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DOD Approves RAT Travel Exception

posted June 11, 2020

DOD has approved an exception from its travel ban to allow DoDEA and other civilian employees to take RAT travel. FEA has been lobbying DoDEA for this exception for several weeks.

FEA Interim Executive Director/General Counsel Richard Tarr advocated that RAT cannot be denied according to the JTR. His work in researching this issue is much appreciated!

Below is the explanation DoDEA management has provided of RAT options and procedures under this exception:

RAT TRAVEL IF YOU HAVE FUNDED DTS TRAVEL ORDERS:
The employee is authorized to make travel arrangements in accordance with RAT travel orders.
SATO is aware travel may be adjusted from the publishedorder dates.

RAT TRAVEL IF YOU DO NOT HAVE FUNDED DTS TRAVEL ORDERS:
A. RAT orders have not been requested/approved in TOPS
1. The employee requests RAT orders via TOPS. Include a personal email address for return communication.
2. Once requested, CHRA will validate the request and establish orders if the employee is eligible.
3. The HQ RAT team will establish funded DTS travel orders and email the orders to the employee.
B. RAT orders are established in TOPS, and require funded DTS travel orders:
1. The HQ RAT team will establish funded DTS travel orders and email the orders to the employee.
2. The employee is authorized to make travel arrangements in accordance with RAT travel orders.

IF AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO TOPS:
1. RAT orders must be requested via email to CHRA at usarmy.ria.chra-nc.mbx.dodea-overseas-entitlements@mail.mil
2. CHRA will validate the request and establish orders if the employee is eligible.
3. If eligible, the HQ RAT team will establish funded DTS travel orders and email the orders to the employee.
4. The employee is authorized to make travel arrangements in accordance with RAT travel orders.

RAT travel must be scheduled and reimbursed in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR). Employees with question about RAT orders may contact HQDTS_DoDEA@DoDEA.edu

All DoDEA employees remain subject to host nation, federal, state, and local travel restrictions and are strongly encouraged to observe COVID-19 protective measure recommendations during personal travel. Furthermore, regardless of an employee's duty status, local military installation/community and host nation COVID-19 guidance/directives will continue to apply to all DoDEA employees until such guidance/restrictions are canceled by the issuing authorities.

Upon return, all employees will be required to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine, as established per the DoD direction, as well as any additional host nation requirements. It is extremely important that school-level employees traveling during the summer recess period return to their permanent duty station early enough to observe these requirements and
account for travel delays they may encounter in order to be able to physically report for duty at the start of the school year.

All DoDEA employees departing their PDS must provide their supervisor with their personal contact information (email and/or telephone) to facilitate receiving information, updates or changes that may occur during the summer recess period before school resumes.