defense travel system

Defense Travel System Advancements: What’s New in Military Travel?

Revolutionize your travel experience with defense travel system, the Department of Defense’s cutting-edge travel companion. Say goodbye to paperwork hassles and hello to seamless, paperless efficiency. D.T.S. is not just an automated system; it’s your passport to hassle-free global travel. The DoD’s official travel system ensures that every journey is smooth and stress-free by streamlining the entire process. Embrace a new era of travel – embrace D.T.S. Your next destination awaits, and D.T.S. is your ticket to a streamlined, paperless travel revolution.

Temporary Duty

Experience the unparalleled convenience of defense travel system for your Temporary Duty (TDY) travel needs! Whether you’re a Service member, a DoD civilian employee, a dependent, or an invitational traveller, D.T.S. is your go-to solution. However, it’s essential to note that.

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D.T.S. doesn’t support specific TDY scenarios to ensure compliance and efficiency:

  • D.T.S. won’t be available if you’re a civilian employee on a long-term TDY exceeding 365 consecutive days. In such cases, the I.R.S. may consider the TDY permanent, leading to taxable income. Submit your travel voucher to the servicing finance office, not through D.T.S.
  • Civilian employees appointed for diplomatic duties under Title 22 U.S.C., Section 2385(d), are ineligible for D.T.S. use.
  • For civilian employees on official assignments funded by a non-DoD Agency, adhere to the respective Agency’s travel policies;defense travel system isn’t applicable.
  • Travellers combining TDY with a permanent change of station (P.C.S.) must process the TDY using the final P.C.S. travel voucher, not D.T.S.
  • If you initiate a TDY trip in a system other than D.T.S., complete the trip in the original system; D.T.S. cannot be used for any part of that journey. Embrace the simplicity and efficiency of D.T.S. for eligible TDY scenarios and enjoy hassle-free travel management.

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D.T.S. does support the following travel scenarios:

  • Service Members with Household Goods (H.H.G.) or Unaccompanied Baggage: If you’re a Service member embarking on a TDY lasting 31 days or more and have approved travel allowances for H.H.G. or unaccompanied baggage, D.T.S. has your back. Reimbursement for shipping costs is available up to the Government’s Constructive Cost (G.C.C.) for the TDY HHG weight allowance pounds outlined in J.T.R., Table 2-25. Coordinate these shipments through the Transportation Officer (TO). If authorized to arrange the shipment personally, the TO will provide G.C.C. documentation. When submitting your D.T.S. voucher, you must upload the provided G.C.C. documentation and the shipment’s receipts.
  • Civilian Employees and Unaccompanied Baggage: D.T.S. also caters to civilian employees on TDY for 31 days or more with approved travel allowances for unaccompanied baggage. Like Service members, shipping costs can be reimbursed up to the G.C.C. for the TDY HHG weight allowance as per J.T.R., paragraph 020505. Arrange these shipments through the Transportation Officer (TO). If the TO authorizes or you choose to arrange the shipment personally, the TO will provide the necessary G.C.C. documentation. When submitting your D.T.S. voucher, you must upload the provided G.C.C. documentation and the shipment’s receipts.

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Local Travel

Empower your local journeys with defense travel system. – the ultimate travel companion for Service members, DoD civilian employees, dependents, and invitational travellers. Enjoy the ease of managing your local travel needs seamlessly. However, it’s crucial to be aware of specific scenarios where D.T.S. doesn’t apply to local travel:

  • Extended Daily Commutes for Civilian Employees: D.T.S. is not designed for situations where a civilian employee is directed to work at an alternate location for more than a year, commuting daily to that location for 35 or more work days within a calendar year. In such instances, reimbursements may be considered taxable income by the I.R.S. If you meet both conditions, rest assured – there’s a straightforward solution. Submit your voucher directly to the servicing finance office, not through D.T.S., ensuring compliance with I.R.S. regulations. Following this process guarantees a smooth and tax-efficient handling of your local travel expenses.

