B-161115, MAY 2, 1967

B-161115: May 2, 1967

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USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO DD FORM 149. THE MATTER WILL BE TREATED AS SUCH A REQUEST RATHER THAN AS AN APPLICATION FOR THE CORRECTION OF YOUR MILITARY RECORD. THAT YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT SEPARATE RATIONS FOR YOU WERE DISCONTINUED UPON DEPARTURE FROM YOUR OLD STATION. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU DID NOT REALIZE YOU WERE NOT RECEIVING A SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE AT YOUR NEW STATION UNTIL MAY 17. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOU WERE NOT ISSUED A MEAL CARD AND THAT YOU PAID FOR YOUR MEALS DURING THIS PERIOD. IT IS REPORTED THAT THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR IN PROCESSING YOU INTO YOUR NEW STATION. AF FORM 220 FOR SEPARATE RATIONS WAS NOT INITIATED UNTIL THE ERROR WAS DETECTED IN MAY 1966. THAT THERE ARE NO SUBSTANTIATING DOCUMENTS OR STATEMENTS TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 18.

B-161115, MAY 2, 1967

TO MASTER SERGEANT ROBERT E. BISHOP, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO DD FORM 149, APPLICATION FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY OR NAVAL RECORD, SIGNED BY YOU ON FEBRUARY 17, 1967, REQUESTING PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE (SEPARATERATIONS) FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 18 TO MAY 17, 1966. SINCE THE COMMANDER OF THE 331ST FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON (ADC), WEBB AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE, THE MATTER WILL BE TREATED AS SUCH A REQUEST RATHER THAN AS AN APPLICATION FOR THE CORRECTION OF YOUR MILITARY RECORD.

YOU SAY ON DD FORM 149 THAT YOU ARRIVED AT THE 331ST FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON (ADC) FROM YOUR OVERSEAS STATION ON JANUARY 18, 1966, AND THAT YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT SEPARATE RATIONS FOR YOU WERE DISCONTINUED UPON DEPARTURE FROM YOUR OLD STATION. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU DID NOT REALIZE YOU WERE NOT RECEIVING A SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE AT YOUR NEW STATION UNTIL MAY 17, 1966. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOU WERE NOT ISSUED A MEAL CARD AND THAT YOU PAID FOR YOUR MEALS DURING THIS PERIOD. IT IS REPORTED THAT THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR IN PROCESSING YOU INTO YOUR NEW STATION, AF FORM 220 FOR SEPARATE RATIONS WAS NOT INITIATED UNTIL THE ERROR WAS DETECTED IN MAY 1966, AND THAT THERE ARE NO SUBSTANTIATING DOCUMENTS OR STATEMENTS TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM FOR SEPARATE RATIONS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 18, 1966. THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1966, DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE REASON THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT YOUR APPLICATION FOR SEPARATE RATIONS WAS APPROVED ON OR BEFORE THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM.

SECTION 402 (B) OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE ON A DAILY BASIS TO ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED. PARAGRAPH 30406 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM, PROVIDED THAT AF FORM 220, AN APPLICATION, AUTHORIZATION AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENT FOR THIS ALLOWANCE, WAS TO BE USED TO START, STOP OR ADJUST PAYMENT OF IT. PARAGRAPH 30407 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 PROVIDED THAT THE AIRMAN WOULD SUBMIT THE APPLICATION TO THE UNIT COMMANDER IMMEDIATELY UPON REPORTING TO A NEW STATION OR WHEN HE OTHERWISE BECAME ELIGIBLE TO RATION SEPARATELY. PARAGRAPH 30407 ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE COMMANDER WOULD "ENTER THE DATE THE AIRMAN IS AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY. IF THIS DATE IS BASED ON VERBAL ORDERS, CONFIRM SUCH ORDERS. NOTE: AUTHORITY TO RATION SEPARATELY CANNOT BE RETROACTIVE.'

UNDER THESE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AND REGULATIONS THE ALLOWANCE IN QUESTION IS NOT PAYABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE ENLISTED PERSON, AT OR PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD INVOLVED, WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE PROPER AUTHORITY TO MESS SEPARATELY. WE HAVE HELD, GENERALLY, THAT RETROACTIVE WRITTEN ORDERS MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY WAS GRANTED, BUT ONLY IF IT IS SHOWN THAT SUCH WRITTEN ORDERS WERE ISSUED IN CONFIRMATION OF SPECIFIC VERBAL ORDERS ISSUED BY PROPER AUTHORITY AT OR PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD INVOLVED, AND ONLY IF THE CONFIRMING ORDERS WERE ISSUED WITHIN A COMPARATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS.

IT IS OUR PRACTICE TO RECOGNIZE SUCH RETROACTIVE WRITTEN ORDERS ONLY WHERE THERE HAS BEEN A FULL ADMINISTRATIVE DISCLOSURE OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ISSUANCE OF THE VERBAL ORDERS; IN OTHER WORDS, THERE MUST BE EVIDENCE OTHER THAN BELATED CONFIRMATORY ORDERS THEMSELVES TO ESTABLISH THAT VERBAL ORDERS WERE ACTUALLY ISSUED. THIS PRACTICE IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT THE MESS PROVIDED FOR ENLISTED MEMBERS IS CREDITED WITH THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR ALL MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO THE MESS WHO ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY ORDERS TO MESS SEPARATELY AND PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE TO THE MEMBER IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH ORDERS RESULTS IN A DUPLICATE PAYMENT OF THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.

SINCE YOU SAY YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT YOU WERE NOT RECEIVING A SEPARATE RATIONS ALLOWANCE AT YOUR NEW STATION UNTIL MAY 17, 1966, YOU APPARENTLY DID NOT INQUIRE ABOUT THE ALLOWANCE OR SUBMIT AF FORM 220 BEFORE THAT DATE. WHILE THE COMMANDER OF THE 331ST FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON (ADC) HAS CERTIFIED THAT YOU WERE VERBALLY AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY EFFECTIVE JANUARY 18, 1966, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO SHOW THAT SUCH VERBAL AUTHORIZATION WAS GIVEN ON THAT DATE. THE FACT THAT SEPARATE RATIONS WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED FOR YOU IF PROPERLY REQUESTED DOES NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1966, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGED FOR ANY MEALS EATEN IN A GOVERNMENT MESS DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM. IF YOU WISH TO MAKE A CLAIM FOR REFUND OF ANY AMOUNTS YOU PAID FOR SUCH MEALS IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IT BE FILED WITH THE AIR FORCE, ACCOMPANIED BY EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL MEALS EATEN, INCLUDING THE DATES INVOLVED, AND AMOUNTS PAID FOR THE MEALS.