B-182743, AUGUST 13, 1976

B-182743: Aug 13, 1976

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WHO WAS RETIRED AT ANKARA. UNDER ORDERS WHICH INDICATED TRAVEL TO BOSTON WAS FOR PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE UPON RETIREMENT. SINCE RECORD INDICATES THAT BOSTON WAS CHOSEN AS MEMBER'S HOME OF SELECTION. TRAVEL THERE WAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1 JTRPARA. WHICH WAS CLAIMED TO BE HIS ACTUAL HOME OF SELECTION. RETIRED: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM COLONEL ROBERT N. THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED RETIREMENT AT ANKARA. THE MEMBER AND HIS WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FROM ANKARA TO DESTINATION. ADDITIONAL TRAVEL VIA ENGLAND ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MEMBER'S STATUS WAS INDICATED IN THOSE ORDERS AS "RETIRED" AND REFERENCE WAS MADE TO ITEM 83 OF DA SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS WHICH STATES "HOME OF SELECTION AND COMPLETION OF TRAVEL WITHIN 1 YEAR.

B-182743, AUGUST 13, 1976

MEMBER, WHO WAS RETIRED AT ANKARA, TURKEY, TRAVELED VIA EUROPE TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNDER ORDERS WHICH INDICATED TRAVEL TO BOSTON WAS FOR PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE UPON RETIREMENT. SINCE RECORD INDICATES THAT BOSTON WAS CHOSEN AS MEMBER'S HOME OF SELECTION, AND TRAVEL THERE WAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1 JTRPARA. M4159-2A, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ENTITLEMENTS MUST BE BASED ON CHOICE OF BOSTON, EVEN THOUGH AFTER REMAINING APPROXIMATELY 9 MONTHS IN BOSTON, MEMBER AND WIFE TRAVELED TO WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, WHICH WAS CLAIMED TO BE HIS ACTUAL HOME OF SELECTION.

COLONEL ROBERT N. GROVE, USA, RETIRED:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM COLONEL ROBERT N. GROVE, USA, RETIRED, CONSTITUTING AN APEEAL FROM A SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 24, 1975, BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR PERSONAL AND DEPENDENT TRAVEL ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL TO HIS HOME OF SELECTION UPON HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE ARMY IN 1972.

BY LETTER ORDERS NUMBER S12-56, DATED DECEMBER 3, 1971, THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED RETIREMENT AT ANKARA, TURKEY, HIS THEN PERMANENT DUTY STATION. BY SPECIAL ORDERS NUMBER 4, DATED JANUARY 10, 1972, THE MEMBER AND HIS WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FROM ANKARA TO DESTINATION, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING THEIR RESIDENCE UPON RETIREMENT. ADDITIONAL TRAVEL VIA ENGLAND ALSO WAS AUTHORIZED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MEMBER'S STATUS WAS INDICATED IN THOSE ORDERS AS "RETIRED" AND REFERENCE WAS MADE TO ITEM 83 OF DA SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS WHICH STATES "HOME OF SELECTION AND COMPLETION OF TRAVEL WITHIN 1 YEAR, UNLESS SPECIFIC APPROVAL OTHERWISE, IS AUTHORIZED."

THE MEMBER AND HIS WIFE STAYED IN ENGLAND APPROXIMATELY 1 MONTH AND ARRIVED IN BOSTON ON MARCH 3, 1972. BY LETTER ORDERS NUMBER 72-69, ISSUED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1972, THE MEMBER AND DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE UPON RETIREMENT. THESE ORDERS ALSO MADE REFERENCE TO ITEM 83 OF DA SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS. THE FILE INDICATES THAT ON OCTOBER 27, 1972, THE MEMBER EXECUTED A CERTIFICATE SHOWING WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, AS HIS HOME OF SELECTION AND THAT THEIR TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND WAS COMMENCED ON DECEMBER 2, 1972.

UNDER PARAGRAPH M4158-2A, 1 JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR), ONCE A HOME IS SELECTED AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS FURNISHED OR A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IS FURNISHED AND USED FOR TRAVEL THERETO, OR TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS RECEIVED AFTER COMPLETION OF SUCH TRAVEL, SUCH SELECTION IS IRREVOCABLE.

