Paid tickets to military training?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by robinhood17, May 8, 2013.

  1. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    Hello, question from a current cadet.

    I am attending Airborne school this summer, and ran into a problem which seemed odd to me.

    In the "actual" army, they pay for travel to and from your duty station to training. Coincedently your duty station usually is your home of record.

    For west point cadets, summer leave begins May 25, and Ends August 10, with different schools like Airborne and AA scattered throughout.

    West Point is saying they will only pay for transportation from West Point to Bragg via bus both ways, no airfare from home or leave covered (even partially)


    I don't have a lot of money, but I live in california, and I have leave for 4 weeks before my report date for ABN. I had enough (barely) to get a flight home and back for the summer, but how could West Point expect me to pay for travel to this training they slotted me for?


    Maybe I'm just thinking incorrectly but my reasoning would be my parents, who enlisted without a dime to their name...the army gave them the clothes on their back, and any training they wanted them to have was fully funded...they couldn't afford it otherwise.


    on the contrare, my other option would be to stay at west point for FOUR weeks without any training, in transient housing so that I could take the bus down south.


    Am I wrong for rationalizing this way? Current AD army members pitch in? I know DTS pays duty station to duty station, but what about the gov paid tickets for R day?

    no one here could answer this.


    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Are you going to ABN before or after CFT?

    Try to find friends on the east coast and stay with them during one of those bigger gaps.
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Your home of record and your duty station are NOT the same. In fact, they're almost never the same. Your home of record is where you lived when you entered service.

    DTS pays for whatever your unit RMO says it will pay for. DTS is just a system for payment. The money is controlled in the lines of accounting by resource management officers. They pay what needs to be paid and deny that which does not.

    What you're seeing is perfectly normal. The gravy train is over, kiddo. We're broke. The USMA budget will not support buying tickets from leave to training. The Army doesn't do that. If you want to so that in the Army, you're going to pay out of pocket. The best case is that you can sometimes pay the difference in a plane ticket, but that's situationally dependent.

    Also, airborne is at Benning, not Bragg.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm not WP:biggrin: but here are some thoughts.

    First, remember we're in sequestration so money is tight, especially for things like summer training.

    Second, they are paying you to transit from your duty station (WP) to training. That's what typically happens in the military. You aren't PCS'ing. IOW, your home of record is CA -- and they paid to get you from CA to WP -- but your duty station is now WP, so they're paying travel from duty station to training. As an aside, when you leave WP and go to your first duty station, the USA will pay your transit from WP to that station, not from your home (in this case, CA) to that duty station.

    Third, leave is voluntary and service members are responsible for getting to/from wherever they decide to go for leave and paying for that travel.

    Fourth, to resolve your problem have you considered a "hop?" There are LOTs of military bases in CA and, if you plan ahead, you should be able to get a hop to/from your major training base or at least someplace nearer to it than your home.

    Finally, they will pay you the amount it costs for that bus ticket. You aren't required to take the bus and can use those funds to defray other methods of travel.
     
  5. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Are your parents unable or unwilling to contribute anything toward a plane ticket home for your leave?
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    You are learning the ways of the JFTR at an early age here!

    Unfortunately what is said above is correct. The JFTR limits reimbursement to/from your duty station, not your home of record for TAD/TDY.

    Although it would be great to get them to pay for your travel to/from your leave location it isn't within the guidelines. They will usually pay you back for the amount up to the cost of the correct mode of travel though, so you could get some money back, but it likely won't be anything near what you actually pay for that travel.
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I don't see how this is any different than what the "real" Army does. If your HOR is Texas but you are stationed in Fort Benning in the "real" Army, for example, and you choose to go on leave to Texas, the Army is not going to pay for your trip to any training you may have from anywhere other than your assigned unit.

    Bottom line: Flying to California is optional and the Army should not be expected to pay from anywhere that they did not mandate you to be (in this case West Point)

    You could either try to switch assignments with someone to better fit your schedule or try to fly on a space available basis through military flights. Alternately, borrow money (credit card or parents) and pay it off over the course of the Summer.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    The OPs question boils down to: "The Army gave me vacation time and now they won't pay for me to fly to the destination of my choice and then fly me back to duty."

    Well, they didn't buy your round trip ticket home for Christmas or Spring Break, either. You should be detecting a pattern.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Is it a bus ticket or contract buses? The Joint Travel Regulation requires the government to pay travel cost/meals/lodging for official duties. The government can pick the method of travel. If you think about it, contract buses or bus tickets are lot cheaper than buying plane tickets. When I was a cadet and did DCLT at Fort Jackon, SC, although there were about 50+ cadets starting at the same time, we got airplane tickets. The JTR allows for individual travel arrangement, but will only reimburse for what would have cost the government. If it is a bus ticket, you should be able to make your own travel arrangement and reimbursed up to what the bus ticket would have cost. If it is a contract bus, probably not.

    If you are going to end up staying at West Point, taking a summer class might be an option. I did three things my cow summer, take a summer class, air assault school at Camp Smith, and Beast II cadre. I believe I was allow to do three things as the summer class at West Point was minimum cost.

    The military pays for your initial travel from HOR to your first duty station and your last travel from your duty station to your HOR. That's why West Point paid for new cadets coming to West Point.

    I didn't utilize it but the Army will pay for your move from West Point to your officer basic training location, unless it's TDY. Our orders were PCS. At least for me, I put everything in my car and traveled and didn't get reimbursed, but DITY might be an option. DITY is instead of government paying for shipping/mover to ship your stuff, you do it yourself and get reimbursed for certain costs.
     
