B-244823, Feb 14, 1992

B-244823: Feb 14, 1992

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He is not entitled to travel and transportation allowances to his home of selection since he did not take up residence in California. USMC (Retired): This is in response to an appeal of a Claims Group determination which denied the claim of Master Sergeant Ricardo L. His claim for home of selection travel is denied. He indicates that he and wife are registered to vote and maintain a bank account in Eureka. The reason they did not remain in Eureka is that his wife is employed by the State Department and is assigned overseas duty. He says that when she retires from the foreign service they plan to move to Eureka although that is some years in the future. Section 404(c) of title 37 entitles a retired member to travel and transportation allowances for travel to a home of selection if the travel is performed within 1 year of retirement.

B-244823, Feb 14, 1992

DIGEST: A member who retired from active duty designated Eureka, California, as his home of selection. He travelled to California but remained there only a short time. He is not entitled to travel and transportation allowances to his home of selection since he did not take up residence in California. However, he indicates that he also travelled to his home of record at that time. When he provides documentation for that travel, he may receive allowances for his personal travel to his home of record.

Master Sergeant Ricardo L. Martinez, USMC (Retired):

This is in response to an appeal of a Claims Group determination which denied the claim of Master Sergeant Ricardo L. Martinez, USMC (Retired), for travel allowances to the place he designated as his home of selection. For the reasons presented below, his claim for home of selection travel is denied; however, he may be entitled to travel and transportation allowances to his home of record.

Sergeant Martinez on transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve chose Eureka, California, as his home of selection. He and his dependents travelled to Eureka by way of Corpus Christi, Texas but stayed there only a short time. He indicates that he and wife are registered to vote and maintain a bank account in Eureka. The reason they did not remain in Eureka is that his wife is employed by the State Department and is assigned overseas duty. He says that when she retires from the foreign service they plan to move to Eureka although that is some years in the future. The Marine Corps and our Claims Group denied his claims for travel and transportation allowances since he did not remain in California.

Section 404(c) of title 37 entitles a retired member to travel and transportation allowances for travel to a home of selection if the travel is performed within 1 year of retirement. The member is entitled to transportation for his dependents under 37 U.S.C. Sec. 406(g). These entitlements are reflected in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), volume 1, paragraphs U-5130 and U-5230. Appendix A of the JFTR defines "home of selection" as the place selected by the member as his home upon retirement.

In our decision Lieutenant Colonel William A. Terrio, USA (Retired), B-207144, Oct. 5, 1982, we dealt with a member who retired from active duty in Germany and selected a town in Oregon as his home of selection. travelled to Oregon shortly after retirement but remained there only a short time before returning to Germany. He indicated that he owned property in Oregon and intended to move there in the future. We denied his claim for travel and transportation allowances because he did not take up residence in Oregon at the time he travelled there.

The purpose of home of selection travel is to allow a retired member to travel to the place where he intends to live after he has completed his active service and to set up residence there within 1 year after retirement. Unless the member travels to that location and establishes a home there within 1 year, he is not entitled to home of selection travel. A short stay, even when coupled with actions which indicate intent to set up permanent residence at some time in the future, do not satisfy the requirements of the regulations. B-207144, supra.

Sergeant Martinez traveled to California, the place he had designated as his home of selection. Although he took actions while there which indicated an intent to become a legal resident of California, he stayed only a short time and did not actually take up residence there. The Claims Group therefore properly denied his claim for home of selection travel.

Sergeant Martinez indicates that on his trip to California he also travelled to Corpus Christi, Texas, his home of record. He should provide the Marine Corps with documentation of his travel to Texas, since a member who is precluded from receiving allowances for travel to his home of selection retains his entitlement to allowances for his personal travel to his home of record if he performs that travel. See 37 U.S.C. Sec. 404(a); 1 JFTR U5125, and 53 Comp.Gen. 963 (l974).

Sergeant Martinez's claim should be settled in accordance with the above.

To: Director, Claims Group/GGD - Sharon S. Green

From: General Counsel - James F. Hinchman

Subject: Master Sergeant Ricardo L. Martinez, USMC (Retired)-- Home of Selection Travel (B-244823) (Z-2866944)

Enclosed is your file Z-2866944 along with our decision, Master Sergeant Ricardo L. Martinez, USMC (Retired), B-244823, of today's date, in which we affirm your denial of Sergeant Martinez's claim for travel and transportation to his designated home of selection. However, we note that he may be entitled to personal travel to his home of record.