN THIS CASE APPEARS TO HAVE RESULTED FROM THE EARLY DEPARTURE OF THE DETAIL TO REHEARSE AT THE BURIAL SITE, WE ARE AWARE OF NO PROVISION IN THE REGULATIONS WHICH REQUIRES AN ROTC BURIAL DETAIL TO REHEARSE AT THE BURIAL SITE, AND THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO WHY SUCH REHEARSAL COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED AT MURRAY STATE COLLEGE SO AS TO PERMIT THE MEMBERS OF THE DETAIL TO EAT THE NOON MEAL IN THE COLLEGE CAFETERIA AND STILL ARRIVE AT THEIR DESTINATION IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO PERFORM THEIR REQUIRED DUTIES.

IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN VIEW OF THE EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF THE LIMITING REGULATIONS, WE PROPERLY MAY NOT AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE ADDITIONAL MEAL.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.