B-49861, JULY 25, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 95

B-49861: Jul 25, 1945

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TRAVEL ALLOWANCE - DISABILITY DISCHARGES - EFFECT OF FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY WHERE A NAVY ENLISTED MAN ELECTS TO BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM A NAVY HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT HIS HOME WHERE HIS DISCHARGE ON MEDICAL SURVEY IS TO BE EFFECTED. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT. WHEN THE FACILITY TO WHICH FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IS AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE MAN'S HOME. TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON DISCHARGE IS PAYABLE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE FACILITY TO HIS HOME. 1945: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14. THE MISSION OF THE NAVAL HOSPITAL IS THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF SICK AND INJURED NAVY PERSONNEL CAPABLE OF RESTORATION TO DUTY STATUS WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD.

B-49861, JULY 25, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 95

TRAVEL ALLOWANCE - DISABILITY DISCHARGES - EFFECT OF FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY WHERE A NAVY ENLISTED MAN ELECTS TO BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM A NAVY HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT HIS HOME WHERE HIS DISCHARGE ON MEDICAL SURVEY IS TO BE EFFECTED, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, TO PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT; AND WHEN THE FACILITY TO WHICH FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IS AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE MAN'S HOME, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON DISCHARGE IS PAYABLE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE FACILITY TO HIS HOME, IF NOT MORE DISTANT THAN THE PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 25, 1945:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1945, REQUESTING DECISION ON A QUESTION SET FORTH IN A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DATED MAY 8, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED MEN TRANSFERRED TO

A VETERANS HOSPITAL PRIOR TO DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL

SERVICE.

REF: (A) ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1919 (40 STAT. 1203), AS AMENDED BY

THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922 (42 STAT. 1021) (34

U.S.C. 895).

(B) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-10562, DATED 3 SEP

1925.

(C) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-11119, DATED 29 SEPT

1925.

(D) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-11779, DATED 16 NOV

1925.

(E) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL A-12474, DATED 16 JAN

1926 (5 COMP. GEN. 486).

(F) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL B-5058, DATED 14 AUG

1939.

(G) PUBLIC LAW 10, 78TH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 17, 1943.

(H) ART. 2513-10 (F) (1), NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS.

(I) DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL B-45151, DATED 3 JAN

1945.

ENCL: (A) BUPERS-BUMED JOINT CIRCULAR LETTER DATED 27 JUL 1943.

1. THE MISSION OF THE NAVAL HOSPITAL IS THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF SICK AND INJURED NAVY PERSONNEL CAPABLE OF RESTORATION TO DUTY STATUS WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD; THE DISPOSITION OF THOSE PATIENTS WHO REQUIRE SPECIAL TREATMENT NOT SATISFACTORILY AVAILABLE OR WHO ARE UNFIT FOR RETENTION IN THE NAVAL SERVICE, AND TREATMENT OF OTHER PERSONS (SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS) WHEN AUTHORIZED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. ALL PERSONS NOT ON THE ACTIVE LIST OF THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS ARE CONSIDERED SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, AFTER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY PROPER MEDICAL AUTHORITY THAT AN ENLISTED MAN IS SUFFERING FROM A DISEASE, INJURY, MENTAL OR NERVOUS DISORDER WHICH IS NON-CORRECTIVE OR LIKELY TO CONTINUE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE, HE IS SURVEYED BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY WITH A VIEW TO EFFECTING DISCHARGE FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY OR SEPARATION FROM THE ACTIVE LIST. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REF. (G), SUCH A DISABLED ENLISTED MAN WHO HAS SERVED IN THE ACTIVE NAVAL SERVICE ON AND AFTER 7 DEC. 1941, AUTOMATICALLY ATTAINS, ON DISCHARGE, THE STATUS OF A "WAR VETERAN," AND, THEREAFTER, BECOMES ENTITLED TO TREATMENT AND DOMICILIARY CARE AS A BENEFICIARY OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION PROVIDED HE WAS NOT DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED, THE NEED FOR HOSPITAL TREATMENT IS SHOWN, AND FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE.

