Fort McCoy News April 28, 2017

Regulations define official use

of government vehicles

Have you ever noticed a government vehicle parked somewhere where you thought it shouldn't be? Did you ever see someone using a government vehicle like it was a privately owned vehicle? If you have, then you've probably wondered whether the drivers of these government vehicles are violating Army regulations or the law.

Tactical vehicle use is governed in the Army by Field Manual (FM) 4-01 and Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 4-11. Specifically, ATP 4-11 gives the company commander overall responsibility for the transportation assets under their command. It states the commander must maintain accountability and visibility of employed transportation assets and personnel.

The commander is to establish unit policies, procedures and standard operating procedures for the transportation mission. The commander also enforces the principles of supply economy through proper use, care, maintenance, and accountability of individual and organizational equipment and material. ATP 4-11, Appendix G also provides guidance on planning and operating military convoys in the continental United States.

Personnel with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security operate a General Services Administration-leased government vehicle along a range road on Fort McCoy’s North Post on April 11.
Personnel with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and
Security operate a General Services Administration-leased government
vehicle along a range road on Fort McCoy's North Post on April 11.

Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Nontactical vehicles (NTVs) and base commercial equipment (BCE) include any commercial motor vehicle, trailer, material handling, or engineering equipment that carries passengers or cargo acquired for administrative, direct mission, or operational support of military functions. Sedans, station wagons, carryalls, vans, and buses, leased or owned, are considered "nontactical." These specifically include vehicles leased from the General Services Administration.

Army Regulation 58-1, "Management, Acquisition, and Use of Motor Vehicles," prescribes policies, responsibilities, and procedures for the management, acquisition, and use of Army–owned, Army–leased, or otherwise controlled NTVs.

Also, the Logistics Readiness Center McCoy Motor Vehicle Management and Use Standard Operating Procedure sets forth the rules governing what you can and can't do while driving an Army-owned, -leased or otherwise controlled motor vehicle.

Operators of a government nontactical motor vehicle must:

• Ensure a vehicle is used for official business only.

• Possess required license(s), permits, identification, and proof of accident-avoidance training in the past four years.

• Ensure no smoking or use of any tobacco products in the vehicle.

• Ensure all vehicle occupants are wearing seat belts prior to operating the vehicle. Use of seat belts is mandatory.

• Ensure cellphones are not used unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless using a hands-free device.

• Obey all motor-vehicle laws. All violations are the personal liability of the operator.

• Obtain written authorization to use the vehicle more than 100 miles outside of Fort McCoy.

The use of Army owned or controlled nontactical vehicles (NTVs) are restricted to official purposes only. A government vehicle may not be used for private business, private social functions, personal errands, personal convenience, recreation, or side trips for unofficial purposes.

NTVs must not be used for transportation to or be parked at commissaries, post exchanges (including all concessions), bowling alleys, officer and noncommissioned officer clubs, or any nonappropriated-fund activity unless personnel using the vehicles are on official government business or temporary duty, or TDY, travel. Using a government vehicle to travel to or from commercial entertainment facilities is not authorized. Furthermore, using an NTV for travel between a residence and place of duty is prohibited.

In limited circumstances, government vehicles may be provided to personnel in receipt of valid TDY orders to assist in mission performance. TDY personnel have more latitude in the use of a government vehicle provided to them and should check with the

Transportation Motor Pool for permissible uses.

The joint travel regulations define use of NTVs for personnel while on TDY assignments. These include:

• Transportation may be provided between lodgings and duty stations for personnel on TDY when public or commercial services are inadequate or nonexistent. The TDY status of an individual does not necessarily justify the use of an NTV. Use of NTVs will always be predicated on need, distance involved, and other conditions that justify their use. When an adequate Department of Defense (DOD), public, or commercial transportation system is available, the use of any individual NTV or commercial rental car is prohibited.

• When a DOD-owned or controlled NTV is authorized for use while on TDY, the NTV will be operated between places where the person's presence is required for official business or between such places and temporary lodgings. When public transportation is not available or its use is impractical, the use of DOD-owned or controlled NTVs is authorized between places of business, lodging, eating establishments, places of worship, and similar places required for the comfort or health and welfare of the member.

The unauthorized or willful misuse of an Army-owned or -controlled motor vehicle may be cause for disciplinary actions. Civilian personnel can be suspended from duty, without compensation, or summarily removed from office if circumstances warrant.
Military personnel who willfully misuse or authorize the misuse of any government tactical or non-tactical vehicle may be disciplined under the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or other administrative procedures deemed appropriate.

Remember, personnel are never anonymous while driving a government vehicle. Potential violators can be reported to the installation transportation officer at 608-388-3966 or the NTV fleet manager at 608-388-5279.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office, Installation Legal Office, and the Logistics Readiness Center Transportation Division.)