B-164157, AUGUST 16, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 78

B-164157: Aug 16, 1968

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TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RESERVISTS - TRAINING - ACTIVE V INACTIVE DUTY A RESERVE MEMBER WHO PERFORMS INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT HEADQUARTERS BEFORE AND AFTER AN ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING PERIOD IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED IN 37 U.S.C. 404 (A) BECAUSE OF THE PROHIBITION IN PARAGRAPH M6002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AGAINST PAYMENT OF TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF A RESERVE COMPONENT. IS THE AVAILABILITY OF THE RESERVIST FOR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING. PROVIDING THAT THE ACTIVE DUTY STATUS OF A RESERVIST ORDERED TO DUTY FOR MORE THAN 30 DAYS IS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE TRAVEL TIME.

B-164157, AUGUST 16, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 78

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RESERVISTS - TRAINING - ACTIVE V INACTIVE DUTY A RESERVE MEMBER WHO PERFORMS INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT HEADQUARTERS BEFORE AND AFTER AN ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING PERIOD IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED IN 37 U.S.C. 404 (A) BECAUSE OF THE PROHIBITION IN PARAGRAPH M6002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AGAINST PAYMENT OF TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF A RESERVE COMPONENT, ABSENT A REQUIREMENT FOR PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING OR UPON DETACHMENT FROM ACTIVE DUTY. FOR CONSIDERATION, HOWEVER, IS THE AVAILABILITY OF THE RESERVIST FOR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING, 37 U.S.C. 204 (B), PROVIDING THAT THE ACTIVE DUTY STATUS OF A RESERVIST ORDERED TO DUTY FOR MORE THAN 30 DAYS IS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE TRAVEL TIME.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, AUGUST 16, 1968:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1968, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE (PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 68 18) ON APRIL 16, 1968, REQUESTING A DECISION RELATING TO THE TRAVEL ENTITLEMENTS OF MEMBERS OF THE RESERVE COMPONENTS INCIDENT TO ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING WHO PERFORM INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT THEIR TRAINING DUTY STATION ON THE DAY BEFORE OR THE DAY AFTER THE PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING.

THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS THE QUESTION PRESENTED ARISES BECAUSE OF DOUBT SURROUNDING THE STATUS OF THE MEMBER AT THE TIME HE PERFORMS THE TRAVEL SINCE PARAGRAPH M6002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR ANY INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING WITH OR WITHOUT PAY AT THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE HEADQUARTERS OF HIS RESERVE COMPONENT UNIT IS LOCATED, INCLUDING TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS HOME AND THE HEADQUARTERS OF HIS RESERVE UNIT, ATTENDANCE AT WEEKLY DRILLS, OR DUTY IN LIEU OF WEEKLY DRILLS.

THE UNDER SECRETARY ALSO SAYS THAT WHEN THE MEMBER DEPARTS FROM HIS HOME PRIOR TO THE TIME NECESSARY TO PUT HIM AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF HIS RESERVE UNIT ON THE DAY REQUIRED TO COMMENCE ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AND USES THE EXTRA TIME FOR SCHEDULED OR MAKE-UP PERIODS OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING, QUESTION ARISES WHETHER THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING OR WHETHER SUCH TRAINING WAS MERELY COINCIDENTAL AND THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PRIMARILY INCIDENT TO HIS ACTIVE DUTY ORDERS. IN MANY INSTANCES, CONTINUES THE UNDER SECRETARY, MEMBERS RESIDE SO FAR DISTANT FROM THEIR INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING STATION THAT RETURN TRAVEL TO THEIR RESIDENCES IS IMPRACTICAL WHEN CONSECUTIVE DUTIES SUCH AS ARE OUTLINED ABOVE ARE PERFORMED.

