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Travel and Transportation (Ethics Officials)

This page is intended as a reference resource for DoD Ethics Counselors


Official travel by Government employees is governed by a complex set of rules and regulations. While not an ethics matter, DoD ethics counselors are often called upon to address these issues for their clients and must be familiar with the applicable references.


Government owned or controlled transportation resources (vehicles and aircraft) shall be used for official purposes only. Commercial transportation assets shall be used to the maximum extent possible/practicable. Government transportation should be scheduled and arranged to be the most cost effective for the Government and not to maximize the personal convenience of the traveler. Government transportation rules must be applied uniformly and not to selectively benefit someone solely because of rank or position. Using Government vehicles to transport individuals between their residences and places of work is not transportation for an official purpose and is prohibited. An officer or employee who willfully uses or authorizes the use of a Government vehicle or aircraft for other than official purposes shall be suspended without pay for at least one month.

Gifts of Travel

In some instances, non-Federal entities will offer to pay for some or all of the expenses associated with an employee's official travel. There are several authorities that permit the Government or the employee to accept these travel related benefits.


Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) (DoD Civilian Personnel and Uniformed Service Members)
DoDI 4500.36, Management, Acquisition, and Use of Motor Vehicles
DoDD 4500.56, DoD Policy on the Use of Government Aircraft and Air Travel
Accepting Travel in Accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1353
Deskbook Chapter (Travel and Transportation)
Ethics Counselor Course Presentation (Travel and Transportation)
DoD Travel Alternatives When Visiting Contractor Facilities
Premium Class Travel
Army Travel Issues
Deskbook Chapter (Gifts)
Ethics Counselor Presentation (Gifts)