Use of Personal Vehicle

My current duty station requires me to drive more than normal to get to places. We do PT on one base and on another. Also our BDE is on a separate base on the other side of the city. There is no shuttle to where I work so that is out of the question. I am trying to figure out if any of my excess travel is eligible for reimbursement. I have looked and can't seem to find the rules regarding this. It is also becoming a problem with being on time for some people in my unit due to traffic encountered during these back and forth commutes, especially since school has started back up. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Original Post
An issue similar to this came up in my unit about a year ago. This is what was cited, from Joint Federal Travel Regulation appendix O:
quote:
D. Lodging Overnight Not Required
1. Transportation
a. It is mandatory that a traveler arrange transportation through an available CTO, even though overnight
lodging is not required.
b. If travel is in the local area (JFTR, par. U3500/JTR, par. C2400-B) around the PDS, a GOV, public
transportation paid for by the command, or a POC may be used.
c. JFTR, par. U3320/JTR, par. C2192 for travel to/from a transportation terminal.
d. If a POC (Personally Owned Conveyance) is used to/from home, the traveler is authorized the standard mileage rate for the distance
driven, minus the normal distance driven to and from work. This most often affects the PDS.
e. If the traveler does not travel by POC to work every day, the traveler is reimbursed the standard mileage
rate for the distance driven, less the traveler’s normal transportation cost to get to work.
f. The AO determines reimbursement based on the difference between the cost of using the POC and the
traveler’s normal cost to get to work.
g. Commercial transportation expense reimbursement is authorized/approved only if the expenses incurred
for travel to the alternate work site exceed the expenses ordinarily incurred by the traveler to commute to
the PDS workplace.
h. A traveler is authorized reimbursement for other expenses such as tolls and parking when using a POC.
i. For distance determination JFTR, par. U2020/JTR, par. C1065 (DTOD requirements).


It was determined that as per the JFTR, a Soldier was entitled mileage compensation if they met the following criteria:

1- The distance traveled from their home to their secondary duty station (SDS) was further than the distance to their primary duty station (PDS).

2- The unit did not offer a GOV or shuttle to get them to their SDS.

3- The expense incurred to travel to the SDS was more than what it was to travel to the PDS.

If the unit offered transportation, but the Soldiers opted to take their POV, the Soldier was NOT entitled to compensation.

Since then, the command has been VERY strict on supervisors ordering their Joes to drive themselves to training events; even if they're done at the platoon or section level.
quote:
Originally posted by 35PSGT:
Since then, the command has been VERY strict on supervisors ordering their Joes to drive themselves to training events; even if they're done at the platoon or section level.


hehe Good!

When a Soldier arrives at their duty station, they pick where they are going to live based on where they are assigned to work.

If the Unit changes where the Soldier is working, then they should also comply with the above, or (not in the regulation Wink ) move the Soldier to the house/apartment of their choice... Big Grin
Thanks for the info. I will have to research this further because 4 days a week we do PT on at a different base from where we work and if I can get reimbursed the gas I use to go to PT there just about everyday that would be great. Especially with gas prices the way they are, it adds up fast!
It was a big fight initially because we had a group that ended up being entitled to a substantial amount of backpay; which came from funds that had not taken such a thing in to consideration. Be ready for some potential pushback should you decide to press this.

What will end up happening is that the command will decide to change the location of PT.
What duty station is this? When I was in Germany last year; everything was on different bases (On-base housing, work, PT location). If gas was an issue; you either car pooled or bike it to work.

If this is in the United States; which base is this?

I can tell you this. You are not getting reimbursed for gas. There always has to be one. SMH.
quote:
Originally posted by TheWiseChief:
What duty station is this? When I was in Germany last year; everything was on different bases (On-base housing, work, PT location). If gas was an issue; you either car pooled or bike it to work.

If this is in the United States; which base is this?

I can tell you this. You are not getting reimbursed for gas. There always has to be one. SMH.


