B-167978, OCT. 31, 1969

B-167978: Oct 31, 1969

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CHANGES IN GRADE OR RANK PREVIOUS $125 SETTLEMENT OF FORMER AIR FORCE MEMBER'S $317 CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF WIFE'S COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL FROM GUAM TO SAN FRANCISCO INCIDENT TO HIS SEPARATION FROM SERVICE IS SUSTAINED AS CLAIMANT WAS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE. HOWEVER UPON PROMOTION TO E-5 HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR HER TRAVEL NOT IN EXCESS OF AMOUNT AIR FORCE WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR HER. WHEN HE WAS INELIGIBLE FOR WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THUS IT APPEARS HE WAS NOT INCORRECTLY ADVISED. DUNAWAY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 9. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION.

B-167978, OCT. 31, 1969

TRANSPORTATION--DEPENDENTS--CHANGES IN GRADE OR RANK PREVIOUS $125 SETTLEMENT OF FORMER AIR FORCE MEMBER'S $317 CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF WIFE'S COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL FROM GUAM TO SAN FRANCISCO INCIDENT TO HIS SEPARATION FROM SERVICE IS SUSTAINED AS CLAIMANT WAS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE, HOWEVER UPON PROMOTION TO E-5 HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR HER TRAVEL NOT IN EXCESS OF AMOUNT AIR FORCE WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR HER; BASE PERSONNEL APPARENTLY ADVISED CLAIMANT OF NONENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL PRIVILEGES FOR WIFE PRIOR TO HIS PROMOTION TO E-5, WHEN HE WAS INELIGIBLE FOR WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THUS IT APPEARS HE WAS NOT INCORRECTLY ADVISED.

TO MR. CARROLL K. DUNAWAY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 9, 1969, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 21, 1969, WHICH ALLOWED THE SUM OF $125 IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR $317 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM ANDERSON AIR BASE, GUAM, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1968.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE SERVING AS SERGEANT IN PAY GRADE E-4, WITH THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 24, 1968, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION, APO SAN FRANCISCO 96334, AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON THE DATE ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN FROM OVERSEAS, IN SEPTEMBER 1968, TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, FOR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. ALSO, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SPECIAL ORDER A-42070, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, HEADQUARTERS, 3RD AIR DIVISION (SAC) APO SAN FRANCISCO 96334, SEPTEMBER 1, 1968, ANNOUNCED YOUR PROMOTION TO THE PERMANENT GRADE OF STAFF SERGEANT, PAY GRADE E-5, EFFECTIVE ON THAT DATE.

ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1968, THE DATE OF YOUR PROMOTION, YOUR WIFE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM YOUR LAST DUTY STATION, ANDERSON AIR BASE, GUAM, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 5, 1968, HEADQUARTERS, MILITARY AIR COMMAND, TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA 94335, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AND TRANSFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE RESERVE.

IN SUBMITTING YOUR CLAIM YOU EXPLAINED THAT YOU WERE TOLD BY THE TRAVEL AND PERSONNEL DEPARTMENTS AT ANDERSON AIR BASE THAT AS AN E-5 YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL PRIVILEGES FOR YOUR WIFE. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU PURCHASED A COMMERCIAL PLANE TICKET FOR HER RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES.

SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS YOU WERE A STAFF SERGEANT WHEN YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL, AND ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR WIFE, BY SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 21, 1969, YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $125 REPRESENTING THE APPLICABLE TARIFF CHARGE THE AIR FORCE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU INSIST THAT YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT SINCE YOUR WIFE HAD TO TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR BECAUSE OF A MISTAKE MADE BY MILITARY PERSONNEL AT ANDERSON AIR BASE AND YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR MISTAKE.

PARAGRAPH M7000-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION OR AS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED, EXCEPT ENLISTED MEMBERS IN PAY GRADE E-4, WITH 4 YEARS SERVICE OR LESS, OR IN A LOWER PAY GRADE.

PARAGRAPH M7009-1 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OR RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY WILL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM HIS LAST STATION, OR THE PLACE TO WHICH THEY WERE LAST TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THE MEMBER ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR HIS TRAVEL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4157. SUCH PROVISION, HOWEVER, APPLIES ONLY TO A MEMBER WHO IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

PARAGRAPH M7002-1B OF THE REGULATIONS 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 CIRCUMSTANCES, NONE OF WHICH ARE PERTINENT HERE. 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 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 BY 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.

AUTHORIZATION FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL WAS NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR ORDERS OF JUNE 24, 1968, PRESUMABLY FOR THE REASON THAT AS A SERGEANT IN PAY GRADE E -4, YOU HAD NOT COMPLETED 4 YEARS OF SERVICE AND, THEREFORE, WERE IN AN INELIGIBLE PAY GRADE FOR DEPENDENT TRAVEL. SINCE YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1968, HOWEVER, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR PROMOTION TO STAFF SERGEANT, PAY GRADE E-5, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION CONSIDERED THAT YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED AND THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY THE REGULATIONS.

WHERE A MEMBER'S DEPENDENTS ARE AUTHORIZED, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED, TO USE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL AND USE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, THE MEMBER MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL ON THE BASIS OF THE STANDARD PRICES WHICH THE SPONSORING SERVICE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. SEE 40 COMP. GEN. 482 (1961) AND 41 COMP. GEN. 100 (1961), COPIES HEREWITH.

PARAGRAPH 3308, AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4, DATED MAY 10, 1963, WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, PROVIDES THAT THE NORMAL ROUTING OF PERSONNEL TO AND FROM OVERSEAS IS CONTAINED IN ATTACHMENT 36 OF THE MANUAL. THE ROUTING AND MODE OF TRAVEL FROM GUAM TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SET FORTH IN ATTACHMENT 36 IS BY MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND FROM ANDERSON AIR BASE, GUAM, TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, WHICH IS IN THE VICINITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.

BASED ON THE FOREGOING REGULATIONS, YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR WIFE FROM ANDERSON AIR BASE, GUAM, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. HOWEVER, ON THE BASIS EXPLAINED ABOVE YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM ANDERSON AIR BASE, GUAM, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT THE AIR FORCE WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR HER BETWEEN SUCH POINTS.

CONCERNING YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE COMMERCIAL AIR FARE FOR YOUR WIFE BECAUSE OF A MISTAKE BY MILITARY PERSONNEL AT ANDERSON AIR BASE, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT THE ANDERSON AIR BASE PERSONNEL ADVISED YOU CONCERNING YOUR WIFE'S DEPENDENT TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1968, AT WHICH TIME YOU WERE STILL IN PAY GRADE E-4 AND, IT IS ASSUMED, WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR HER TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THEREFORE, THE INFORMATION THEY GAVE YOU PRIOR TO YOUR PROMOTION APPARENTLY WAS CORRECT. THE FACT THAT YOUR WIFE DEPARTED ON THE DAY OF YOUR PROMOTION WITHOUT OBTAINING GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AFFORDS NO BASIS TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE EXCESS COST OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 21, 1969, IS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.