2. NAVAL HOSPITALS, BEING ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED TO ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECT SET FORTH IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH, ACCOMMODATIONS AFFORDED THEREIN ARE ADAPTED TO, AND REQUIRED FOR, THE TREATMENT AND/OR DISPOSITION OF THE PERSONNEL MENTIONED IN THE CITED PARAGRAPH. TO PREVENT THE CONGESTION IN NAVAL HOSPITALS WHICH WOULD RESULT FROM THE RETENTION OF SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS, E., PATIENTS REQUIRING PROLONGED SPECIAL TREATMENT AFTER SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS PRIOR TO AND INCLUDING THE FISCAL YEAR 1943 CONTAINED AUTHORITY FOR "TRANSPORTATION OF SICK OR INSANE ENLISTED MEN AND INSANE SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS TO HOSPITALS, WITH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSFERS EN ROUTE OR CASH IN LIEU THEREOF.' IN THE INTEREST OF REMOVING REDUNDANT LANGUAGE FROM THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, THE WORDS ITALICIZED IN THE PRECEDING SENTENCE WERE ELIMINATED FROM THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1944 ( PUBLIC LAW 92, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1943) IN THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED THE AUTHORITY INCLUDED THEREIN FOR "TRANSPORTATION OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL AND APPLICANTS FOR ENLISTMENT AT HOME AND ABROAD" WAS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO COVER THE TRANSFER OF SICK OR INSANE ENLISTED PERSONNEL FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER SINCE SUCH PERSONNEL RETAINED THEIR STATUS OF ENLISTED MEN ON THE ACTIVE LIST OF THE NAVY, WHETHER PERMANENTLY OR TEMPORARILY INCAPACITATED FOR DUTY, UNTIL DISCHARGED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY.

3. PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1919, AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY WAS CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906 (34 STAT. 655). SECTION 126 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1916 (39 STAT. 217) WAS NOT APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PAYABLE TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY UNTIL SUCH SECTION WAS REENACTED IN AMENDED FORM BY THE SAID ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1919. THE CURRENT STATUTE APPLICABLE TO THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED MEN ON DISCHARGE IS THAT CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922 (42 STAT. 1021), AS AMENDED, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT 5 CENTS PER MILE "FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, ENROLLMENT, OR MUSTER INTO THE SERVICE.' THE ONLY STATUTORY CONDITION PRECEDENT TO ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER REF. (A) IS THAT THE ENLISTED MAN BE DISCHARGED OTHER THAN ,BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE.' IN ADDITION, A FURTHER CONDITION PRECEDENT, BASED ON RULINGS OF THE COURTS AND THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, IS THAT THE DISCHARGE, IF AT OTHER THAN EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT, MUST BE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MAN. A MEDICAL SURVEY DISCHARGE HAS NEVER BEEN CONSIDERED AS BEING IN THE CATEGORY OF A DISCHARGE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MAN.

4. THE SETTING FORTH IN UNITARY REGULATIONS (ENCL. (A) ( OF AN ADMIXTURE OF MEN; (B) METHOD AND PLACE OF EFFECTING DISCHARGE, AND (C) PROCEDURE FOR CLOSING RECORDS AND PAY ACCOUNTS, MAY LEAD TO THE ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTION THAT THE TRANSFER OF SUCH MEN TO A DESIGNATED VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY BEFORE EFFECTING DISCHARGE, AND PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM THAT POINT, IS FOR THE SOLE CONVENIENCE AND BENEFIT OF THE MAN, WHO THEREBY MIGHT PROFIT FINANCIALLY. YET, UNDER THE CITED STATUTE, AN ENLISTED MAN IS CLEARLY ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE "FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT.' THE UNDERLYING COGENT REASON FOR ADOPTING THIS METHOD OF DISPOSING OF PERMANENTLY DISABLED MEN WAS TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY OF RETAINING THEM ON THE ACTIVE LIST FOR INDEFINITE PERIODS IN NAVAL HOSPITALS, OR AS SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS AFTER DISCHARGE. THE FURTHER EXIGENT REASON FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH INSTRUCTIONS WAS TO INSURE THAT, AFTER ATTAINING THE STATUS OF VETERANS ON DISCHARGE, THERE WOULD BE NO INTERRUPTION IN TREATMENT IN THE CASE OF THE ENLISTED MAN WHOSE CONDITION WAS SUCH THAT DOMICILIARY CARE IN OTHER GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS OR INSTITUTIONS SPECIALLY EQUIPPED AND STAFFED TO HANDLE HIS PARTICULAR DISABILITY OR INJURY WAS ESSENTIAL TO ENHANCE HIS CHANCES OF RECOVERY. THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS, IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT ONE MAN MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OR IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF HIS HOME, BUT DISTANT FROM HIS PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE NAVAL SERVICE, WHEREAS, IN ANOTHER CASE, THE ENLISTED MAN MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OR IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE NAVAL SERVICE, BUT DISTANT FROM HIS HOME.

