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Department of Defense

DIRECTIVE

NUMBER 1418.5

October 6, 2003

Certified Current as of December 1, 2003




USD(P&R)

SUBJECT:  Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) Policy

References: (a)  DoD Directive 1418.5, subject as above, February 1, 2002 (hereby canceled)

(b)  Section 402 of title 37, United States Code

(c)  Section 502 of title 37, United States Code

(d)  Section 503 of title 37, United States Code

(e)  through (j), see enclosure 1

1.  PURPOSE

This Directive reissues reference (a) to establish policy and assign responsibilities under reference (b) regarding Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) for (the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security) military personnel.

2.  APPLICABILITY

This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments (including the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a Service in the Navy by agreement with the Department of Homeland Security), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the Department of Defense (hereafter referred to collectively as "the DoD Components").  The term "Military Services," as used herein, refers to the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard.  The term "Secretary concerned," as used herein, means the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, or the Secretary of the Air Force, or the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when not operating as a Service within the Navy.

3.  DEFINITIONS

Terms used in this Directive are defined in enclosure 2.

4.  POLICY

It is DoD policy that:

4.1.  As directed by reference (b), all military members entitled to basic pay are also entitled to BAS except when they:

4.1.1.  Undergo Basic Military Training (BMT), including initial officer training (Officer Candidate School, Officer Training School) and have no continuous prior enlisted service (active or Reserve).

4.1.2.  Are in an excess leave status according to 37 U.S.C. 502(b) (reference (c)).

4.1.3.  Are in an absent without leave status, unless the absence is excused as unavoidable according to 37 U.S.C. 503 (reference (d)).

4.1.4.  Are on an approved educational leave of absence not exceeding 2 years according to 10 U.S.C. 708 (reference (e)).

4.1.5.  Have no dependents and train for, attend, or participate in Pan American games, Olympic games, or other specifically authorized international amateur sport competitions and the sponsoring agency subsists them during that period according to 37 U.S.C. 420 (reference (f)).

4.1.6.  Are serving a court-martial sentence that includes an approved (by the convening authority) forfeiture of pay and allowances according to 10 U.S.C. 857 (reference (g)).

4.2.  All members shall pay for any meals the Government furnishes while they are also entitled to BAS.  The individual member may pay for meals or, in certain circumstances, have the amount deducted from their pay account or reduced from their travel per diem.  Regarding pay account collections:

4.2.1.  Certain assignments may require collecting payment from the member's account for meals the U.S. Government furnishes (i.e., Essential Station Messing (ESM), Essential Unit Messing (EUM), field duty, sea duty, or group travel).  In these situations, payment shall be collected at the discounted meal rate and collections shall be made whether the meals are eaten or not.  During the first and last day of this type of assignment, the member's charge shall be 25 percent of the daily rate.  However, where a member transitions from one mandatory collection status to another, i.e., when a member goes from an ESM status directly to field duty, the 25 percent charge for the first and last day of assignment shall not apply.

4.2.2.  Pay account collections for meals shall not be made during any day of a member's official leave.  Full collections shall be made on the days before and after the leave period.  The 25 percent charge does not apply to the first and last day of leave.

4.3.  Enlisted members:

4.3.1.  Attending BMT shall not be entitled to BAS, but shall receive subsistence in kind at no charge.

4.3.2.  Attending initial officer training (Officer Candidate School, Officer Training School) shall be entitled to BAS and may also be assigned to ESM/EUM.

4.3.3.  Permanently assigned to live in single Government quarters ashore and in grades E1 through E6 shall be entitled to BAS and may also be assigned to ESM.  Enlisted members assigned to ESM shall be charged for all meals the U.S. Government makes available.  Charges (at the discount meal rate) shall be directly deducted from the member's pay account.  If assigned duties or dining facility exigencies prevent the Government from providing meals, charges shall be adjusted for affected meals.  Members assigned to ESM shall not have meal charges deducted from pay when on leave, on permanent change of station (PCS) status, in the hospital, or on temporary duty (TAD/TDY) other than TAD/TDY to sea duty, field duty, EUM, or group travel.

4.3.3.1.  ESM shall be applied uniformly for all enlisted members permanently assigned to single Government quarters at the same installation, station, base or ship.  Exceptions may be made only when assigned duties cause an individual to miss more than 20 percent of their meals the Government furnishes on a monthly basis.

4.3.3.2.  The Military Services shall establish Service-wide written criteria, according to this Directive, for installation, base, or station commanders responsible for single Government quarters and messing to use in setting the rules for implementing ESM at the local level.

4.3.3.3.  The JTF Commander or Commander of the Combatant Command shall determine whether to authorize ESM/EUM when members of one or more of the Military Services perform a duty in a joint-task force (JTF) environment.  Such determinations are binding on all DoD and Coast Guard personnel operating under these circumstances.