THE MEMBER'S CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE ONLY AUTHORITY FOR TRAVEL AFTER RETIREMENT IS FOR TRAVEL TO THE MEMBER'S HOME OF SELECTION, AND PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL TO BOSTON BY THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOLLOWED BY MEMBER'S PERFORMANCE OF THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL, RESULTED IN WHAT WAS CONSIDERED AN IRREVOCABLE SELECTION OF BOSTON AS THE HOME OF SELECTION UNDER 1 JTR PARA. M4158 2A. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE FILE INDICATES THAT IN REPLY TO AN INQUIRY FROM THE UNITED STATES ARMY FINANCE SUPPORT AGENCY, THE COMMANDER, HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY ELEMENT AF SOUTH STATED THAT RECORDS OF THE HEADQUARTERS INDICATED THAT COLONEL GROVE CHOSE BOSTON AS HIS HOME UPON RETIREMENT.

ESSENTIALLY, THE MEMBER CONTENDS THAT BECAUSE OF THE REMOTE LOCATION OF HIS LAST DUTY STATION, COMPETENT ADVICE ON THE MATTER WAS UNAVAILABLE, AND HE WAS THEREFORE, FORCED TO RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON AN UNSPECIFIED PUBLICATION WHICH SUPPLIED ONLY GENERALIZED INFORMATION, REGARDING HIS TRANSPORTATION ENTITLEMENTS. IN ADDITION, THE MEMBER STATES THAT THE PURPOSE OF HIS TRAVEL TO BOSTON WAS ONLY TO RETURN TO THE NEAREST CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES PORT OF ENTRY AND THAT NO HOME WAS SELECTED UNTIL OCTOBER 27, 1972, WHEN HE EXECUTED THE CERTIFICATE SHOWING WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, AS HIS HOME OF SELECTION. HE SUGGESTS, THEREFORE, THAT THE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM ANKARA, TURKEY, TO WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, LESS THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM ANKARA TO BOSTON SHOULD BE ALLOWED AGAINST HIS INDEBTEDNESS.

WHILE TRANSPORTATION FROM OVERSEAS TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES NORMALLY IS AFFORDED TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TO BE SEPARATED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THIS COUNTRY, WHERE A MEMBER CHOOSES TO BE SEPARATED OVERSEAS, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE TRANSPORTATION BACK TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN ENTITLEMENT SEPARATE FROM HIS HOME OF SELECTION TRAVEL ENTITLEMENT. IT IS CLEARLY RECOGNIZED IN HIS ORDERS OF JANUARY 10, 1972, THAT HE TRAVELED NOT AS AN ACTIVE DUTY MEMBER, BUT AS A RETIRED MEMBER, SINCE HE CHOSE TO BE SEPARATED OVERSEAS SO THAT HE COULD TRAVEL AS A RETIRED MEMBER IN EUROPE INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL TO BOSTON.

FURTHERMORE, THE PUBLICATION FOR RETIRED OFFICERS, UPON WHICH THE MEMBER STATES HE RELIED, CLEARLY STATES THAT PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL TO THE RETIRED MEMBER'S HOME OF SELECTION IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AFTER TRAVEL IS PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A HOME, AND THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL FOR A VISIT, OR FOR ANY OTHER TEMPORARY PURPOSE. FURTHER, ONCE TRAVEL HAS BEEN PERFORMED AND PAYMENT RECEIVED, "SUCH SELECTION IS IRREVOCABLE."

THE DESIGNATION OF WELLINGTON AS HIS HOME OF SELECTION WAS NOT ATTEMPTED BY THE MEMBER UNTIL AFTER HIS TRAVEL TO BOSTON HAD BEEN COMPLETED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. GENERALLY, A MEMBER'S CERTIFICATION AS TO HIS HOME OF SELECTION AND HIS TRAVEL THERETO ESTABLISHES HIS ENTITLEMENT TO THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES. 36 COMP.GEN. 774 (1957).

BASED ON THE RECORD BEFORE US, COLONEL GROVE MOVED TO AND WAS REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AS HIS HOME OF SELECTION. UNLESS THAT RECORD IS SHOWN TO BE IN ERROR, NO ADDITIONAL HOME OF SELECTION ENTITLEMENTS EXIST.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS SUSTAINED.