5. THERE APPEARS TO BE SUFFICIENT LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY IN THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1944 AND 1945 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SICK OR INSANE ENLISTED MEN, AS WELL AS INSANE SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS, FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, OR TO A HOSPITAL UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, ESTABLISHED TO TREAT THE PARTICULAR MENTAL, PHYSICAL, OR NERVOUS DISORDER FROM WHICH THE ENLISTED MAN IS SUFFERING, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER SUCH INSTITUTION MAY BE NEAR TO OR DISTANT FROM HIS HOME OF RECORD, PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, ENROLLMENT, OR MUSTER INTO THE SERVICE, LOCATION OF LOCAL DRAFT BOARD, OR PLACE FROM WHICH CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY. THEREFORE, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT A DIRECTIVE TO TRANSFER ENLISTED MEN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER, AS AUTHORIZED IN THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACT WOULD NOT MILITATE AGAINST THEIR RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, AS PROVIDED BY STATUTE, ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH TRANSFER REPRESENTS THE EXERCISE OF THE OPTION TO BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE AS AUTHORIZED IN ANOTHER PROVISION OF THE SAME APPROPRIATION ACT. WHILE PAR 2 OF ENCL. (A) STIPULATED THAT ENLISTED MEN WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO VETERANS FACILITY FOR FURTHER TREATMENT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, ONE OF WHICH IS THAT THE MAN DESIRE THE TRANSFER, THIS STIPULATION WAS NOT INTENDED TO INFER THAT THE EXPRESSION OF A DESIRE FOR SUCH TRANSFER WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ACTUAL OR IMPLIED EXERCISE OF THE OPTION MENTIONED IN REF. (H) SO AS TO ABROGATE HIS STATUTORY RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REF. (A), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 14, 1942. FURTHER, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE INCLUSION IN PAR 7 OF ENCL. (A) OF INSTRUCTIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE FOR ALL PURPOSES SHALL BE THE LOCATION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, WAS SOUND IN VIEW OF THE RULING OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN 19 COMP. DEC. 565, THAT "IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF ISSUANCE OF DISCHARGE, BUT THE PLACE THAT IT IS DELIVERED AND RECEIVED THAT IS THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE FROM WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS COMPUTED UNDER THE LAW.'

6. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT REF. (A), IN PERTINENT PART, IS MERELY QUOTED IN ART. 1690, NAVY REGULATIONS. THE INSTRUCTIONS IN ART. D 9103 (2), BUPERS MANUAL, AND IN ART. 2503-10 (F) (1), NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, WHICH IMPLEMENT THE NAVY REGULATIONS, EACH AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, OR, AT THE OPTION OF THE MAN, THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE TO HIS HOME, WHEN THE DISCHARGE IS BY REASON OF MEDICAL SURVEY. SUCH INSTRUCTIONS DO NOT SPECIFICALLY STATE OR IMPLY THAT TRANSFER OF A MAN FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER FOR DISCHARGE, AFTER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE DISABILITY IS PERMANENT, PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM SITUS OF THE HOSPITAL AT WHICH DISCHARGE IS ACTUALLY EFFECTED. IN CONTRA-DISTINCTION, THE REGULATIONS IN PAR. 3 1 ARMY REGULATIONS, 35-2560, SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT IN SUCH CASES TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE, AND IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SUCH REGULATIONS WERE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION, AND GIVEN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT, BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN REF. (I). THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS HAD NO INTIMATION, UNTIL REF. (I) WAS CALLED TO ITS ATTENTION, THAT THE AUTHORIZATION IN PAR 7 OF ENCL. (A) FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE MIGHT BE CONTRARY TO THE PROVISIONS OF REF. (A) OR THAT SUCH AUTHORIZATION MIGHT BE CONSTRUED AS CONTRAVENING THE INTERPRETATIONS PLACED THEREON BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. THEREFORE, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE TRANSFER OF SICK AND INSANE ENLISTED MEN FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL IN THE DIRECTION, VICINITY, OR IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, OF THE HOME OF THE MAN, AND DISCHARGE AT SUCH HOSPITAL, IN ANY MANNER ADVERSELY AFFECTS ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO PLACE OF ENTRY INTO THE NAVAL SERVICE.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE QUESTION INVOLVED RELATES TO THE TRANSFER OF SICK AND INSANE ENLISTED MEN FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, AND SUBSEQUENT DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL SERVICE AT THE LATTER PLACE, PURSUANT TO INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN A JOINT LETTER OF THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY AND THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DATED JULY 27, 1943. SAID JOINT LETTER IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: TRANSFER OF NAVY PATIENTS TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION

FACILITIES.

REFERENCES: (A) PAR. 2122 (D), 2160 (B), AND 3423 (R), M.D.D.

(B) BUM AND S FORM LETTER NO. P3-5/P19/1/034), DATED

4-27-43.

ENCLOSURE: (A) ONE (1).

1. THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF PATIENTS TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES BEFORE THEY HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVAL SERVICE WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE UPON RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER.

2. PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR THE SERVICE BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY AND WHO ARE IN NEED OF FURTHER HOSPITALIZATION OR INSTITUTIONAL CARE SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY PRIOR TO DISCHARGE, PROVIDED:

(A) THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CARE AND TREATMENT BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. (SEE PAR. 3).

(B) THEY DESIRE TO BE SO TRANSFERRED. (SEE PAR. 6.)

(C) THE TRANSFER WILL NOT ENDANGER THE PATIENT'S LIFE OR RECOVERY.

(D) THE REPORT OF MEDICAL SURVEY HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, AND THE PATIENT'S DISCHARGE DIRECTED BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL.

3.IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 17, 1943 ( PUBLIC LAW 10, 78TH CONG. (, ANY PERSON WHO SERVED IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 7, 1941, AND BEFORE THE TERMINATION OF HOSTILITIES IN THE PRESENT WAR, AS DETERMINED BY PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT OR BY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE CONGRESS, WILL ATTAIN AT DISCHARGE THE STATUS OF A "WAR VETERAN," AND WILL BE POTENTIALLY ENTITLED TO HOSPITALIZATION AS A BENEFICIARY OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION PROVIDED SUCH PERSON WAS NOT DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED, THE NEED FOR HOSPITAL TREATMENT IS SHOWN, AND A BED IS AVAILABLE FOR HIS RECEPTION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT ALSO INCLUDE MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S RESERVE OF THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS AND COAST GUARD. 4. IN CASES MEETING THE QUALIFICATIONS LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 2, THE BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY SHALL RECOMMEND THAT THE PATIENT BE TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY PRIOR TO DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE. THE REPORT OF THE BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY A REQUEST FOR DESIGNATION OF A FACILITY (SEE ENCLOSED FORM), AND THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL HOSPITAL CONCERNED WILL BE ADVISED BY THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DIRECT, OF THE FACILITY DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE THE PATIENT. APPROVAL OF THE REPORT OF MEDICAL SURVEY BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL WILL CONSTITUTE SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY FOR THE LOCAL COMMANDANT TO ISSUE NECESSARY TRAVEL ORDERS FOR THE PATIENT AND SUCH ATTENDANTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY.

