B-166342, MAY 15, 1969

B-166342: May 15, 1969

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 30. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY FOR PAYMENT OF SUPPLEMENTAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE WHO WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF ONE DAY. WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING FOR ONE DAY. HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT AT KELLY AIR FORCE BASE. WAS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT 1400 THAT DAY. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PAID BASIC PAY PLUS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF 60 CENTS WHICH REPRESENTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THE DINNER (NOON) MEAL. NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OR PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED OR PAID AND. YOU INDICATE THAT ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT IN THIS CASE IS SMALL. A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE IS INVOLVED WHICH WILL AFFECT THE ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP OF THE AIR RESERVE FORCES IN A PAY STATUS.

B-166342, MAY 15, 1969

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL J. R. KELLIHER, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 30, 1969, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY FOR PAYMENT OF SUPPLEMENTAL SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE WHO WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF ONE DAY. THE REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. DO-AF-1031, BY THE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

BY RESERVE ORDER B-331, DATED MARCH 26, 1968, SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT BOBBY L. GONSHOR, AIR FORCE RESERVE, RESIDING IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING FOR ONE DAY, MARCH 30, 1968. HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT AT KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, AT 0800 ON THAT DAY. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE AIRMAN TO RATION SEPARATELY.

THE FILE SHOWS THAT SERGEANT GONSHOR REPORTED TO HIS DUTY STATION ON 0600 ON MARCH 30, 1968, AND WAS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT 1400 THAT DAY. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PAID BASIC PAY PLUS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF 60 CENTS WHICH REPRESENTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THE DINNER (NOON) MEAL. NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OR PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED OR PAID AND, SINCE THE MEMBER COMMUTED FROM HIS HOME TO HIS DUTY STATION NO ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES EXISTED. SEE THE ENCLOSED COPY OF DECISION B-152420, FEBRUARY 7, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN. -- .

THE MEMBER NOW CLAIMS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE FULL DAY, LESS PAYMENT ALREADY MADE. YOU QUESTION THE EXTENT OF HIS ENTITLEMENT TO SEPARATE RATIONS (SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE) AND ASK WHETHER SUCH RATIONS SHOULD BE:

"A. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE NORMAL DUTY DAY THEREBY ALLOWING AN AMOUNT FOR THE NOON MEAL ONLY?

"B. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE REQUIRED REPORTING HOUR (0800 HOURS) AS STATED IN THE ORDER AND ENTITLEMENT CONTINUED FOR MEALS REMAINING IN THE DAY?

"C. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE REQUIRED REPORTING HOUR (0800 HOURS) STATED IN THE ORDER AND THE REPORTED HOUR (1400 HOURS) OF DEPARTURE?

"D. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE ACTUAL REPORTING HOUR (0600 HOURS) AND ENTITLEMENT CONTINUED FOR MEALS REMAINING IN THE DAYS.

"E. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE ACTUAL REPORTING HOUR (0600 HOURS) AND THE REPORTED HOUR (1400 HOURS) OF DEPARTURE?

"F. PRORATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE HOURS MEMBER NECESSARILY DEPARTS HOME AND RETURNS HOME IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE ORDER?

"G. ALLOWED FOR THE ENTIRE DAY?

YOU INDICATE THAT ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT IN THIS CASE IS SMALL, A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE IS INVOLVED WHICH WILL AFFECT THE ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP OF THE AIR RESERVE FORCES IN A PAY STATUS.

SECTION 402 (A) OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY THAT SECTION OR BY ANOTHER LAW, EACH MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO IS ENTITLED TO BASIC PAY IS ENTITLED TO A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE IN AN AMOUNT SET FORTH IN THAT SECTION. SUBSECTION (B) PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT AN ENLISTED MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE, ON A DAILY BASIS, OF ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TYPES-- "/1) WHEN RATIONS IN KIND ARE NOT AVAILABLE; (2) WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED; AND (3) WHEN ASSIGNED TO DUTY UNDER EMERGENCY CONDITIONS WHERE NO MESSING FACILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES ARE AVAILABLE.'

THE SUBSECTION PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCE FOR ENLISTED MEMBERS WHO ARE ON LEAVE, OR ARE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY, SHALL BE EQUAL TO THE COST OF THE RATION AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. SUCH MEMBERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCE, HOWEVER, WHILE BEING SUBSISTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. SUBSECTION (F) AUTHORIZES THE PRESIDENT TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THAT SECTION.