Simply because you did it does not mean it's right. Seems from a few posts of yours that i've read that you don't completely understand that.
I am stationed in what is now called Joint Base San Antonio which is Ft Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, and Camp Bullis. All are spread out and I know what you mean about pushback 35PSGT. I expect a lot of it, due to our entire unit basically being in the same situation. The problem here is that no one ever questions things and they just complain. I looked into the reg you posted and feel that the wording does support my view that we are entitled reimbursement. I will keep this thread updated with the progress. Also how far back did they go for the backpay?
They went back pretty far. The situation was that we had personnel who were working out of Lackland AFB, but who were routinely having to travel to Ft Sam to conduct admin business. I have a feeling that you and I are in the same brigade.

Talk to the RMO about this, as well; as they can better advise you on what authority you are entitled to mileage compensation.
I did a little bit more digging and I found this:

quote:
PART L: LOCAL TRAVEL IN AND AROUND PDS/TDY LOCATION
U2800 GENERAL
A. Authority. Service-designated officials may authorize/approve transportation expense reimbursement incurred
by a traveler conducting official business in the PDS/TDY local area.
B. Local Area. The local area is the area:
1. Classification. The local area is:
a. Within the PDS/TDY limits and the metropolitan area around the PDS/TDY area served by local public
transit systems;
b. Within a local commuting area of the PDS/TDY station determined by the AO/local Service in a written
directive. An arbitrary distance radius must not be established to define a local commuting area (59
Comp. Gen. 397 (1980); or
c. Separate cities, towns, or installations adjacent/close to each other, between which the commuting public
travels during normal business hours on a daily basis.


To sum it up, it essentially says that you'll only be compensated if you are ordered to take your POV to any location OTHER THAN your NORMAL place of duty. So, because your normal location for PT is location A, and your normal location for mission is location B, those are both considered your PDS. If you are then ordered to travel to location C, which is a duty location that is OUT OF THE NORM for you, like say to Fort Sam, or Camp Bullis, then you would be entitled to compensation if the unit did not provide a shuttle or a GOV.
The only problem is the line:

quote:
A. Authority. Service-designated officials may authorize/approve transportation expense reimbursement incurred
by a traveler conducting official business in the PDS/TDY local area.


It is that whole "may authorize/approve", and then:

quote:
b. Within a local commuting area of the PDS/TDY station determined by the AO/local Service in a written
directive. An arbitrary distance radius must not be established to define a local commuting area (59
Comp. Gen. 397 (1980); or


There needs to be a directive/policy about local commuting area for your post/command/unit. (AO is Approving Official)

Most of the pushback will be when the unit realizes they have to use their unit funds to reimburse soldiers IFit is reimburseable. Be careful of the words "may" and "can" in regulations since they are either optional or depend on other supporting information, documentation, situations, etc.... Regulations might be printed in black and white, but many times it is grey because they cannot cover every single scenario.

I am the administrator for DTS/TDY for 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).... Ever try to explain travel regulations to an 11B PFC or even SGM... trust me you do not want to try...
quote:
Originally posted by Eyesinthesky:
quote:
Originally posted by TheWiseChief:
What duty station is this? When I was in Germany last year; everything was on different bases (On-base housing, work, PT location). If gas was an issue; you either car pooled or bike it to work.

If this is in the United States; which base is this?

I can tell you this. You are not getting reimbursed for gas. There always has to be one. SMH.


Simply because you did it does not mean it's right. Seems from a few posts of yours that i've read that you don't completely understand that.


Trust me, people made the same gripes like the OP and it was quickly squashed. You sound like someone that likes to question every damn issue and tell people to look for a loophole. Sorry to say but an online barracks lawyer is not required on this forum to ruffle unnecessary feathers.

BTW, If you are so anti-establishment, why don't you just see yourself out the door? That is what I get from your posts.
quote:
Originally posted by rydin5pinna5:
I am stationed in what is now called Joint Base San Antonio which is Ft Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, and Camp Bullis. All are spread out and I know what you mean about pushback 35PSGT. I expect a lot of it, due to our entire unit basically being in the same situation. The problem here is that no one ever questions things and they just complain. I looked into the reg you posted and feel that the wording does support my view that we are entitled reimbursement. I will keep this thread updated with the progress. Also how far back did they go for the backpay?