7. THE SERVICE RECORDS, HEALTH RECORDS, AND PAY ACCOUNTS OF PATIENTS TRANSFERRED TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES PRIOR TO DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE SHALL BE RETAINED AT THE NAVAL HOSPITALS AND SHALL BE CLOSED OUT AND FORWARDED TO THE RESPECTIVE BUREAUS CONCERNED, AFTER THE PATIENT'S DISCHARGE HAS BEEN EFFECTED. THE PATIENT'S DISCHARGE SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE UPON HIS DELIVERY AT THE DESIGNATED VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. ORDERS ISSUED TO THE MEDICAL OFFICER OR SENIOR HOSPITAL CORPSMAN ACCOMPANYING THE PATIENT SHALL INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HIM TO NOTIFY THE HOSPITAL BY DISPATCH OR BY SUCH OTHER MEANS AS MAY BE DEEMED EXPEDIENT OF THE PATIENT'S ARRIVAL AND DELIVERY TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. THE PATIENT'S DISCHARGE CERTIFICATE AND CHECK FOR PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE HIM, INCLUDING 5 CENTS A MILE TO PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE, OR, IN THE CASE OF A NAVAL RESERVE, TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, SHALL BE MAILED TO HIM IN CARE OF THE MANAGER OF THE FACILITY TO WHICH HE HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED. THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE FOR ALL PURPOSES, SHALL BE THE LOCATION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY TO WHICH A PATIENT IS TRANSFERRED.

9. THE PURPOSE OF THIS CHANGE OF PROCEDURE IS TO PROVIDE FOR AND EXPEDITE THE TRANSFER TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES AS NEAR THEIR HOMES AS POSSIBLE OF PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN FOUND BY BOARDS OF MEDICAL SURVEY TO BE PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE BY REASON OF PHYSICAL (OR MENTAL) DISABILITIES, AND WHO ARE IN NEED OF FURTHER HOSPITALIZATION OR INSTITUTIONAL CARE.

SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, 39 STAT. 217, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1919, 40 STAT. 1203, THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922, 42 STAT. 1021, AND THE ACT OF DECEMBER 14, 1942, 56 STAT. 1049, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER AN ENLISTED MAN DISCHARGED FROM THE ARMY, NAVY, OR MARINE CORPS, EXCEPT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE, SHALL RECEIVE 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, ENROLLMENT, OR MUSTER INTO THE SERVICE * * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT FROM AND AFTER AUGUST 27, 1940, UPON DISCHARGE OR RELIEF OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, AN ENLISTED MAN INDUCTED INTO THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE UNDER THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED, OR PUBLIC RESOLUTION NUMBERED 96, APPROVED AUGUST 27, 1940, SHALL, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, RESPECTIVELY, SHALL PRESCRIBE, RECEIVE THE SAID 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELIEF OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO THE LOCATION OF THE LOCAL BOARD WHERE HE FIRST REPORTED FOR DELIVERY TO AN INDUCTION STATION IN THE CASE OF A SELECTEE, OR TO THE HOME STATION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD UNIT IN THE CASE OF A NATIONAL GUARD ENLISTED MAN, OR TO THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS SELECTED FOR ENROLLMENT IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS IN THE CASE OF A CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ENROLLEE SO INDUCTED: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVAL RESERVE, THE MARINE CORPS RESERVE, THE ENLISTED RESERVE CORPS, AND THE REGULAR ARMY RESERVE SHALL RECEIVE, UPON DISCHARGE OR RELIEF OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, THE SAME MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AS HEREIN PRESCRIBED, AND UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS AS HEREIN PRESCRIBED FOR ENLISTED MEN INDUCTED INTO THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE UNDER THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED, EXCEPT THAT THE DISTANCE FOR WHICH MILEAGE IS COMPUTED SHALL BE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELIEF OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY.

THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1944 AND 1945, 57 STAT. 203, AND 58 STAT. 308, RESPECTIVELY, UNDER THE HEADING "TRANSPORTATION AND RECRUITING," EACH APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR---

* * * TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL UPON DISCHARGE, INCLUDING ENLISTED PERSONNEL DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY TO THEIR HOMES IF RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES; TRANSPORTATION OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL AND APPLICANTS FOR ENLISTMENT AT HOME AND ABROAD AND INSANE SUPERNUMERARY PATIENTS TO HOSPITALS, ALL WITH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSFERS EN ROUTE OR CASH IN LIEU THEREOF * * *.

PARAGRAPH 10 (F) (1), ARTICLE 2503, UNITED STATES NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

DISCHARGED PURSUANT TO MEDICAL SURVEY.--- AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY IS ENTITLED EITHER TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922 (42 STAT. 1021), APPENDIX B (SEE SUBPAR. (A) (, OR TO SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO HIS HOME IF A RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ( CURRENT NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT) AT THE OPTION OF THE MAN. IF HE CHOOSES TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, IT WILL BE FURNISHED TO THE PLACE NEAREST HIS HOME REACHED BY COMMON CARRIER.

THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE JOINT LETTER DATED JULY 27, 1943, SUPRA, APPARENTLY WERE INTENDED TO APPLY TO ENLISTED MEN WHO HAVE BEEN FOUND PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR FURTHER NAVAL SERVICE BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY AND WHO ARE IN NEED OF FURTHER HOSPITALIZATION OR INSTITUTIONAL CARE. SAID INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSFER TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY--- SELECTED BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION--- LOCATED AS NEAR TO THE PATIENT'S HOME AS POSSIBLE, OF SUCH ENLISTED MEN WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CARE AND TREATMENT BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION AND WHO DESIRE TO BE SO TRANSFERRED. THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT SUCH ENLISTED MEN WILL BE DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE UPON ARRIVAL AT THE DESIGNATED VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. IT IS STATED THAT THE LOCATION OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IS TO BE CONSIDERED THE "PLACE OF DISCHARGE" FOR ALL PURPOSES--- APPARENTLY INCLUDING THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, SUPRA. HENCE, IN A PARTICULAR CASE, WHERE IT IS DETERMINED THAT AN ENLISTED MAN IS ENTITLED TO A MEDICAL SURVEY DISCHARGE, THE PROCEDURE SET OUT IN THE INSTRUCTIONS OF JULY 27, 1943, APPEARS TO CONTEMPLATE THAT THE ENLISTED MAN WILL BE REQUIRED TO ELECT (1) WHETHER HE PREFERS TO BE DISCHARGED AT THAT PLACE AND BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO HIS HOME OR TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT OR (2) WHETHER HE PREFERS TO BE TRANSPORTED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, THERE TO BE DISCHARGED AND PAID TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THAT FACILITY TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT. IN OTHER WORDS, SINCE THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF THE INSTRUCTIONS IS TO PLACE THE ENLISTED MAN IN A POSITION TO RECEIVE THE BENEFITS PROVIDED FOR HIM BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO AN ENLISTED MAN'S HOME AFTER DISCHARGE AT A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY WOULD TEND TO DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF THE INSTRUCTIONS. HOWEVER, PAYMENT OF THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL AND, THEREFORE, THERE IS FOR DETERMINATION WHETHER OR NOT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND -- TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY--- TO AN ENLISTED MAN PRIOR TO HIS DISCHARGE DEFEATS HIS RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UPON DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO AN ENLISTED MAN ON DISCHARGE, IS TO LIQUIDATE THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION TO RETURN HIM, WHEN DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE, TO THE PLACE AT WHICH HE ENTERED THE SERVICE. THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF THE ENLISTED MAN'S DISCHARGE "TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, ENROLLMENT, OR MUSTER INTO SERVICE" IN THE CASE OF AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE REGULAR NAVY OR TO A COMPARABLE PLACE DESIGNATED IN THE STATUTE IN THE CASE OF A PERSON WHO ENTERED THE SERVICE BY INDUCTION OR AS A MEMBER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN ENLISTED MAN'S "PLACE OF DISCHARGE" IS THE PLACE WHERE HIS DISCHARGE WAS ACTUALLY DELIVERED AND RECEIVED BY HIM PROVIDED HE WAS AT THE PLACE IN OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS. COMP. DEC. 565, 26 ID. 207.