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Invitational Travel

Discover the versatility of D.T.S., your all-in-one travel solution! Invitational travellers, including those on Temporary Duty (TDY) and local journeys, can fully utilize the benefits of D.T.S.

It’s essential to note that a Service member or civilian employee doesn’t fall under the invitational traveller category.

For a comprehensive understanding of invitational traveller allowances, requirements, and restrictions, refer to the Joint Travel Regulations (J.T.R.), specifically paragraph 030501. Let D.T.S. simplify your travel experience, ensuring that invitational travellers make the most of its features for TDY and local travel arrangements.

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Government-Funded Leave

 Experience the convenience of D.T.S. for your Government-funded leave travel! Whether you’re a Service member, a DoD civilian employee, or a dependent, D.T.S. is your go-to platform for streamlined leave travel arrangements. Here’s how it works:

  • Government Transportation Priority: Travellers must opt for this convenient option if Government transportation is available. The emphasis is on maximizing the utilization of Government-provided means of travel.
  • A.O. Authorization for Commercial Transportation: In cases where the Authorizing Official (AO) determines that Government transportation is unavailable, the A.O. has the authority to authorize commercial transportation. This ensures flexibility in travel arrangements, allowing individuals to choose the most suitable and efficient means for their Government-funded leave travel.

Permanent Duty Travel

Navigate your duty travels wisely with defense travel system tailored to your specific needs! Generally, Service members, DoD civilian employees, and dependents are advised not to use D.T.S. for permanent duty travel. However, there are specific permanent duty travel scenarios where D.T.S. is your trusted ally:

  • Renewal Agreement Travel (R.A.T.): Civilian employees and dependents are eligible to use D.T.S. for Renewal Agreement Travel when the additional tour of duty is at the same permanent duty station (P.D.S.) outside the continental United States (OCONUS). Enjoy the simplicity and efficiency of D.T.S. for R.A.T. in this context.
    • Exception for Different P.D.S.: If the subsequent OCONUS tour is at a different P.D.S., it’s crucial to note that D.T.S. should not be used for R.A.T. In this scenario, R.A.T. is authorized and reimbursed through a Permanent Change of Station (P.C.S.) order and voucher. Ensure compliance with regulations by following the appropriate procedures for reimbursement in such cases.

Evacuation Travel

 In the event of an evacuation, D.T.S. is here to streamline travel arrangements for service members who have issued temporary duty (TDY) orders. However, certain evacuation scenarios are excluded from D.T.S. support:

  • Evacuation with TDY Orders for Service Members: If a Service member is issued a TDY order as part of the evacuation process, D.T.S. becomes a valuable tool for managing travel logistics.
  • D.T.S. Exclusion for Evacuation with P.C.S. Orders: If a Service member is issued a Permanent Change of Station (P.C.S.) order due to the evacuation, D.T.S. must not be used in this circumstance. Alternative procedures should be followed for reimbursement and travel management.
  • Evacuation of Dependents: In cases where dependents of active-duty Service members, civilian employees, or a civilian employee’s dependents are evacuated, D.T.S. should not be utilized. Instead, these individuals must submit a voucher directly to the servicing finance office, ensuring proper handling of evacuation-related expenses.

Foreign Military Sales Program

 Seize the efficiency of defense travel system for your official travels related to the Foreign Military Sales (F.M.S.) program as a U.S. Service member or civilian employee. Here’s how to smoothly navigate the process:

  • D.T.S. Usage for F.M.S. Program Travel: U.S. Service members and civilian employees engaged in official travel associated with the Foreign Military Sales (F.M.S.) program can use D.T.S. This streamlined platform ensures a hassle-free experience for travel arrangements.
  • Expenditure Authorization Process: Before creating any expenditure against an F.M.S. appropriation, it is imperative to obtain authority through D.T.S. This authorization is secured from the Defense Integrated Financial System, the central accounting system. Additionally, authoritative approval for F.M.S. Trust Fund control and management is obtained from DFAS-JAXBA/IN.
  • Reserved F.M.S. Funds: Once expenditure authority is granted, the allocated F.M.S. funds are set aside exclusively for the intended purpose. These funds should not be utilized for any other purpose, ensuring proper control and management in line with F.M.S. program requirements.

Foreign National

 Unlock the efficiency of defense travel system for foreign nationals meeting specific eligibility criteria. Here’s a breakdown of the conditions for utilizing D.T.S.:

  • Eligibility Criteria for Foreign Nationals: A foreign national may use D.T.S. if they meet the following conditions:
    • Foreign nationals can receive travel and transportation allowances per the Joint Travel Regulations (J.T.R.).
    • Possess a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and either a U.S. bank account or the capability to receive a U.S. Treasury check.
  • Mandatory TIN Requirement: It’s crucial to note that if a foreign national lacks a valid TIN, they cannot use D.T.S. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service mandates that individuals receiving more than $200 in payment within a year must have a valid TIN.

However, D.T.S. does not extend support to the following categories of foreign personnel:

  • Foreign Military Personnel under Title 22 U.S.C.: Foreign military personnel travelling under Title 22 U.S.C. (security assistance authority) and paid by the Security Assistance Management Manual are not supported by D.T.S.
  • Foreign Liaison Officer under Title 10 U.S.C.: Foreign Liaison Officers paid by Title 10 U.S.C. (liaison officer authority) are also excluded from defense travel system usage.

Personnel Exchange Program

Efficiency and ease await foreign officers participating in the Personnel Exchange Program (P.E.P.) who meet specific criteria for utilizing defense travel system:

  • Agreement Review for P.E.P. Officer: A foreign officer under the Personnel Exchange Program may use D.T.S. after a thorough review of the agreement between their government and the U.S., determining the eligibility of a P.E.P. officer to utilize the system.
  • Travel Purpose: D.T.S. support is granted if the foreign officer travels to support a U.S. mission, excluding travel for training or foreign government purposes.
  • Valid TIN Requirement: The foreign officer must possess a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to be eligible for D.T.S. usage.
  • Equivalent Allowances: The foreign officer must be authorized the same travel and transportation allowances as a U.S. officer to utilize D.T.S. seamlessly.

Cooperative Program Personnel

 Experience the seamless travel management of defense travel system for Cooperative Program personnel by ensuring the fulfilment of specific conditions:

  • Cooperation Agreement Authorization: D.T.S. usage is permitted if the relevant cooperation agreement explicitly authorizes the same travel and transportation allowances as a U.S. officer.
  • Direct Support of U.S. Government: The travel must directly support the U.S. Government, aligning with the goals and objectives outlined in the cooperation agreement.
  • Exclusion from Security Assistance Management Manual: D.T.S. support is granted if the travel is not covered by the Security Assistance Management Manual, ensuring compliance with relevant guidelines.
  • Valid TIN Requirement: Cooperative Program personnel must possess a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to be eligible for D.T.S. usage.

Government Contractors

Efficiency and convenience await DoD personal services contract employees using D.T.S. for Temporary Duty (TDY) travel. However, it’s crucial to note specific guidelines:

  • D.T.S. Usage for DoD Personal Services Contract Employees: DoD personal services contract employees can use D.T.S. for their TDY travel. The terms and conditions of the contract, as outlined in the Department of Defense Instruction 3020.41, “Operational Contract Support (O.C.S.),” determine the government reimbursement to the contractor or contractor’s employee for travel.
  • Prohibition for Other Government Contractors: While DoD personal services contract employees can leverage D.T.S., it’s important to highlight that all other government contractors are strictly prohibited from using defense travel system for travel. Regulations outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, subpart 31.205-46, govern travel costs for these contractors and their employees.

No appropriated Funds Government Employees

For a Government employee engaged in Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) business, utilizing defense travel system for travel and transportation allowances funded by non-appropriated funds is not permissible. The Services provide written NAFI issuances and form the basis for local NAFI or morale, welfare, and recreation command policies.

References 

Microsoft Word – Who May Use D.T.S. (Dec 2023) (defense.gov)

Yara Refaat
Yara Refaat
Articles: 193