Hey, high-speed! Do you know what the IG is for? To interpret the regs. If you are so worrisome about this issue; then take it up with the IG and you will get your answer ASAP. It is that simple.
quote:
Originally posted by 35PSGT:
I did a little bit more digging and I found this:

quote:
PART L: LOCAL TRAVEL IN AND AROUND PDS/TDY LOCATION
U2800 GENERAL
A. Authority. Service-designated officials may authorize/approve transportation expense reimbursement incurred
by a traveler conducting official business in the PDS/TDY local area.
B. Local Area. The local area is the area:
1. Classification. The local area is:
a. Within the PDS/TDY limits and the metropolitan area around the PDS/TDY area served by local public
transit systems;
b. Within a local commuting area of the PDS/TDY station determined by the AO/local Service in a written
directive. An arbitrary distance radius must not be established to define a local commuting area (59
Comp. Gen. 397 (1980); or
c. Separate cities, towns, or installations adjacent/close to each other, between which the commuting public
travels during normal business hours on a daily basis.


To sum it up, it essentially says that you'll only be compensated if you are ordered to take your POV to any location OTHER THAN your NORMAL place of duty. So, because your normal location for PT is location A, and your normal location for mission is location B, those are both considered your PDS. If you are then ordered to travel to location C, which is a duty location that is OUT OF THE NORM for you, like say to Fort Sam, or Camp Bullis, then you would be entitled to compensation if the unit did not provide a shuttle or a GOV.


The key word in A. Authority is MAY. Does not say it WILL.
quote:

Trust me, people made the same gripes like the OP and it was quickly squashed. You sound like someone that likes to question every damn issue and tell people to look for a loophole. Sorry to say but an online barracks lawyer is not required on this forum to ruffle unnecessary feathers.

BTW, If you are so anti-establishment, why don't you just see yourself out the door? That is what I get from your posts.


I had a real laugh from your post, thanks. Where do I seem like a barracks lawyer again? And how would you know if I question every issue given or look for a loophole in things?

Anti establishment. Ha. Thanks again, i forgot it was 1970 still. Maybe I should be like you and flood these forums with pointless posts about how awesome and hardcore I am and how everyone should just suck it up like me.

Maybe if you're going to answer something you could cite a reg or say something based on what you've been involved in instead of mocking someone for a legitimate question. If you are in fact a warrant officer you should show more respect for people merely trying to get information.
Yes, let's get back on topic. But I do not have to validate who I am to you. If you feel that my responses hold no basis; then simply ignore and provide your outstanding wisdom. No need to act like someone that you are not on this forum.

I see you have not been in the Army so long. I have more time deployed Wink so no harm; no foul.
http://community.armystudyguid...=437105973#437105973 before you tell someone to check their attitude; perhaps you should do the same.
quote:
Originally posted by Eyesinthesky:
Long enough to be an NCO. Best of luck to the OP. Ending this convo with the "wise" chief.


Yes, a mature and experience NCO will end the sentence exactly as you just did. To me that shows you are like a little child that has to have the last word.

My 30 year enlistment anniversary is in January and I also worked in the 42A administration MOS back in the 90s so I am more than familiar with the regs; way before you ever had the Army in your front site post. I suggest if you talk about respect; you should show some first if you expect to receive it since you are an NCO (I could see you been in the Army for over a little two years, so you have a little time as an E5 which means you still do not know nothing). Take that is my "wise" advise to you and take it for what its worth. If you have issues with my comments; I gladly provide you my DSN so we can discuss this "ear to ear".

You just added to the reasons why the Army has a problem with promoting people to the NCO ranks too soon and thank goodness the days of fast tracking will be confined to a bit few.
This is off-topic but I am glad the NCO Corps will now slow their promotions.

A new NCO timeline Army redraws promotion path to sergeant major

By Jim Tice

jtice@militarytimes.com

The Army has redrawn the non*commissioned officer career road map, giving enlisted soldiers standard and predictable promo*tion waypoints to the ranks of sergeant through sergeant major.

Several policy changes to be fielded over the next two years include a new plan that envisions most soldiers being promoted to sergeant at about 4½ years of ser*vice, followed by advancements to the other grades every six years.

The goal of the new timeline is to move career-minded soldiers through the lower ranks into the sergeant major ranks at 24 to 25 years of service, and to provide them with an opportunity to serve a tour as a battalion command sergeant major before retiring at 32 years of service.

