B-73446, APRIL 5, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 596

B-73446: Apr 5, 1948

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ARE ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT. FOR INITIAL TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES IN WHICH THEY ARE MATRICULATED IS IN THE NATURE OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AND MAY NOT BE PAID EXCEPT FOR ACTUAL TRAVEL. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5. SUCH QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES STATED IN PARAGRAPH 4 TO 8 OF SAID LETTER OF DECEMBER 19. DISCHARGES WERE TO BE MADE AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE AFTER 21 AUGUST 1947. THE REASON FOR DISCHARGE WAS "CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT. WHO APPROVED SUCH REQUEST IF THE MAN WAS CONSIDERED TO BE IN ALL RESPECTS QUALIFIED FOR NROTC OR NACP. 6.

B-73446, APRIL 5, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 596

TRAVEL ALLOWANCE - NAVY ENLISTED MEN DISCHARGED TO ENROLL IN NAVAL OFFICER TRAINING PROGRAM ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR NAVY OR NAVAL RESERVE, UPON SEPARATION FROM ACTIVE DUTY BY DISCHARGE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ENTER THE NAVAL RESERVE IN AN INACTIVE STATUS AS ENROLLEES UNDER THE NAVAL OFFICER CANDIDATE TRAINING PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, BY IMMEDIATE ENLISTMENT AS APPRENTICE SEAMAN OR ACCEPTING APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMEN AT A LATER DATE, ARE ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PROVIDED BY SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY TRAVEL. THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID ENROLLEES IN THE NAVAL OFFICER CANDIDATE TRAINING PROGRAM BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, ESTABLISHING SAID PROGRAM, FOR INITIAL TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES IN WHICH THEY ARE MATRICULATED IS IN THE NATURE OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AND MAY NOT BE PAID EXCEPT FOR ACTUAL TRAVEL.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 5, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1948, REQUESTING DECISION ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS SET FORTH IN A LETTER FROM THE ACTING CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DATED DECEMBER 19, 1947, FORWARDED THEREWITH. SUCH QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES STATED IN PARAGRAPH 4 TO 8 OF SAID LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, AS FOLLOWS:

4. ON 5 AUGUST, 1947, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE COMMANDER, NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, DIRECTED THE DISCHARGE, UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, OF ALL FULLY QUALIFIED CANDIDATES FOR THE NAVAL RESERVE OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS ( NROTC) AND THE NAVAL AVIATION COLLEGE PROGRAM ( NACP) THEN ATTACHED TO THE SERVICE SCHOOL COMMAND OF THAT ACTIVITY. THE CANDIDATES PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN ACCEPTED BY AN NROTC INSTITUTION, OR AN ACCREDITED COLLEGE IN THE CASE OF NACP CANDIDATES. THE DIRECTIVE FURTHER STATED THAT NROTC AND NACP CANDIDATES MUST BE DISCHARGED IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO ACCEPT APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMEN, USNR ( NROTC) (INACTIVE) OR TO ENLIST AS APPRENTICE SEAMEN, CLASS V-5, ( NACP), U.S. NAVAL RESERVE.

5. DISCHARGES WERE TO BE MADE AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE AFTER 21 AUGUST 1947, BUT NOT LATER THAN 5 SEPTEMBER 1947. THE REASON FOR DISCHARGE WAS "CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT; TO ACCEPT APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMAN, USNR ( NROTC) (INACTIVE)," OR "CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT; TO ENLIST AS APPRENTICE SEAMAN,CLASS V-5, U.S. NAVAL RESERVE," AS APPROPRIATE. PRIOR TO DISCHARGE EACH ENLISTED MAN SUBMITTED A REQUEST FOR DISCHARGE TO THE COMMANDER, NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, WHO APPROVED SUCH REQUEST IF THE MAN WAS CONSIDERED TO BE IN ALL RESPECTS QUALIFIED FOR NROTC OR NACP.

6. IMMEDIATELY AFTER DISCHARGE, NACP CANDIDATES WERE ENLISTED AT THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AS APPRENTICE SEAMEN, V-5, USNR (INACTIVE) FOR A PERIOD OF 4 YEARS, EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE FOLLOWING THE DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVAL SERVICE. NROTC CANDIDATES WERE NOT APPOINTED AS MIDSHIPMEN, USNR, UNTIL THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE ASSIGNED NROTC INSTITUTIONS.

7. LETTERS AUTHORIZING TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE COLLEGES IN WHICH CANDIDATES WERE ACCEPTED FOR ADMISSION WERE FORWARDED TO EACH NACP CANDIDATE BY THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. IN THE CASE OF NROTC CANDIDATES, SIMILAR LETTERS AUTHORIZING TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE COLLEGES IN WHICH ACCEPTED WERE FORWARDED TO THE CANDIDATES BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL.

8. AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 5, THE DISCHARGES WERE TO BE MADE AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE BETWEEN 22 AUGUST AND 5 SEPTEMBER 1947. INASMUCH AS CANDIDATES WERE BEING ASSIGNED TO VARIOUS COLLEGES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE FALL TERMS OF COLLEGES COMMENCE ON DIFFERENT DATES DEPENDING UPON THE LOCATION OF THE COLLEGE AND OTHER FACTORS GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF THE INSTITUTION, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR SOME CANDIDATES TO COMMENCE TRAVEL IMMEDIATELY AFTER DISCHARGE TO THE COLLEGE TO WHICH ASSIGNED. OTHER CANDIDATES, BECAUSE OF THE PROXIMITY OF THEIR HOMES TO THE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, OR BECAUSE OF LATER DATES OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE FALL TERMS, WERE ABLE TO PROCEED TO THEIR HOMES PRIOR TO COMMENCING TRAVEL TO COLLEGES TO WHICH ASSIGNED.

SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, 39 STAT. 217, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 21 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 856, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

AN ENLISTED PERSON OF THE ARMY, MARINE CORPS, OR COAST GUARD, INCLUDING RESERVE COMPONENTS THEREOF, UPON DISCHARGE EXCEPT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE, RETIREMENT, OR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY, SHALL, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE FOR PERSONNEL UNDER HIS JURISDICTION, RECEIVE A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO HIS HOME, OR PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ACTIVE DUTY, OR PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, OR SUCH OTHER PLACE AS MAY BE DETERMINED TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. FOR SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, 60 STAT. 1058, PROVIDES THAT MIDSHIPMEN AND APPRENTICE SEAMEN ENROLLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR---

(A) INITIAL TRAVEL TO THE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IN WHICH MATRICULATED, (B) TRAVEL WHILE UNDER ORDERS, AND (C) TRAVEL UPON DISCHARGE WHILE IN A NON-COMMISSIONED STATUS, IN THE MANNER AND TO THE SAME EXTENT PROVIDED FOR MIDSHIPMEN AT THE UNITED STATES ACADEMY * * *.

SECTION 20 (A) OF SAID ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 855, IS AS FOLLOWS:

CANDIDATES FOR APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMEN AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY OR AS CADETS AT THE COAST GUARD ACADEMY SHALL RECEIVE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED WHILE PROCEEDING FROM THEIR HOMES OR DUTY STATIONS TO THE NAVAL ACADEMY OR THE COAST GUARD ACADEMY FOR EXAMINATION AND APPOINTMENT.

THE QUESTIONS ON WHICH DECISION IS REQUESTED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

IS AN ENLISTED MAN DISCHARGED UNDER THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED HEREIN ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON DISCHARGE UNDER PROPER CIRCUMSTANCES:

(1) (A) IF HE IS DISCHARGED AT NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, ON 22 AUGUST 1947; ENLISTS IN THE U.S. NAVAL RESERVE (INACTIVE) AT THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AS AN AVIATION OFFICER CANDIDATE ON 23 AUGUST 1947; PROCEEDS TO HIS HOME IN DENVER COLORADO, AND FURTHER PROCEEDS AND REPORTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO THE PROFESSOR OF NAVAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ON 13 SEPTEMBER 1947 (PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE FALL TERM/?

(B) IF THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL HE ALSO BE ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REFERENCE (C), FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA?

(2) (A) IF HE IS DISCHARGED AT THE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, ON 5 SEPTEMBER 1947; ENLISTS IN THE U.S. NAVAL RESERVE (INACTIVE) AT THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AS AN AVIATION OFFICER CANDIDATE ON 6 SEPTEMBER 1947; PROCEEDS TO HIS HOME IN OMAHA, NEBRASKA, AND FURTHER PROCEEDS AND REPORTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF NAVAL OFFICER PROCUREMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO THE PROFESSOR OF NAVAL SCIENCE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, ON 20 SEPTEMBER 1947 (PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE FALL TERM/?

(B) IF THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL HE ALSO BE ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REFERENCE (C), FROM OMAHA, NEBRASKA, TO EVANSTON, ILLINOIS?

(C) IF THE SAME INDIVIDUAL, INSTEAD OF TRAVELING TO HIS HOME, REMAINS IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNTIL 21 SEPTEMBER 1947, ON WHICH DATE HE REPORTS TO THE PROFESSOR OF NAVAL SCIENCE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, WILL HE BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON DISCHARGE FROM GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, TO HIS HOME, OMAHA, NEBRASKA?