4.3.3.4.  The installation commander shall determine whether to authorize ESM when members of more than one of the Military Services perform duty at a particular installation.  Such determinations are binding on all DoD and Coast Guard personnel performing duty at that installation.  Where installations are in close geographic proximity (as defined in enclosure 2) to one another, the installation commanders shall confer to ensure uniform determinations on the authorization of BAS.

4.3.4.  Performing field duty, in an EUM status, group travel, or attending Accession Pipeline Military Training (APMT) while assigned to single Government quarters, are entitled to BAS, and may be charged for all Government-furnished meals made available.  Charges (at the discount meal rate) may be directly deducted from the member's pay account.  If assigned duties or dining facility exigencies prevent the Government from providing meals, charges shall be adjusted for affected meals.  Members assigned to field duty, in an EUM status, group travel, or attending APMT shall not have meal charges deducted from pay when on leave or otherwise released from that duty (provided they are not otherwise subject to charges for meals).

4.3.5.  Performing duty in grades E7 through E9 at an ashore installation (not field duty, EUM, group travel or attending APMT) are exempt from ESM.  The Secretaries concerned may exempt other grade levels at their discretion.

4.3.6.  Performing duty at an ashore installation (not field duty or EUM, group travel or attending APMT) and not assigned to ESM are entitled to BAS and may use the Appropriated Fund (APF) dining facility on a Pay As You Go basis at the standard meal rate.

4.3.7.  Permanently assigned to single Government quarters, which do not have adequate food storage or preparation facilities (defined in enclosure 2), and who have no Government messing facility (including Government-furnished meals) serving those quarters may be paid twice the monthly BAS rate.

4.3.7.1.  The Secretaries concerned may pay twice the BAS rate to members as specified under subparagraph 4.3.7.  Each Service shall establish Service-wide written criteria, according to this Directive, to implement a BAS rate at twice the normal monthly amount.

4.3.7.2.  Payment of BAS at twice the monthly rate shall be applied uniformly for all enlisted members permanently assigned to single Government quarters under similar circumstances at the same installation.  When members of more than one of the Military Services are assigned to the same installation, the Secretaries concerned shall confer to ensure uniform determinations on the authorized BAS rate.

4.3.7.3.  BAS at twice the normal rate is not authorized when a Government messing facility is temporarily closed for less than 14 days or when a member is on leave, assigned temporary duty (TAD/TDY), or in the hospital.

4.4.  Officers are entitled to BAS:

4.4.1.  Except as provided in paragraph 4.1., above.

4.4.2.  When performing field duty, sea duty, group travel, or in an EUM status and may be charged for all Government-furnished meals made available.  Charges (at the discount meal rate) may be directly deducted from the member's pay account, with the officer's permission.  If assigned duties or dining facility exigencies prevent an officer from receiving Government-furnished meals those charges shall be adjusted.  Officers assigned to field duty, sea duty, or in an EUM status shall not have meal charges deducted from pay when on leave or otherwise released from that duty (provided they are not otherwise subject to charges for meals).

4.4.3.  When performing duty at an ashore installation (not field duty, group travel or EUM) and may, subject to rules established by the operating Military Service, use the APF dining facility on a Pay As You Go basis at the standard meal rate.

4.5.  Reserve enlisted members of a Reserve component may:

4.5.1.  Receive subsistence, in kind, when not entitled to basic pay, if the member's period of instruction or duty totals at least 8 hours in one day.

4.5.2.  Receive a cash commutation, when not entitled to basic pay and Government-furnished meals are not available, if the member's period of instruction or duty totals at least 8 hours in one day.  This entitlement is at the discretion of the Secretary concerned who shall issue written instructions specifying eligibility criteria.  Meals commuted shall be paid at a rate equal to enlisted BAS and prorated for meals that would have been furnished.

4.6.  The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Personnel and Policy) (DASD(MPP)) (Compensation), through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, shall issue the BAS rates annually and they shall be effective the first of January.  The DASD(MPP) shall base the officer and enlisted BAS rates for any particular year on the annual percentage change of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Cost Index as of October 1 of the previous year, and apply this percentage change to the following three categories:

4.6.1.  Enlisted BAS.

4.6.2.  Officer BAS.

4.6.3.  Rations in Kind Not Available (RIKNA) BAS (enlisted members only).

4.6.3.1.  The RIKNA BAS rate is authorized for enlisted members, not on leave, while on duty at a permanent station where a Government mess is not available or where it has been determined that it is impractical for the Government to make meals available.

4.6.3.2.  The RIKNA BAS rate shall not be higher than $262.50 per month.  The RIKNA BAS rate shall cease to be effective on the first day of the first month in which the enlisted BAS rate exceeds the RIKNA BAS rate.

