By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Servicemembers traveling on indeterminate temporary duty (ITDY) orders are now authorized to escort their family members to and from an alternate location at government expense, according to NAVADMIN 227/10.
The message, released July 9, announces the change in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) law that went into effect March 15. This new policy adds an escort entitlement for Sailors to accompany their family during an authorized move. There is no change to family member travel.
ITDY is similar to TDY, which the Navy calls temporary additional duty (TAD), but there is no specified time period and no end-date in the orders. A modification or follow-on orders are required for the member to go to their permanent duty station (PDS).
According to Cmdr. Carl Chaffin, Distribution Management and Procedures Branch head, this change in policy is the culmination of more than two years of work that was initiated at the direction of the Task Force Individual Augmentee (IA) Conference held in the fall of 2007.
“To allow servicemembers returning from IA assignments to reunite with their families was a major issue of that conference,” Chaffin said. “Reducing the requirement from 365 to 210 days to be eligible for ITDY orders and the escort entitlement were the courses of action taken to meet that issue.”
To apply for escort entitlement, the member must be on ITDY orders dated March 15, 2010, or later. Orders dated prior to March 15 can be modified, but this modification does not grandfather in prior travel.
“ITDY orders are issued to servicemembers going on temporary duty when the return date is unknown,” said Chaffin. “To qualify for ITDY orders, the Navy has reduced the estimated minimum number of days on assignment to 210 days. ITDY orders extend the same entitlements as TDY orders, plus additional entitlements for moving family members to an alternate place. The escort option only applies to the member when assisting family members such as for the purpose of concurrent travel.”
Under the new rules, servicemembers must request approval of their itinerary prior to starting travel. Travel is either from the PDS to the ITDY location or from the ITDY location to the PDS. Servicemembers currently on Global War on Terrorism Support Assignments (GSA) cannot be reimbursed retroactively for previous travel, but may make a request for their return travel.
Some typical scenarios:
• A servicemember accompanies family members from an alternate location en route to the old PDS upon return from an individual augmentee assignment when the servicemember does not have follow-on Permanent Change of Station orders.
• The member escorts family members to an alternate location and returns to the Sailor’s PDS prior to departing for an IA/GSA.
• When the servicemember has follow-on PCS orders, travel from the ITDY location to the old PDS (if family members elected to stay there) and travel to new PDS when returning from a GSA.
The government will not pay for escort travel when:
• The member wants to use it to arrange for household goods or privately owned vehicle shipments, take leave or any other personal convenience.
• The member does not have ITDY orders. Any travel prior to having written orders is not reimbursable.
• The member has already reported to the new PDS.
Specific information on how to apply can be found in the message; visit the Navy Personnel Command Web site at www.npc.navy.mil and click on “Messages.” For more information about the change, reference the Per Diem, Travel, and Transportation Allowance Committee memorandum announcing the change to the JFTR at www.ia.navy.mil/new.htm.