B-246475, May 13, 1992

B-246475: May 13, 1992

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MILITARY PERSONNEL - Relocation - Household goods - Weight restrictions - Liability - Computation DIGEST: Member of Marine Corps is entitled to per diem at temporary duty station. Since although the member was undergoing follow-on training after induction and basic training which would normally preclude receiving per diem during such training. He was in a travel status away from his permanent duty station when he traveled to Camp Lejeune. Corporal Lowery was ordered to report to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. He was ordered to report on December 5. Corporal Lowery was informed that upon completion of the course. Corporal Lowery's claim for per diem for the time he was attending the Basic Travel Clerk course at Camp Lejeune was denied by our Claims Group based on paragraph U4102-E of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR).

B-246475, May 13, 1992

MILITARY PERSONNEL - Relocation - Household goods - Weight restrictions - Liability - Computation DIGEST: Member of Marine Corps is entitled to per diem at temporary duty station, Camp Lejeune, prior to receipt of orders naming Camp Lejeune as permanent duty station, since although the member was undergoing follow-on training after induction and basic training which would normally preclude receiving per diem during such training, prior course of instruction at Twentynine Palms, California exceeded 20 weeks and subsequent transfer to Albany, Georgia for instruction in excess of 20 weeks constituted a permanent change of station. Thus, he was in a travel status away from his permanent duty station when he traveled to Camp Lejeune.

Corporal Jeffrey B. Lowery, USMC:

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Kansas City, Missouri (DFAS) has requested reconsideration of our Claim Group's June 20, 1991, disallowance of Corporal Jeffrey B. Lowery's claim for per diem while performing temporary duty under instruction while at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Corporal Lowery performed basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. On June 2, 1987, Corporal Lowery was ordered to report to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, no later than June 20, 1987, for duty under instruction in the Basic Electronics course. Subsequently, he was ordered to report on December 5, 1987, under orders labeled Permanent Change of Station Orders, to the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, for duty under instruction in the Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Course for 25 weeks.

On March 5, 1988, he reported to the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for temporary duty under instructions in the Basic Travel Clerk course, which course he completed on April 26, 1988. By orders dated, April 7, 1988, Corporal Lowery was informed that upon completion of the course, Camp Lejeune would become his permanent duty station.

Corporal Lowery's claim for per diem for the time he was attending the Basic Travel Clerk course at Camp Lejeune was denied by our Claims Group based on paragraph U4102-E of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR). That regulation states that no per diem is payable for any period an enlisted member is undergoing processing, indoctrination, basic training or instruction at a place where both government mess and quarters are available before reporting to the first permanent duty station.

DFAS states that the Claims Group's disallowance conflicts with internal advice it has been given through a Travel Advisory Notice (TAN 10-91) which held that when a member is in the accession pipeline and is assigned to a course of instruction of 20 weeks or more, after completion of basic training, that school or installation is considered the member's first permanent duty station. Therefore, further assignment on a temporary duty basis would entitle the member to per diem.

Under the definition of permanent duty station in Appendix A of the JFTR when a member is ordered to attend a course of instruction at a school or installation the scheduled, cumulative duration of which is 20 weeks or more, the school or installation is that member's permanent station regardless of the terms of the orders involved.

Under this definition, when Corporal Lowery reported to Twentynine Palms, California that station became his permanent duty station, since the course of instruction was more than 20 weeks duration. His subsequent assignment for 25 weeks to the Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Course at Albany, Georgia resulted in a permanent change of station there since that assignment was in excess of 20 weeks. It remained his permanent station even though he was ordered to Camp Lejeune prior to serving 20 weeks at Albany. Therefore, when he was ordered to Camp Lejeune, he was ordered to temporary duty away from his permanent station and was in a travel status and therefore entitled to a per diem allowance and the prohibition contained in U4102-E of the JFTR regarding the payment of per diem would be inapplicable.

However, his entitlement to per diem ended on April 7, 1988, the date on which he received the orders which designated Camp Lejeune as his permanent duty station following completion of the Basic Travel Clerk course. Paragraph U4102-I of the JFTR prohibits payment of per diem for a member who is on temporary duty and receives orders naming that temporary duty station as his permanent duty station from the date he receives the orders.

We reverse our Claims Group's decision.

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

From: General Counsel - James F. Hinchman

Subject: Corporal Jeffrey B. Lowery, USMC -Per diem allowance, Z 2862246, B-246475-O.M.

Returned is your file Z-2862246 and our decision of today's date in which we conclude Corporal Lowery is entitled per diem allowances for the period claimed.