Glossary

This glossary provides definitions for the common terms used in the official travel regulations and the Defense Travel System (DTS).

Select a letter to view a list of terms and their definitions.

Accession Travel: Travel from an individual’s home of record or Military Entrance Processing Station to a basic training organization.

Accountable Official: A person to whom public funds are entrusted. Examples: Authorizing Official, Certifying Official, Reviewing Official.

Actual Lodging: In DTS, this usually refers to the cost of lodging when it exceeds the locality per diem lodging allowance.

Adjustment: Changes made to a travel document after the traveler signs it but before the Authorizing Official approves it.

Advance: A payment that a traveler receives, usually via EFT to their personal bank account, before trip departure. Non-GTCC holders can request an advance via DTS. Note: Travelers with a Government travel charge card (GTCC) usually obtain money from an ATM; that is not considered an advance.

Advantageous to the Government: One of two ways for the Authorizing Official (AO) to approve a trip that contains constructed travel. If the AO approves the trip in this way, the traveler will receive full reimbursement for their preferred transportation mode.

Advisory Notice: Warnings found on the DTS Pre-Audit Trip screen when certain situations exist on a travel document (e.g., rental car selected but no gas reimbursement claimed).

Allowable Travel Time: The number of days authorized for official travel.

Allowance: A fixed amount of money a traveler is permitted to receive when certain conditions are met. Common allowances include the privately owned conveyance mileage rate, a locality meal rate, and a locality incidental expenses rate.

Amendment: A change to a travel document made after the Authorizing Official has approved it.

APPROVED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when the Authorizing Official electronically signs it. When used on an authorization, it verifies that sufficient funds are in the budget, creates an obligation for the trip, and allows travel to occur. When used on a voucher, it signifies that the claim is accurate and complete, and should be paid.

Authorization:

  1. The electronic form used in DTS to request approval to travel and create a "should cost" estimate consisting of the cost of transportation, lodging, anticipated expenses, and per diem allowances.
  2. An official statement placed on a printed DTS travel document that allows the traveler to take certain actions (e.g., take leave in conjunction with TDY, modify the itinerary ["Variations Authorized"]).

AUTHORIZED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when certain Army Reviewing Officials sign it to indicate they have reviewed a travel document.

Authorizing Official (AO): A Routing Official who approves TDY travel documents in DTS. They act as Certifying Officers when approving payments.

Budget: Identifies the portion of an organization's funds that are available for travel. An Authorizing Official cannot approve travel without available funds in the budget.

Budget Defense Travel Administrator (BDTA): A person appointed by some organizations to maintain the budgets of one or more DTS organizations.

CANCELLED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when a Routing Official (usually the Authorizing Official) indicates the trip will not take place and the traveler has incurred no reimbursable expenses.

Centrally Billed Account (CBA): A type of charge card account issued to a Government organization to pay for transportation arrangements for travelers who do not have a Government travel charge card.

Centrally Billed Account Specialist (CBA-S): A person appointed to reconcile, and possibly certify, CBAs in DTS for one or more organizations; sometimes called the Transportation Officer (TO) in DTS. They act as Certifying Officers when they certify CBA invoices for payment.

CERTIFIED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when a Certifying Official signs it to verify funds availability.

Certifying Official (CO): A Routing Official who verifies that funds are available for payment of travel claims in DTS. Do not confuse this DTS role with a Certifying Officer, a person appointed to approve official payments.

Certifying Officer (CO): A person appointed to approve official payments. In DTS, roles such as Authorizing Official and Centrally Billed Account Specialist are COs when certifying payments. Do not confuse this position with a Certifying Official, a Routing Official who verifies that funds are available for payment of travel claims in DTS.

Certifying Officer Legislation (COL) Training: Required for initial certification as a Certifying Officer (CO), and annually thereafter; available as Training for Accountable Officials and Certifying Officers (TAOCO) for COs who work in DTS. (See TAOCO). DTS roles that require COL training include Authorizing Officials and Centrally Billed Account Specialists.

City Pair: Government contracted fare for certain flights between two locations; by regulation, travelers' first choice for flight reservations. Tickets are provided at a contracted cost during contract period, including for last-minute bookings. No penalty is incurred for changes or cancellations.

Code Share: A flight on one airline, but sold by another.