HE ALSO SAYS THAT THE CASES INVOLVED ARE FURTHER COMPLICATED IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 404 (F) AND RELATED IMPLEMENTATIONS THEREOF IN PARAGRAPH M4157 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDE THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED MAY BE PAID ON THE MEMBER'S RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY WHETHER OR NOT HE PERFORMS THE TRAVEL INVOLVED. UNDER THAT RULE, HE SAYS, IT WOULD APPEAR IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE RESERVIST DID OR DID NOT PERFORM INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING ON THE DAY FOLLOWING RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

THE UNDER SECRETARY STATES IF THAT BE SO AND THE ACTIVE DUTY TERMINAL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE EVEN THOUGH THE MEMBER DOES NOT PERFORM TRAVEL TO HIS HOME UNTIL AFTER COMPLETION OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING FOR WHICH HE IS OTHERWISE DENIED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES UNDER PARAGRAPH M6002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IT MAY BE THAT INITIAL TRAVEL TO THE DUTY STATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS INCIDENT TO THE ACTIVE DUTY EVEN THOUGH ACCOMPLISHED EARLIER THAN NECESSARY IN ORDER TO PERFORM INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING.

WHILE THE CASE PRESENTED INVOLVES A SITUATION WHERE THE INACTIVE DUTY STATION AND THE PLACE OF CALL TO AND RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY ARE AT THE SAME PLACE, THE UNDER SECRETARY REQUESTS, IF OUR DECISION IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED IS CONSIDERED TO BE TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR WHICH NO REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED, ADVICE WHETHER OUR DECISION WOULD BE THE SAME IF THE INACTIVE DUTY STATION AND THE PLACE OF COMMENCEMENT OR TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY, AS APPLICABLE, WERE AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS.

SECTION 404 (A) OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED OR TO BE PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS, INCLUDING UPON CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY FROM HIS HOME OR FROM THE PLACE FROM WHICH CALLED OR ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY TO HIS FIRST STATION, AND UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION TO HIS HOME OR THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS CALLED OR ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, WHETHER OR NOT HE IS OR WILL BE A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL IS OR WILL BE PERFORMED. SUBSECTION (F) PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS SECTION MAY BE PAID ON THE MEMBER'S SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WHETHER OR NOT HE PERFORMS THE TRAVEL INVOLVED.

PARAGRAPH M6001 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE RESERVE COMPONENTS CALLED (OR ORDERED) TO ACTIVE DUTY (OR ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING) WITH OR WITHOUT PAY WILL BE ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES, PRESCRIBED IN CHAPTER 4 OF THE REGULATIONS, AS APPROPRIATE, FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE ACTIVE DUTY STATION. PARAGRAPHS M6002 AND M6004 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE MEMBERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR ANY INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AT THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE HEADQUARTERS OF THEIR RESERVE COMPONENT UNITS ARE LOCATED, INCLUDING TRAVEL BETWEEN THEIR HOMES AND THE HEADQUARTERS OF THEIR RESERVE UNITS.

RESERVISTS ARE ENTITLED, UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FROM HOME TO FIRST DUTY STATION UPON CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY AND FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME ON RELEASE THEREFROM. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT SUCH TRAVEL BE PERFORMED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING ENTRANCE UPON ACTIVE DUTY OR IMMEDIATELY UPON DETACHMENT THEREFROM OR, FOR THAT MATTER, THAT IT BE PERFORMED AT ALL UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 404 (F). WE KNOW OF NO REASON WHY THE INTERVENTION OF ACTIVITIES NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE NEED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND ACTIVE DUTY STATION SHOULD AFFECT SUCH ENTITLEMENT.

WE ARE OF THE VIEW, THEREFORE, THAT THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM HOME TO DUTY STATION, AND RETURN, UNDER ACTIVE DUTY ORDERS WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE PERFORMANCE OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING IMMEDIATELY BEFORE AND AFTER AN ACTIVE DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH BY THE UNDER SECRETARY.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT RESERVISTS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF MORE THAN 30 DAYS ARE IN AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE THE TIME NECESSARY TO TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOME TO FIRST DUTY STATION AND FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 204 (B), EVEN THOUGH TRAVEL MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE PERFORMED IMMEDIATELY BEFORE AND AFTER THE ACTIVE DUTY ASSIGNMENT. SEE 44 COMP. GEN. 43 AT PAGE 49. IN VIEW OF THAT FACT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THEY WOULD BE IN AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS ON THE DAYS QUESTIONED BY THE UNDER SECRETARY AND THAT THEIR AVAILABILITY ON THOSE DAYS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING WOULD BE OPEN TO QUESTION.