PART III, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11157, JUNE 22, 1964, 29 FR 7973, PROVIDES IN SECTION 301 FOR THE PRORATING OF THE DAILY BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE IN INSTANCES OF MEMBERS WHO ARE BEING SUBSISTED IN KIND IN A MESS AND WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE THEM TO BE ABSENT FROM THEIR STATION DURING ONE OR MORE MEALS, IN WHICH CASE THEY ARE ENTITLED TO A PRORATED SHARE OF THE DAILY BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR EACH SUCH MEAL. SECTION 302 AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 THEREOF, TO PRESCRIBE SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS NOT INCONSISTENT THEREWITH, AS THEY MAY DEEM NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THAT PART AND SECTION 402 OF TITLE 37, UNITED STATES CODE.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE ORDER DEFINES THE TERM "WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED" AS APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS ON DUTY AT STATIONS OR WHILE SICK IN HOSPITALS WHERE A MESS FOR SUBSISTING ENLISTED MEMBERS IS AVAILABLE AND WHEN SUCH ENLISTED MEMBERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SUBSIST THEMSELVES INDEPENDENTLY. IT IS ALSO APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEMBERS DURING ALL PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED LEAVE.

WHEN PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY IS GRANTED ENLISTED MEMBERS, PARAGRAPH 30137, MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES ENTITLEMENT MANUAL, IMPLEMENTING THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, PROVIDES FOR PRORATING OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR PART OF A DAY IN CONNECTION WITH HOSPITALIZATION, A TRAVEL STATUS, OR WHILE ON SHORE PATROL DUTY. ALSO, THAT PARAGRAPH AND TABLE 3-1-4, RULE 5, OF THE MANUAL PROVIDE FOR PRORATING THE ALLOWANCE IF THE MEMBER IS BEING SUBSISTED IN KIND BUT HIS DUTIES REQUIRE HIM TO BUY ONE OR MORE MEALS FROM OTHER THAN A GOVERNMENT MESS.

PARAGRAPH 30137 AND RULE 6 OF THE TABLE, IMPLEMENTING SECTION 402 (E) OF TITLE 37, FURTHER PROVIDE THAT AN ENLISTED MAN WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY AND WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE HIM TO PURCHASE A MEAL OR MEALS IN OTHER THAN A GOVERNMENT MESS IS ENTITLED TO A SUPPLEMENTAL ALLOWANCE, BASED ON THE HIGHER RATE WHEN RATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, FOR THE MEALS PURCHASED. TABLE 3-1-4, RULE 1, PROVIDES THAT WHEN AN ENLISTED MEMBER IS AT HIS PERMANENT STATION AND RATIONS IN KIND ARE AVAILABLE BUT NOT FURNISHED BECAUSE OF PERMISSION TO MESS SEPARATELY, HE IS ENTITLED TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE AT A DAILY RATE OF $1.32.

THE WORD "RATION" IS DEFINED AS THE ALLOWANCE OF FOOD FOR THE SUBSISTENCE OF ONE PERSON FOR ONE DAY. A RATION ALLOWANCE IS MONEY PAID INSTEAD OF AUTHORIZED FOOD RATIONS ISSUED IN KIND. IT IS AN AMOUNT PAID TO A MEMBER IN LIEU OF FURNISHING SUBSISTENCE IN KIND AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF IS DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT TO FEED THE ENLISTED MEMBER FOR ONE DAY.

THE ABOVE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS ARE IN ACCORD WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER AND OUR DECISIONS WHICH LONG HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE MAY BE PRORATED ON THE DAYS INVOLVED IF AN ENLISTED MAN'S DUTY ASSIGNMENT ON THOSE DAYS PREVENTS HIM FROM UTILIZING THE MESS AT HIS STATION FOR ONE OR TWO OF HIS MEALS. 8 COMP. GEN. 4. ALSO, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY, THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE MAY BE PRORATED FOR THE PORTION OF THE DAY BEFORE THE ENLISTED MAN ENTERS A TRAVEL STATUS OR AFTER SUCH STATUS TERMINATES SINCE HE WOULD BE SUBSISTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR ONLY THE PORTION OF THE DAY WHILE IN RECEIPT OF PER DIEM OR MILEAGE. COMP. GEN. 352.

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION OF SECTION 402 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, THAT AN ENLISTED MAN, WHILE NOT BEING SUBSISTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, IS ENTITLED TO A SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OF THE APPROPRIATE TYPE, ON A DAILY BASIS, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT AN ENLISTED MAN SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AND ENTITLED TO BASIC PAY WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO MESS SEPARATELY IS ENTITLED TO THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE DAILY ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH DUTY IF HE IS NOT OTHERWISE SUBSISTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE ABOVE DECISIONS WERE RENDERED ON THAT BASIS.

IT IS OUR VIEW, THEREFORE, THAT A RESERVIST SUCH AS SERGEANT GONSHOR WHO IS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR ONE DAY, AND WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO RATION SEPARATELY, IS ENTITLED TO THE AUTHORIZED SEPARATE RATION ALLOWANCE FOR ONE DAY RATHER THAN FOR ONLY A PORTION OF THE DAY. WHILE HIS DUTIES DID NOT REQUIRE SERGEANT GONSHOR TO REMAIN AT HIS DUTY STATION FOR THE ENTIRE DAY, HE DID NOT ENTER A TRAVEL STATUS AND WAS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED SUBSISTENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THE BREAKFAST AND SUPPER MEALS. ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM IS RETURNED HEREWITH, PAYMENT BEING AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS STATED, LESS ANY AMOUNT ALREADY PAID.