YOUR SUBMISSION INDICATES THAT AT LEAST DURING THE PRESENT WAR THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INDICATED IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST; AND WHILE THERE MAY BE SOME QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ORDERS ISSUED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSFERRING AN ENLISTED MAN FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY FOR DISCHARGE ARE ORDERS WHICH THE ENLISTED MAN IS COMPELLED TO OBEY--- IT APPEARING THAT SUCH ORDERS ARE ISSUED ONLY IF THE ENLISTED MAN DESIRES TO BE SO TRANSFERRED--- UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO A CONTINUATION OF THE ENLISTED MAN'S DUTY STATUS UNTIL HE ARRIVES AT THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. CONSEQUENTLY, IT MAY BE REGARDED THAT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN IS TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AND DISCHARGED AT THAT POINT, SUCH FACILITY IS THE "PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED.

HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND IN SUCH CASES IS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENLISTED MAN'S DISCHARGE; AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT SUCH TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE ARE FURNISHED ONLY WHEN DESIRED BY THE ENLISTED MAN, THE SITUATION AMOUNTS TO AN ELECTION BY THE ENLISTED MAN TO BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN CONNECTION WITH HIS DISCHARGE. AS INDICATED ABOVE, AN ENLISTED MAN IS ENTITLED, UPON DISCHARGE, TO TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO HIS HOME, OR TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BOTH. IT HAS BEEN HELD IN SOME DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE THAT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN IS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME AND DISCHARGED AT THAT POINT, NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID TO HIM INCIDENT TO HIS DISCHARGE NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT MAY HAVE BEEN SOME DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE. A-10562, SEPTEMBER 3, 1925; A-11119, SEPTEMBER 29, 1925; 24 COMP. GEN. 489. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE SAID DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1925, THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE CASE OF AN ENLISTED MAN WHOSE HOME WAS IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND WHO WAS ACCEPTED FOR ENLISTMENT IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. A BOARD OF MEDICAL SURVEY AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL, MARE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, RECOMMENDED THAT HE BE DISCHARGED AND HE WAS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND FROM THAT HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN NEW YORK CITY. IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. THAT CONCLUSION UNDOUBTEDLY IS CORRECT, IT BEING MANIFEST THAT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO AN ENLISTED MAN'S HOME PLUS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM THAT PLACE BACK TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE COMMENCED THE TRAVEL TO HIS HOME IS NOT WITHIN THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE LAW. AN ENLISTED MAN'S RIGHT TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IN SUCH SITUATIONS ARISING UNDER THE SAID INSTRUCTIONS OF JULY 27, 1943, SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THOSE DECISIONS. ADDITION TO SUCH CASES, YOUR SUBMISSION INVOLVES, ALSO, THE SITUATION OF ENLISTED MEN WHO ARE RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE AT A NAVAL HOSPITAL AND WHO ARE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE ENLISTED MAN'S HOME. HOWEVER, THE SAME BASIC RULE IS INVOLVED. SINCE THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL TO HIS HOME DEFEATS HIS RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, IT MUST BE CONSIDERED THAT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, EVEN THOUGH NOT AT HIS HOME, DEFEATS HIS RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OTHERWISE PROPERLY AUTHORIZED TO BE RECEIVED BY HIM EXCEPT FOR THE NUMBER OF MILES INVOLVED IN THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE--- THE FACILITY--- TO THE ENLISTED MAN'S HOME. IN OTHER WORDS, IF AN ENLISTED MAN'S HOME IS 150 MILES FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE IS RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE AND HE ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, SUCH FACILITY BEING ONLY 50 MILES FROM HIS HOME, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON 50 MILES PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, TO WHICH HE WAS TRANSFERRED--- HIS PLACE OF DISCHARGE--- IS AT LEAST 50 MILES FROM THE PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT.

ASIDE FROM THE FOREGOING, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE SAID INSTRUCTIONS OF JULY 27, 1943, WOULD AFFECT THE ENLISTED MAN'S RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE.