SUBJECT: Use of Government Vehicles for Medical Appointments
1. PURPOSE. To provide information regarding the proper use of government vehicles for medical appointments.
a. Contrary to widespread belief, the use of government vehicles for transportation to and from medical appointments is generally prohibited. Although government vehicles may be used for official purposes, medical appointments qualify as official business only in limited situations. In accordance with AR 58-1, para. 2-3d, use of a government vehicle is authorized only for a medical appointment "scheduled by the Army that requires a soldier's attendance." Such appointments include required Army physicals and flight physicals. Government vehicles may not be used for medical appointments that, although necessary for health reasons, are not a condition of employment in the Army. Thus, for example, a government vehicle may not be used for a follow-up appointment made by the soldier "to obtain medical treatment for a condition discovered during the [required] physical exam" (Joint Federal Travel Regulation, U3500C).
b. Neither receipt of TDY orders nor eligibility for reimbursement of travel expenses alone justifies the use of a government vehicle for transportation to and from the appointment (AR 58-1, para. 2-3i(2)). Whether use of a government vehicle is authorized for TDY travel will be based on "need, distance involved, duration of the mission, or other conditions which justify" its use (AR 58-1, para. 2-3i(2)). Thus, a soldier may qualify for reimbursement of travel expenses to a doctor's appointment, but may not be authorized use of a government vehicle for transportation to that appointment. Soldiers who are authorized use of a government vehicle while TDY for any purpose may use the vehicle to attend medical appointments while TDY (AR 58-1, para. 2-3i(3)). Similarly, soldiers who are authorized use of a rental vehicle while TDY may use that vehicle to attend medical appointments while TDY.
c. Transportation via government vehicle is not permitted if based solely on rank, position, prestige, or personal convenience (AR 58-1, para. 2-4a). Thus if a government vehicle is authorized for the particular appointment but not made available to the average soldier in similar circumstances, use of the vehicle must be based on reasons of efficiency, safety, or a similar articulated basis.
d. POC is the Administrative Law Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at 4-4926.