B-159476, AUGUST 8, 1966, 46 COMP. GEN. 119.

B-159476: Aug 8, 1966

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OR PLACE OF ENTRY ON ACTIVE DUTY IS ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED IN 37 U.S.C. 404/A). A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION THAT IS NO DIFFERENT FROM A PERMANENT CHANGE- OF-DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO WHICH A MEMBER ON OFFICIAL LEAVE WHILE EN ROUTE TO A NEW DUTY STATION IS NOT DEPRIVED OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES. 1966: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 9. PROVIDED HE HAS IN HIS POSSESSION THE ORDERS DIRECTING HIS SEPARATION ON THE DATE TRAVEL FROM THE LAST DUTY STATION IS COMMENCED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 66-22 BY THE PER DIEM. ARE NORMALLY ISSUED 60 TO 90 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT. THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING AT BASE LEVEL THE MEMBER IS READY FOR RETIREMENT.

B-159476, AUGUST 8, 1966, 46 COMP. GEN. 119.

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - SEPARATION - LEAVE PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS. A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DEPARTING HIS LAST STATION IN A LEAVE STATUS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDERS RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR EFFECTING HIS RETIREMENT BUT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORDERS, WHO TRAVELS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE TO HOME OF SELECTION, HOME OF RECORD, OR PLACE OF ENTRY ON ACTIVE DUTY IS ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED IN 37 U.S.C. 404/A). THE MEMBER'S SEPARATION, A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION THAT IS NO DIFFERENT FROM A PERMANENT CHANGE- OF-DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO WHICH A MEMBER ON OFFICIAL LEAVE WHILE EN ROUTE TO A NEW DUTY STATION IS NOT DEPRIVED OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES, ENTITLES HIM TO THE ALLOWANCES AND HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WHILE ON OFFICIAL LEAVE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS ISSUED RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR EFFECTING HIS RETIREMENT.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, AUGUST 8, 1966:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1966, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE (FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT) REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL TO HOME OF SELECTION, HOME OF RECORD, OR PLACE OF ENTRY ON ACTIVE DUTY, WHEN HE PERFORMS SUCH TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WHILE ON OFFICIAL LEAVE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR RETIREMENT, PROVIDED HE HAS IN HIS POSSESSION THE ORDERS DIRECTING HIS SEPARATION ON THE DATE TRAVEL FROM THE LAST DUTY STATION IS COMMENCED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 66-22 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE RETIREMENT ORDERS, OTHER THAN FOR DISABILITY, ARE NORMALLY ISSUED 60 TO 90 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT, AND THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING AT BASE LEVEL THE MEMBER IS READY FOR RETIREMENT. HE EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT IF THERE IS NO SPECIFIC MILITARY REQUIREMENT FOR THE MEMBER'S PRESENCE AT HIS DUTY STATION OTHER THAN THE FINAL OUT-PROCESSING IN SUCH CASES, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT SOME MEMBERS WOULD TAKE LEAVE TO ARRANGE THEIR RETIREMENT RESIDENCE, PLACE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL, AND SEEK OR OBTAIN CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT. STATES, HOWEVER, THAT, BASED ON DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE WHICH HOLD THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ONLY FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS AND PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS AND THAT TRAVEL INCIDENT TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE IS NOT TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, THE DEPARTMENT PROHIBITS A MEMBER FROM BEING ABSENT FROM DUTY STATION IN A LEAVE STATUS ON THE LAST DAY OF ACTIVE DUTY PRIOR TO RETIREMENT.

REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1961, B-144594, WHICH INVOLVED AN ARMY OFFICER PLACED ON THE TEMPORARY DISABILITY RETIRED LIST WHO TRAVELED TO HIS HOME OF SELECTION IN A LEAVE STATUS PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF RETIREMENT ORDERS AND WHOSE CLAIM FOR SUCH TRAVEL WAS DENIED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL BY HIM AND HIS WIFE WAS PERFORMED IN A LEAVE STATUS AND PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF RETIREMENET ORDERS. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY POINTS OUT, HOWEVER, THAT IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1960, 40 COMP. GEN. 375, RELATING TO WHAT CONSTITUTES A REASONABLE TIME FOR PERFORMING TRAVEL IN COMPLIANCE WITH RETIREMENT ORDERS, WE REFERRED TO TRAVEL FROM LAST STATION TO HOME UNDER RETIREMENT ORDERS AS TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS AND HE SUGGESTS THAT IN THAT VIEW OF THE MATTER, A MEMBER SHOULD BE PERMITTED, IF OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE AND ADMINISTRATIVELY PROCESSED, TO UTILIZE ACCRUED LEAVE TO PERFORM TRAVEL PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE RETIREMENT ORDER IF SUCH ORDER IS IN HIS POSSESSION.

