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A UNIFORMED SERVICE MEMBER MUST BE IN AN ELIGIBLE PAY GRADE WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS PERFORMED. RANGITSCH: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION TO DETERMINE WHETHER FORMER YEOMAN GERALD M. IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR HIS DEPENDENTS' RETURN TRAVEL TO HIS HOME OF RECORD. WE FIND THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN A PAY GRADE WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE HIM ELIGIBLE FOR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. THIS QUESTION WAS SUBMITTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER. RANGITSCH WAS IN PAY GRADE E-4 WITH MORE THAN 2 YEARS OF SERVICE. RANGITSCH WAS AT GROTON. THE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS TRANSFERRING HIM TO SAN DIEGO WERE CANCELLED BEFORE HE WAS SCHEDULED TO REPORT TO SAN DIEGO.

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B-211059, SEP 26, 1983

DIGEST: TO BE ENTITLED TO DEPENDENT TRANSPORTATION COSTS, A UNIFORMED SERVICE MEMBER MUST BE IN AN ELIGIBLE PAY GRADE WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS PERFORMED. THEREFORE, WHERE A MEMBER RECEIVED PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS AND HIS DEPENDENTS TRAVELED TO THE NEW PERMANENT STATION IN ANTICIPATION OF THE CHANGE, A SUBSEQUENT CANCELLATION OF THOSE ORDERS AND REDUCTION IN HIS PAY GRADE TO ONE INELIGIBLE FOR DEPENDENT TRANSPORTATION COSTS PRECLUDES THE MEMBER'S RECOVERY OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THE RETURN OF HIS DEPENDENTS TO HIS HOME OF RECORD INCIDENT TO HIS DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE.

GERALD M. RANGITSCH:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION TO DETERMINE WHETHER FORMER YEOMAN GERALD M. RANGITSCH, USN, IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR HIS DEPENDENTS' RETURN TRAVEL TO HIS HOME OF RECORD, FORT BENTON, MONTANA, FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AS A RESULT OF HIS SEPARATION FROM THE NAVY IN SEPTEMBER 1982. WE FIND THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN A PAY GRADE WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE HIM ELIGIBLE FOR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL ALLOWANCES.

THIS QUESTION WAS SUBMITTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER, NAVY PERSONNEL SUPPORT ACTIVITY DETACHMENT, NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT, AND HAS BEEN ASSIGNED CONTROL NUMBER 83-7 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

MR. RANGITSCH RECEIVED ORDERS DATED APRIL 22, 1982, DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED FROM THE NAVY TECHNICAL TRAINING CENTER, MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI, TO THE NAVAL SUBMARINE SCHOOL, GROTON, CONNECTICUT, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, AND THEN TO SAN DIEGO FOR PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT ON THE USS WILLIAM H. BATES. AT THAT TIME, MR. RANGITSCH WAS IN PAY GRADE E-4 WITH MORE THAN 2 YEARS OF SERVICE. IN ANTICIPATION OF THE NEW PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT, HIS FAMILY MOVED, IN EARLY JULY 1982, FROM FORT BENTON, MONTANA, TO SAN DIEGO, FOR WHICH HE RECEIVED TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES. SUBSEQUENTLY, WHILE MR. RANGITSCH WAS AT GROTON, THE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS TRANSFERRING HIM TO SAN DIEGO WERE CANCELLED BEFORE HE WAS SCHEDULED TO REPORT TO SAN DIEGO. ADDITIONALLY, HE WAS REDUCED TO PAY GRADE E-3 ON JULY 29, 1982, AND DISCHARGED UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1982. BETWEEN THE TIME HE WAS REDUCED IN GRADE AND DISCHARGED, HIS FAMILY RETURNED FROM SAN DIEGO TO FORT BENTON. MR. RANGITSCH WAS NOT REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF HIS DEPENDENTS' RETURN TRAVEL. THE MATTER WAS SUBMITTED TO US FOR ADVANCE DECISION BECAUSE THE DISBURSING OFFICER WAS IN DOUBT AS TO MR. RANGITSCH'S ENTITLEMENT TO DEPENDENTS' TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SINCE HE HAD BEEN REDUCED IN GRADE.

UNDER 37 U.S.C. SEC. 406, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THIS PROVISION IS QUALIFIED BY SUBSECTION (C) WHICH MAKES THESE ALLOWANCES SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS; FOR SUCH GRADES, RANKS, AND RATINGS; AND TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES; AS THE SECRETARIES OF THE VARIOUS UNIFORMED SERVICES PRESCRIBE BY REGULATION. THE REGULATIONS ARE EMBODIED IN VOLUME 1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR). INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR WHICH DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED IS DISCHARGE, SEPARATION, OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS. 1 JTR APPENDIX J. HOWEVER, 1 JTR PARAGRAPH M7000-1 SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT CERTAIN MEMBERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH ALLOWANCES, INCLUDING THOSE "ENLISTED MEMBERS IN PAY GRADE E-4 (WITH 2 YEARS OF SERVICE OR LESS), E-3, E-2, AND E-1 ORDERED ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED IN THIS VOLUME."

WE HAVE HELD THAT THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS ACCRUES ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. COMP.GEN. 433, 435 (1942); B-148668, AUGUST 27, 1962. ALSO, DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM THE SERVICE IS CONSIDERED A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE PURPOSES. 1 JTR PARAS. M4157 1A, M7000. WHEN MR. RANGITSCH WAS DISCHARGED HE WAS IN PAY GRADE E-3 AND THUS WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ORDERS TO HAVE HIS DEPENDENTS RELOCATED FROM HIS DESIGNATED PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO HIS HOME OF RECORD.

THERE IS A LIMITED EXCEPTION TO THE PAY GRADE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT, BUT THAT EXCEPTION APPLIES TO MEMBERS ON PERMANENT DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHO ARE REDUCED TO A GRADE FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED. 1 JTR PARA. M7107. THERE IS NO COMPARABLE PROVISION FOR MEMBERS, SUCH AS MR. RANGITSCH, REDUCED TO AN INELIGIBLE GRADE WHILE ON DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES. SINCE IN SEPTEMBER 1982 WHEN MR. RANGITSCH WAS DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVY HE WAS IN PAY GRADE E-3, TO WHICH HE HAD BEEN REDUCED IN JULY 1982, HE WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO HIS DISCHARGE. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR HIS DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM SAN DIEGO TO FORT BENTON.

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