B-162837, FEBRUARY 13, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 445

B-162837: Feb 13, 1968

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TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - DEPENDENTS ACQUIRED PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO SHORTLY BEFORE THE ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS TO A RESTRICTED AREA UPON COMPLETION OF AN UNACCOMPANIED TOUR OF DUTY AT AN OVERSEAS STATION IS MARRIED AND PAYS THE COST OF HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES HAS NOT MET THE REQUIREMENTS THAT HE HAVE AT LEAST 12 MONTHS REMAINING ON HIS OVERSEAS TOUR AFTER ACQUISITION OF A DEPENDENT FOR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL. 1968: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 67-35 BY THE PER DIEM. THE MEMBER WAS TRANSFERRED FROM U.S.

B-162837, FEBRUARY 13, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 445

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - DEPENDENTS ACQUIRED PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO SHORTLY BEFORE THE ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS TO A RESTRICTED AREA UPON COMPLETION OF AN UNACCOMPANIED TOUR OF DUTY AT AN OVERSEAS STATION IS MARRIED AND PAYS THE COST OF HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES HAS NOT MET THE REQUIREMENTS THAT HE HAVE AT LEAST 12 MONTHS REMAINING ON HIS OVERSEAS TOUR AFTER ACQUISITION OF A DEPENDENT FOR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL.

TO B. B. WILKINSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 13, 1968:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1967, 04-11-MN, SERIAL 379, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER SH1 EMMETT L. EADDY, 469 13 35, USN, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL OF A DEPENDENT WIFE FROM BARBADOS, WEST INDIES, TO MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 30 TO JULY 1, 1966, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 67-35 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

BY ORDERS NO. 46-66, DATED JUNE 27, 1966, THE MEMBER WAS TRANSFERRED FROM U.S. NAVAL FACILITY, BARBADOS, WEST INDIES, TO U.S. NAVAL FACILITY, GRAND TURKS ISLAND, T.W.I., FOR DUTY. A DELAY OF 30 DAYS CHARGEABLE TO LEAVE WAS AUTHORIZED. YOU SAY THAT ON JUNE 11, 1966, THE MEMBER MARRIED A RESIDENT OF BARBADOS, THAT SINCE GRAND TURKS IS A RESTRICTED STATION HE REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE FROM BARBADOS TO MYRTLE BEACH, HIS HOME, AND THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS DENIED FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS BELIEVED HE DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 3050, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS. THE WIFE IS SAID TO HAVE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR AT A COST OF $193.

YOU EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT SINCE THE MEMBER WAS MARRIED ON JUNE 11, 1966, AND TRANSFERRED ON JUNE 30, 1966, HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DENIED TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE. SINCE, HOWEVER, THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL MEANS AND THE ORDERS DO NOT CARRY AN ENDORSEMENT THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE, YOU EXPRESS DOUBT AS TO THE BASIS ON WHICH PAYMENT MAY BE MADE IF AUTHORIZED. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE MEMBER HAD COMPLETED AN 18-MONTH UNACCOMPANIED TOUR AT BARBADOS.

PARAGRAPH 3050, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, REFERS TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M3003-1B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND TO 33 COMP. GEN. 289 AND 33 COMP. GEN. 458, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS IS THE DATE THE MEMBER IS REQUIRED TO COMMENCE TRAVEL BY ORDINARY MEANS TO COMPLY WITH HIS ORDERS. IN THE PRESENT CASE SINCE THE MEMBER WAS MARRIED BEFORE THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WERE ISSUED, HE CLEARLY HAD A DEPENDENT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORDERS. THUS, IN ORDINARY PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION SITUATIONS HE WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS DEPENDENT.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, 37 U.S.C. 406, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON A MEMBER'S ORDERED CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS, FOR SUCH GRADES, RANKS, AND RATINGS, AND TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES AS THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE. THE RIGHT TO DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE ONE BUT MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED OR DENIED FOR REASONS OF MILITARY NECESSITY OR EXPEDIENCE. CULP V UNITED STATES, 76 CT. CL. 507; 35 COMP. GEN. 61.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS, ISSUED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 7 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH M7005-3-1 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT UPON ASSIGNMENT OF A MEMBER TO A RESTRICTED AREA WHERE THE OLD DUTY STATION IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND THE DEPENDENTS ARE LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED TO ANY PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES THE MEMBER MAY DESIGNATE. THIS IS THE ENTITLEMENT UNDER NORMAL SITUATIONS WHERE TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENT IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH M7000-14) THAT A MEMBER IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS TO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES WHEN HE IS CONSIDERED TO BE A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M4300-2, ITEM 3. PARAGRAPH M4300-2, ITEM 3, PROVIDES THAT THE TERM "MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS" APPLIES DURING THE REMAINDER OF ANY TOUR IN WHICH DEPENDENTS ARE ACQUIRED AND THE MEMBER IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE A MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH 1. SUBPARAGRAPH 1 PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER WHO ACQUIRES DEPENDENTS WHILE SERVING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A "MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS," PROVIDED THAT HE HAS AT LEAST 12 MONTHS REMAINING ON HIS OVERSEAS TOUR AFTER SUCH ACQUISITION, OR SERVES THE ACCOMPANIED TOUR AT THAT STATION, WHICHEVER IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AS DETERMINED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POLICY ON OVERSEAS TOURS OF DUTY FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND RELATED POLICIES AFFECTING THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS, IS SET FORTH IN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DIRECTIVE 1315.7, DATED APRIL 6, 1963, AS AMENDED. AN ENCLOSURE TO THAT DIRECTIVE, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, SHOWS THAT MEMBERS WERE REQUIRED TO SERVE 24 MONTHS AT BARBADOS IF ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS AND 18 MONTHS IF SERVING ON THE ALL OTHERS TOUR; ALSO, THAT DEPENDENTS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED AT GRAND TURKS ISLAND.

PARAGRAPH V-C-10 OF THAT DIRECTIVE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES, LIKE THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT MILITARY PERSONNEL WHO ACQUIRE DEPENDENTS WHILE SERVING IN AN OVERSEAS AREA "ALTHOUGH OTHERWISE ENTITLED," WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THEIR NEXT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNLESS THEY HAVE AT LEAST 12 MONTHS REMAINING ON THEIR OVERSEAS TOUR AFTER ACQUISITION OF DEPENDENTS, OR SERVE THE ACCOMPANIED TOUR OF DUTY AT THAT STATION, WHICHEVER IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AS DETERMINED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED.

SINCE THE MEMBER DID NOT HAVE 12 MONTHS REMAINING ON HIS OVERSEAS TOUR AFTER ACQUIRING A DEPENDENT BUT DEPARTED BARBADOS UPON COMPLETION OF AN UNACCOMPANIED TOUR, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND PARAGRAPH V C-10 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DIRECTIVE HAVE THE EFFECT OF DENYING ANY TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR HIS WIFE INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF JUNE 27, 1966. SINCE THOSE PROVISIONS ARE FOR APPLICATION WHETHER THE NEW STATION IS RESTRICTED OR NOT, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS ON WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PORTION OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIS WIFE INCIDENT TO THAT CHANGE OF STATION. PAYMENT NOT BEING AUTHORIZED ON THE MEMBER'S VOUCHER, IT WILL BE RETAINED HERE.

THE ORIGINAL ORDERS OF JUNE 27, 1966, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR ULTIMATE RETURN TO THE MEMBER.