B-167360, AUG. 29, 1969

B-167360: Aug 29, 1969

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RA55111106: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT TO RHEIN/MAIN AIR BASE. THAT SHE TOOK THE SS UNITED STATES FROM THERE TO NEW YORK SINCE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO USE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BY HER DOCTOR'S ORDERS. THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PAID FOR HER TRANSPORTATION FROM NEW YORK TO PONDERS. STATING THAT YOUR WIFE "IS NOT ABLE TO TRAVELING BY AIR. OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT THAT THIS MEDICAL STATEMENT WAS NOT CONSIDERED A BONA FIDE STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN COMMAND SINCE IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO INDICATE SOMETHING NOT INTENDED BY THE ISSUING OFFICER. THAT YOU ARE MAKING EFFORTS TO HAVE THE FACTS VERIFIED BY THE DOCTORS WHO EXECUTED THE FORM.

B-167360, AUG. 29, 1969

MILITARY - TRAVEL ON OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT PROVIDED SPACE - TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS DECISION TO ARMY ENLISTED MAN FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENT WIFE FROM OVERSEAS VIA SS. UNITED STATES. ENLISTED MEMBER WHOSE WIFE REFUSED TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT AND INSTEAD OF APPLYING FOR GOVERNMENT SURFACE TRANSPORTATION TRAVELED ON SS. UNITED STATES MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FULL AMOUNT BUT MAY BE PAID ON BASIS OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO EXTENT OF COST TO ARMY HAD DEPENDENT TRAVELED BY GOVERNMENT PROCURED SPACE.

TO ALBERT F. JAMES, SP5, RA55111106:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1969, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENT WIFE FROM HANNA (HANAU), GERMANY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 15 TO 22, 1967.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS 155 DATED JUNE 16, 1967, AS AMENDED, HEADQUARTERS 3D ARMORED DIVISION (SPEARHEAD), APO 09039, REASSIGNED YOU FROM YOUR OVERSEAS STATION AT HANAU, GERMANY, TO THE 528TH CS COMPANY, FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON, AND AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT TO RHEIN/MAIN AIR BASE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, ON AUGUST 22, 1967, FOR FLIGHT NO. T 740 TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY. YOUR CLAIM YOU SAY THAT YOUR WIFE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL RAIL FROM YOUR STATION TO BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY, THAT SHE TOOK THE SS UNITED STATES FROM THERE TO NEW YORK SINCE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO USE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BY HER DOCTOR'S ORDERS, AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PAID FOR HER TRANSPORTATION FROM NEW YORK TO PONDERS, WASHINGTON.

YOU FURNISHED OUR OFFICE A COPY OF AE FORM 3086, MEDICAL STATEMENT FOR REDEPLOYMENT TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, SIGNED BY CAPTAIN GERALD C. RUTHEN, MC, U.S. ARMY DISPENSARY, HANAU, APO 09165, DATED JUNE 21, 1967, STATING THAT YOUR WIFE "IS NOT ABLE TO TRAVELING BY AIR, DUE TO SEVERE SICKNESS. TRAVELING BY WATER ONLY.' BY SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1968, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT THAT THIS MEDICAL STATEMENT WAS NOT CONSIDERED A BONA FIDE STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN COMMAND SINCE IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO INDICATE SOMETHING NOT INTENDED BY THE ISSUING OFFICER. YOU SAY IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1969, THAT YOU ARE MAKING EFFORTS TO HAVE THE FACTS VERIFIED BY THE DOCTORS WHO EXECUTED THE FORM.

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO ARE ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR DEPENDENTS. PARAGRAPH M7002-1B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS TO, FROM OR BETWEEN AREAS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT OR VESSELS WILL BE UTILIZED, IF AVAILABLE, EXCEPT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES INCLUDING WHEN IT IS MEDICALLY CONTRAINDICATED, OR WHEN DEPENDENTS REFUSE TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT (IN SUCH INSTANCES TRANSPORTATION WILL BE FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL, IF AVAILABLE, OTHERWISE COMMERCIAL VESSEL).

PARAGRAPH M7002-2B OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS, THE MEMBER MAY BE REIMBURSED IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PROVIDED FOR HIS PERSONAL TRAVEL IN PARAGRAPH M4159-4, EXCEPT THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION VIA GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS NOT AVAILABLE AND DEPENDENTS REFUSE TO TRAVEL BY AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT, REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF PASSAGE BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL.

PARAGRAPH M4159-4 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM DIRECTED) AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION (OTHER THAN FOREIGN-FLAG) AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION UTILIZED NOT TO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE TARIFF CHARGE WHICH THE SPONSORING SERVICE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.

WHILE YOUR ORDERS DIRECTED YOU TO USE GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT AND AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR YOUR WIFE, THE ORDERS DID NOT SPECIFICALLY DIRECT THAT SHE USE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. AS INDICATED ABOVE, HOWEVER, PARAGRAPH M7002-1B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES THE USE BY DEPENDENTS OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION, IF AVAILABLE, FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES EXCEPT IN SPECIFIED CIRCUMSTANCES INCLUDING WHEN THE USE OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS MEDICALLY CONTRAINDICATED. ALSO, IF DEPENDENTS REFUSE TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT, TRANSPORTATION IS TO BE FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL, IF AVAILABLE, OTHERWISE BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL.

SINCE THE EUROPEAN COMMAND CONSIDERED THE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF JUNE 21, 1967, OF DOUBTFUL VALIDITY, IT APPARENTLY WAS OF THE OPINION THAT THE CERTIFICATE DID NOT AFFORD A BASIS FOR PROVIDING SURFACE TRANSPORTATION. THERE IS NO SHOWING, HOWEVER, THAT GOVERNMENT SURFACE TRANSPORTATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED FROM GERMANY TO THE UNITED STATES UPON THE REFUSAL OF YOUR WIFE TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT. THEREFORE, ON THE PRESENT RECORD THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE FULL AMOUNT TO YOU OF THE COST OF HER TRANSPORTATION ON THE SS UNITED STATES. IT IS CONCLUDED, HOWEVER, THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS TO YOUR WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO THE EXTENT OF THE CHARGE ($275) THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED BY THE ARMY HAD SHE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT PROCURED SPACE (CONTRACT) ON A COMMERCIAL VESSEL. SEE 40 COMP. GEN. 482; B-165518, JANUARY 21, 1969, COPIES ENCLOSED. ALSO, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE LAND TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR WIFE FROM HANAU TO BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS BEING INSTRUCTED TODAY TO ISSUE A SETTLEMENT FOR THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE YOU ON THIS BASIS.