IN SUPPORT OF THIS VIEW, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT THE ARMY REGULATIONS (NOW PARAGRAPH 8H, ARMY REGULATIONS 630-5, OCTOBER 18, 1965) PROVIDE THAT ABSENCE FROM HOME STATION IN A LEAVE STATUS AT TIME OF RETIREMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED, PROVIDED THE MEMBER ACTUALLY HAS RETIREMENT ORDERS IN HIS POSSESSION AND TRANSFER PROCESSING HAS BEEN COMPLETED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND THAT THE MEMBER GRANTED LEAVE WILL, ON DATE OF RETIREMENT (FIRST DAY IN A RETIRED STATUS), PERSONALLY NOTIFY THE COMMANDER HAVING CUSTODY OF HIS RECORDS, BY TELEGRAM OR OTHER EXPEDITIOUS MEANS, OF HIS ACTUAL WHEREABOUTS.

SECTION 404/A) OF TITLE 37 U.S. CODE, PROVIDES, INSOFAR AS HERE PERTINENT, FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCES UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED OR TO BE PERFORMED BY A MEMBER UNDER ORDERS UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OR UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, PLACEMENT ON THE TEMPORARY DISABILITY RETIRED LIST, RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OF RETIREMENT FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION TO HIS HOME OR THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY. SUBSECTION (C) OF THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT IF THE MEMBER IS (1) RETIRED, OR IS PLACED ON THE TEMPORARY DISABILITY RETIRED LIST UNDER CHAPTER 61 OF TITLE 10 U.S. CODE, OR (2) IS RETIRED WITH PAY UNDER ANY OTHER LAW, OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING AT LEAST 8 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS ACTIVE DUTY WITH NO SINGLE BREAK THEREIN OF MORE THAN 90 DAYS, IS DISCHARGED WITH SEVERANCE PAY OR IS VOLUNTARILY RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY WITH READJUSTMENT PAY, HE MAY SELECT HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION (A). UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 411, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED ARE AUTHORIZED TO DEFINE THE WORDS ,PERMANENT STATION" FOR PURPOSES OF THOSE PROVISIONS AND THE TERM "PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION" IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M3003-1A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, PLACEMENT UPON THE TEMPORARY DISABILITY RETIRED LIST, RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, OR RETIREMENT.

THUS, UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO PLACE FROM WHICH CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY OR TO HOME UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR RETIREMENT IS A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR PURPOSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AND AS INDICATED IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1960, WE SEE NO REASON WHY IT SHOULD BE VIEWED DIFFERENTLY FROM ANY OTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR SUCH PURPOSES. THE FACT THAT A MEMBER UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS AVAILS HIMSELF OF LEAVE EN ROUTE HAS NOT BEEN VIEWED AS DEPRIVING HIM OF THE ALLOWANCES TO WHICH HE WOULD BE ENTITLED HAD HE NOT AVAILED HIMSELF OF THE LEAVE. SEE PARAGRAPH M4156, CASE 9, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT A MEMBER WHO DEPARTS HIS LAST STATION IN A LEAVE STATUS FOR THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, OR TO HOME, AFTER RECEIPT OF THE ORDERS RELEASING HIM FROM ACTIVE DUTY, OR EFFECTING HIS RETIREMENT, IS NOT DEPRIVED OF HIS ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SOLELY BECAUSE THE TRAVEL MAY BE PERFORMED IN A LEAVE STATUS PIROR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORDERS. THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1961, B 144594, INVOLVED TRAVEL PERFORMED IN A LEAVE STATUS PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS AND IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THAT VIEW.