Soldiers who elect voluntary retirement upon reaching 20 years of service can count on retiring as sergeants first class.

Other changes will synchronize the various levels of the NCO Edu*cation System with promotions.

Fiscal 2013, which begins Oct. 1, will be a transition year used to educate the force on the new requirements, and to give soldiers and leaders time to react to require*ments tentatively scheduled for implementation in 2014.

Officials anticipate that the entire system, to include the stan*dardized promotion pin-on points, will be in effect by 2015.

A key component of the pending changes is the adoption of a select*train-promote concept already implemented at the rank of sergeant major, according to Ger*ald Purcell, a personnel policy integrator in the Office of the Army G-1 (Human Resources).

Under that concept, master sergeants with potential for service as sergeants major are selected to attend the Sergeants Major Course. Upon graduation from the resi*dent or nonresident course, sol*diers are frocked to sergeant major and promoted by seniority as vacancies occur in their military occupa*tional specialty.

When applied to the lower grades, “soldiers will be selected for pro*motion based on poten*tial, and, once promoted, the Army will train them, both in their units and in schools, which will lead to a recommendation for promotion to the next grade,” Purcell said.

Soldiers in the promotion pipeline will be trained by unit leaders through mentoring, coach*ing and counseling, direct experi*ences, and in schools through a combination of distance learning, such as Structured Self-Develop*ment, and the resident NCOES courses.

The leader development strate*gy will require specialists to be graduates of the Warrior Leader Course before they can be validat*ed as sergeants.

Upon completing their unit and institutional leader development regimen, sergeants will become eligible to be recommended for promotion.

The process then will be repeat*ed for service as a staff sergeant, except that the common core and technical phases of the Advanced Leader Course will be a valida*tion requirement for promotion to staff sergeant.

The Army has not yet deter*mined how it will formally vali*date soldiers at the various rank levels, but such a process is being researched by Training and Doctrine Command.

“Maybe this will be some kind of certification saying that a soldier is proficient at his or her current grade, and is eligible to be recom*mended for promotion,” Purcell said.

While the semicentralized pro*motion system for sergeant and staff sergeant will remain intact, qualification requirements will change.

“It is our intent that the various phases of the NCO Education Sys*tem and eligibility for promotion will be formally linked in fiscal 2014,” Purcell said.

For example, Structured Self-Development-1 will become a requirement for promotion to sergeant, SSD-3 for consideration to sergeant first class and SSD-4 for master sergeant.

Two years ago, Army leaders signed off on a memorandum that requires policies throughout the force to be shaped in such a way that they support the tenets of leader development.

“The only way we can be success*ful in building a system that sup*ports the tenets of leader develop*ment is to give soldiers enough time to complete institutional, opera*tional and self-development learn*ing experiences,” Purcell said.

More time-in-grade

The new NCO career timeline is based on the premise that soldiers will spend about six years in grade at the various NCO rank levels.

Under the current system, high*potential NCOs move between the rank levels every three or four years.

“Three years time-in-grade,” Purcell said, “is not enough time to develop operationally.” Under the new system, soldiers who want to serve a 32-year career will make it to sergeant major with enough time to serve at least one command sergeant major tour.

“If you want to serve a 20-year career, you will make it to sergeant first class, and will leave the service at that rank,” Purcell said. “However, you won’t have enough time during a 20-year career to make sergeant major. That should not be a goal that someone sets for himself because the system won’t allow it.” Purcell said under the new system, “a handful of people will receive accelerated promotions, because we need them. But, on average, we won’t need sergeants major who pin on at 20 years of service because that is not in the Army’s best interest.” A major asset of the new system will be its visibility to soldiers in the sense that the leader development template and career timeline will tell them what they need to do, and when, to be successful.

“Making staff sergeant in eight years is what we expect you to do,” Purcell said. “If you do your job, and you’re good at what you do, you are going to make staff sergeant in eight years.” However, what may appear to be a sim*ple process is complicated by the fact that each MOS has it own force structure requirements, which can vary greatly.

If an MOS has a timeline that averages nine or 10 years to make staff sergeant, the Army will use its new force-shaping tool, the Qualitative Service Program, to facili*tate losses at the senior grades, which in turn will increase promotion opportunities at the lower grades.
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