Military Servicemembers who travel on orders for official duty, duty travel or on some type of permanent duty change of station can apply for and receive a reimbursement for travel. This is sometimes an advantage for both convenience, and cost. Members can travel by their “Personally owned conveyance” or POC instead of a government airline or travel ticket. There are specific rules and regulations for this type of travel. The rules and rates for TDY temporary duty and for permanent change of station types of travel are not the same.
PCS- Permanent Change Station- The type of rates for PCS travels by your own car or transportation is lower than those for TDY travel. Most TDY travel is done at short notice, and the government realizes this and compensates both for the time and trouble as well as for the costs of transportation. The TDY rates are all designed specifically for official duty travel. The rates of reimbursement for MALT travel, or monetary allowance for transportation, are not actually based on repayment.
The MALT reimbursement is based instead on what a commercial type fare for the trip would be. This may seem unfair, until you remember that for most people, they would travel by commercial means. So the military is willing to give that amount in lieu of a ticket. The MALT amounts and rates change as costs of normal commercial military travel changes. They do not directly reflect short-term changes but are adjusted periodically by the Military to reflect the overall commercial cost of transportation. The rate for travel in a car or automobile in which the government provides reimbursement is based on the number of passengers and the mileage traveled. MALT reimbursement is:
-One passenger in a vehicle: fifteen cents a mile.
-Two passengers: Seventeen cents a mile.
-Three Passengers: Nineteen cents a mile.
-Four or more passengers: Twenty cents a mile
Again the rate for MALT reimbursement is for the car, and number of people. If two cars are necessary for a Servicemember and a spouse, and are truly called for, then the reimbursement rate with is a combined thirty cents a mile (fifteen cents for each car). It’s a bit complicated but it makes sense to the government.
Military Servicemembers and their dependents also receive a payment for each day they travel. Called per diem, it is calculated at one day of travel time per each three hundred fifty miles of distance traveled. Any remaining time after dividing by three hundred fifty, if more than fifty-one miles, is allowed one additional day of per diem. This per diem is paid to Servicemembers and their dependents traveling for a permanent duty station change.