  10. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Many of the MIAD's have you assemble at USMA ahead of time for prep anyway, then leave from there. Air Assault, Sapper, any of them that have mandatory loadouts, PT checks & inspections tend to do that.

    Upperclassmen in past years have occasionally been able to get reembursed for direct report to CTLT, etc if it was the same or cheaper to leave from home of record rather than duty station (WP). I know of cadets who have had that discussion for this year, but did not hear the final outcome.

    We are close to Benning so many local cadets would have liked to gone straight to ABN, can't recall if any arranged that.
     
  11. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    I meant benning...my dad is 82nd, so I naturally typed bragg.

    bluf: the question was answered with the fact that west point should pay for travel up to the per diem rate of duty station to duty station. so they will give me the cost of my ticket on a bus from wp to benning. which equals $56 dollars. This was not initially offered in our brief here, which is what I was referring to.

    Scout Pilot: Sir, You are right, and I fully understand the difference and patterns of the Army.
    As an aside and the background to my situation, I didn't travel home for christmas or thanksgiving...I didn't have the money to. I have been saving for this ticket all year. Tickets from USMA to California range in the upper $500 plus transportation to and from the airport home/west point.

    I did not put down the 2000 dollars at the beginning of the year, so my monthy paychecks are $150 dollars instead of $250. Out of that, I send money to my grandmother to offset the cost of the home she is in.


    Is it necessary for me to fly home? In my personal situation, yes. With a 10 year old sibling that was diagnosed with a severe medical condition that will be having transplant surgery June 3rd, a father and older sister deployed, and a mother full time working and sick, my priority is my family. I had full guardianship of him when they both deployed for two years, and because of the severity of the situation now, I plan to be there, no matter what it takes, including giving away my slot to airborne.

    My parents were thrown out at 17, enlisted and made their life through the army. They both hold the firm belief that once I signed my contract to the army, their liability of my costs ceased. I'm on my own for cell phones, flights, and any other fees. I'm not complaining in any sense, it has made me very independent.

    I get the feeling I am being judged on the level of immaturity to believe that I am entitled to paid vacation travel as a military member. I am fully aware of the fact that it is optional to go home. That was not my intent, and I apologize.

    Right now, my summer schedule I begin leave May 25th, and start ABN June 14.

    I guess in light of my situation, I will give my airborne slot away, and I will live in transient housing for the remaining weeks after buckner.


    Thank you all for the advice, I appreciate it. Oddly enough only on this forum will someone get a wide variety of answers with background support, it's a great resource for cadets because of the different branch, mos, and experiences that culminate in advice here.
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Before you give your slot away, talk to your TAC-NCO to confirm the exact options & travel arrangements. If they don't know, they can find out. They may have ideas on what to do. And they'll have real time info, most of what you'll get here is either dated or 2nd or 3rd hand. (including this advice!!!)

    Also check PM, between the various parent clubs something may surface. But they'll not know to try to help unless they know your situation.
     
  13. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Did you verify that information? Unless it has changed, West Point will not pay any money if they are providing a bus because they are not paying for individual tickets and instead are renting the entire bus. Therefore, they pay the same amount whether you go or not. That is the way it was when I went to Airborne (and paid for my own travel to/from there because it was much closer than West Point from where I was at during leave)

    Next Summer, you could try to find an AIAD near your HOR. This is the closest you'll get to West Point paying for your leave other than some PIADs.
     
  14. jbrowerdallas

    jbrowerdallas Dallas Mom

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    Stephanie> I just PM'd you

    Stephanie... I just sent you a PM
     
  15. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Check with the chaplains office to see if there is any help available. I have no idea if there is or not...just a thought. Also, as the above poster did, contact your local parents' club.
     
  16. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    For any family related leave issue the TAC's strongly recommended utilizing the Red Cross notification service (BTD TAC briefing to Parent Clubs).

    That's assuming it's a serious issue- death in the family, serious medical issue with sibling, etc.

    It does not guarantee leave during the academic year, etc. But it does immediately establish that there is need for consideration.

    But the key recommendation was that if there is something going on with family or close friends that will impact the cadet and their USMA performance, they need to know about it and will try to help sort it. May not always approve things, but they need to know.

    Given this is important enough that the cadet was considering cancelling their MIAD, they need to sort this with their TAC-NCO or TAC ASAP.

    I won't go into all the examples the TAC's shared, but will say it can have very serious impact.

    Our input should just be informational, not judgmental even if we have strong opinions. We don't have the full picture of what is going on.

    Let the cadet sort it with their CoC.... Just Sayin' :smile:
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Is this a West Point thing. All of the cadets at my son's ROTC battalion have airline tickets from their home town, not from where the ROTC Battalion is located. My son is going to a school this summer, his tickets are from, and return to, the airport in his home town.
     
  18. philmont

    philmont Member

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    It must be a West Point thing as my ROTC son also has air tickets to Atlanta then shuttle to Benning for AB on 12 June. I believe that is the same dates of OP.
     
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I think it may have something to do with USMA cadets being AD and thus already having a duty station established at USMA. Plus, with the wide dispersion of ROTC cadets, I can't imagine any way that cadet command could move large numbers efficiently.
     
  20. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    I think this is correct.

    West Point New Cadets are either given a ticket to travel to West Point from their homes of record for CBT or are reimbursed for their travel expenses. Are ROTC Cadets provided transportation to their ROTC BNs when they accept a scholarship?
     

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