(D) IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL HE ALSO BE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REFERENCE (C), FROM OMAHA, NEBRASKA, TO EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, OR FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO EVANSTON, ILLINOIS?

(3) (A) IF HE IS DISCHARGED AT THE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, ON 22 AUGUST 1947; PROCEEDS TO HIS HOME IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AND FURTHER PROCEEDS AND REPORTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, TO THE PROFESSOR OF NAVAL SCIENCE AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, ON 18 SEPTEMBER 1947, AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING ENROLLMENT EXECUTES OATH AND ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE AS MIDSHIPMAN, USNR (INACTIVE/?

(B) IF THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL HE ALSO BE ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REFERENCE (C), FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY?

(C) IF THE SAME INDIVIDUAL, INSTEAD OF TRAVELING TO HIS HOME IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, REMAINS IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTS TO THE PROFESSOR OF NAVAL SCIENCE AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, ON 18 SEPTEMBER 1947, WOULD HE BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ON DISCHARGE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 21 OF REFERENCE (A) AND, IN ADDITION, TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF REFERENCE (C) FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY?

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMED FORCES DISCHARGED PRIOR TO THE DATE UPON WHICH THEIR ENLISTMENT CONTRACTS TERMINATE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENABLING THEM TO REENLIST IMMEDIATELY OR OF ALLOWING THEM TO CONTINUE, WITHOUT BREAK, IN THE MILITARY SERVICE IN A DIFFERENT STATUS OR CAPACITY MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN DISCHARGED UNDER CONDITIONS ENTITLING THEM TO THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PROVIDED IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED. SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 842; 23 ID. 808; 25 ID. 285. HOWEVER, THE FOREGOING RULE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE FOR APPLICATION IN THE SITUATION HERE INVOLVED SINCE, ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, THE ENLISTED PERSONNEL DISCHARGED AT GREAT LAKES DID NOT CONTINUE IN THE ACTIVE NAVAL SERVICE. UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY EVEN THOUGH THEY CONTINUE AS MEMBERS OF SUCH RESERVE IN AN INACTIVE STATUS. A FORTIORI, ENLISTED MEN--- WHETHER THEY BE MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE IN AN INACTIVE STATUS, EITHER BY IMMEDIATE ENLISTMENT THEREIN AS APPRENTICE SEAMEN OR BY ACCEPTING AN APPOINTMENT AS A MIDSHIPMAN AT A LATER DATE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO SUCH ALLOWANCE, PROVIDED, OF COURSE, SUCH INACTIVE DUTY STATUS WAS NOT TERMINATED BY ACTIVE DUTY ORDERS RESULTING IN CONTINUOUS ACTIVE SERVICE. SINCE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE ENLISTED MEN HERE INVOLVED WERE DISCHARGED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, THEY ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED. THE FACT THAT TRAVEL INCIDENT TO RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR DISCHARGE WAS NOT ACTUALLY PERFORMED WOULD NOT BAR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE SINCE SUCH ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE IN ADVANCE AND WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION (1) (A) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, AND SECTION 20 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SUPRA, AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO PERSONS THEREIN INDICATED FOR INITIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM HOME TO THE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IN WHICH MATRICULATED. HENCE, INDIVIDUALS WHO ENROLL IN THE OFFICER TRAINING PROGRAM UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 13, 1946, AND ACTUALLY TRAVEL FROM THEIR HOMES TO SUCH INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING ARE ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR SUCH TRAVEL. HENCE, QUESTION (1) (B) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING, QUESTIONS (2) (A) AND (2) (B) ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. QUESTION (2) (C) ALSO IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, PROVIDED THE INDIVIDUAL MENTIONED THEREIN OTHERWISE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM GREAT LAKES, ILLINOIS, TO OMAHA, NEBRASKA.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (2) (D) IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR INITIAL TRAVEL TO THE APPLICABLE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IS NOT A GRATUITY BUT IS IN THE NATURE OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED AND, UNDER THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, IF TRAVEL IS PERFORMED ONLY FROM CHICAGO TO THE SCHOOL IN WHICH MATRICULATED--- AT EVANSTON, ILLINOIS--- THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE WOULD BE PAYABLE ONLY FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

ON THE BASIS OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 20 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SUPRA, AND THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS (1) (A) AND (1) (B), QUESTIONS (3) (A) AND (3) (B) ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. QUESTION (3) (C) ALSO IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. SEE THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS (1) (A) AND (2) (D).