4.7.  Meal rates are issued annually by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) Comptroller to be effective the first of October.  Additionally, through Volume 12 of DoD 7000.14-R (reference (h)), the OUSD (Comptroller) establishes regulations regarding the appropriate application of those rates to users of APF dining facilities.

4.8.  Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance, as established in 37 U.S.C. 402(a) (reference (i)), increases the amount of a member's BAS under the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance for Low-Income Members of the Armed Forces Program.

5.  RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1.  The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness shall:

5.1.1.  Review and coordinate on all DoD issuances regarding BAS.

5.1.2.  Provide BAS policy guidance.

5.1.3.  Ensure compliance with written policy.

5.1.4.  Ensure this Directive remains current.

5.2.  The Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) shall:

5.2.1.  Calculate and publish meal rates and issue regulations on how to apply them.

5.2.2.  Ensure that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service shall publish specific regulations regarding military pay policy and procedures for entitlement to BAS in DoD 7000.14-R (reference (j)).

5.3.  The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall develop supplementary instructions or regulations, as necessary, to properly implement BAS within their respective Service.  They shall provide all such instructions or regulations to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to review prior to issuing.

5.4.  The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics shall issue regulations on how to operate appropriated fund dining facilities.

6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This Directive is effective immediately.

Signed by:  Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense

Enclosures - 2

E1.  References, continued

E2.  Definitions

E1.  ENCLOSURE 1

REFERENCES, continued

(e)  Section 708 of title 10, United States Code

(f)  Section 420 of title 37, United States Code

(g)  Section 857 of title 10, United States Code

(h)  DoD 7000.14-R, "DoD Financial Management Regulation," Volume 12, Chapter 19, September 1997

(i)  Section 402(a) of title 37, United States Code

(j)  DoD 7000.14-R, "DoD Financial Management Regulation," Volume 7A, Chapters 25 and 57, February 2001

E2.  ENCLOSURE 2

DEFINITIONS

E2.1.1.  Adequate Food Storage and Preparation Facilities.  A determination made by the Secretary concerned or designee that the facilities are sufficient to allow for sanitary food storage and preparation of nutritious meals.  Suggested guidelines for adequate food storage and preparation facilities are those facilities that are near, but separate from the bedroom and bathroom and comprised of a refrigerator with freezer, a conventional oven or microwave, a cook-top with at least two electric or gas burners, a kitchen sink, and a dry food pantry or storage cabinets and a dining table or counter with chairs.

E2.1.2.  Appropriated Fund (APF) Dining Facility.  A generic term used in lieu of Government mess, general mess, dining hall, dining activity, dining facility, mess hall, galley, field kitchen, flight kitchen, or similar terms used to describe dining facilities funded totally by appropriated funds.  It excludes activities operated by nonappropriated fund instrumentalities such as an officer's mess, club, organized mess, and all similar terms.

E2.1.3.  Close Geographic Proximity.  Installations and/or bases within local commuting distance of each other.

E2.1.4.  Essential Station Messing (ESM).  Messing declared by the installation, base, or station commander responsible for single Government quarters; that is essential to operate the appropriated fund dining facility efficiently and economically; or that is necessary for the health and safety of enlisted personnel permanently assigned to single quarters.

E2.1.5.  Essential Unit Messing (EUM).  Any group messing that an appropriate authority (the Secretary concerned or, for a JTF, the Combatant Commander or JTF Commander concerned) declares essential for operational readiness, military operations or effective training where members are required to eat Government-furnished meals.  Members shall be in a travel status and are entitled to travel reimbursement for incidental expenses, but not for subsistence.  Designation for essential unit messing shall apply only to organizational units and to operational elements and detachments, not to individual Service members.

E2.1.6.  Field Duty.  Any maneuvers, war games, field exercises, or similar operations where a member is assigned to a unit being subsisted in a dining facility operated by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or with an organization drawing field rations.  Members may be on per diem orders.

E2.1.7.  Government-Furnished Meals.  All meals that are provided as subsistence in kind, or meals or rations furnished by or on behalf of the U.S. Government.  Meals or rations furnished without charge by a Government contractor or a foreign government, or through a fellowship, grant or intern program while a member is receiving basic pay, either under the terms of a contract or agreement or on a complimentary basis, are considered to be furnished on behalf of the U.S. Government.

E2.1.8.  Pay As You Go.  Applies to members who are charged for only the meals that they actually eat in an APF dining facility.

E2.1.9.  Sea Duty.  Service performed in a self-propelled vessel with berthing and messing facilities that is in an active status, in commission, or in service.  Applies to members who are either permanent party or aboard for temporary duty.

E2.1.10.  Subsisted in Kind.  Furnished meals or rations provided at no charge to members not entitled to BAS from an appropriated fund dining facility or who are subsisted at no charge on behalf of the Government.