Commercial Travel Office (CTO): Refers to providing the Authorizing Official (AO) with two sets of transportation costs for one official trip. The AO compares the cost of the traveler’s preferred transportation mode vs. the cost of the standard transportation mode.

Constructed Travel: Refers to providing the Authorizing Official (AO) with the cost of two ways to accomplish the trip. The AO compares the cost of the traveler’s preferred transportation mode vs. the cost of the standard transportation mode.

Constructed Travel Cost: The amount of money it would take the traveler to travel using the standard transportation mode; includes only the actual fare and associated taxes and fees.

Constructed Travel Worksheet: The form on which the traveler calculates the constructed travel cost.

Contiguous United States (CONUS): Refers to the 48 contiguous States (i.e., all states except Alaska and Hawaii) and the District of Columbia.

Convenient for the Traveler: One of two ways for the Authorizing Official (AO) to approve a trip that contains constructed travel. If the AO chooses to approve the trip in this way, the traveler’s reimbursement will be limited to the cost of the standard transportation mode.

Debt Management Monitor (DMM): A Finance Defense Travel Administrator (FDTA) who oversees the reporting, notification, and collection of debts to the Government incurred by DTS travelers.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS): The finance component for most of DoD; DFAS directs, approves, and performs finance and accounting activities.

Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC): The facility that electronically archives all paid and finalized DTS trip records to meet Internal Revenue Service requirements, provide data to DoD managers, and support random post-payment reviews.

Defense Travel Administrator (DTA) Maintenance Tool: The DTS feature that enables DTAs to create and modify organizations, routing lists, groups, people, and lines of accounting.

Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO): The organization charged to consolidate, streamline, and centrally manage all DoD travel issues; providing a single, focal point to DoD travelers and the travel industry.

Delegate Authority: A way to temporarily assign a Routing Official's responsibilities to another Routing Official (e.g., when a Routing Official is on leave).

Digital Signature: Used on electronic documents for the same purposes as a handwritten signature on paper documents.

Disbursing Office: Organization whose principal function is the payment and collection of official funds for the Government.

Document History: Displays the past activity of the travel document; shows the dates and times various digital signatures were applied, as well as any comments by the person who applied them.

Document List: A list of travel documents that meet any automatic or manual search criteria (e.g., all documents waiting to be APPROVED).

En Route Transportation Mode: The transportation mode the traveler wishes to use or actually uses to travel from the trip start location to a TDY location, from one TDY location to another TDY location, or from a TDY location to the trip end location.

Finance Defense Travel Administrator (FDTA): A person appointed to maintain the financial assets (i.e., lines of accounting and budgets) of one or more DTS organizations.

Fly America Act: U.S. law that requires uniformed members, Federal employees, dependents, etc. to travel by available U.S. flag air carriers unless travel by foreign flag air carrier is a matter of necessity.

Foreign Flag Air Carrier: Refers to an airline that is not certified according to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.

Foreign OCONUS: Refers to all world landmasses except:

  1. The 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia (i.e., CONUS), and
  2. The States of Alaska and Hawaii, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and U.S. territories and possessions (i.e., Non-Foreign OCONUS).

Government Meal Rate (GMR): The meal rate authorized each day a traveler is required to dine solely in a Government dining facility.

Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC): A personally-held charge card issued to DoD personnel under the guidelines of the Government Travel Card program. DTS refers to the GTCC as a GOVCC.

Group: A DTS construct that allows authorized personnel to access group members’ travel documents to create and manage travel documents for people without access to DTS.

Group Access: Used to allow personnel to create and manage group members’ travel documents.

Group Authorization: Authorization that contains more than one traveler on a single itinerary.

Incidental Expenses (IE): The portion of per diem that identifies the amount a traveler will be paid to cover miscellaneous expenses that are not covered by any specific allowance. The rate is fixed when traveling in CONUS. A fixed rate also exists for OCONUS travel, but a rate that varies by locality can be approved instead.

Itinerary: A trip plan listing stopover locations, dates, and times.

Joint Travel Regulations (JTR): Federal regulations governing official travel for uniformed members and DoD civilian employees.

Lead Defense Travel Administrator (LDTA): A person appointed to maintain all assets (financial and non-financial) of one or more DTS organizations.

Level: In electronic routing, the level indicates the order in which status stamps are applied. Each level is identified by the status stamp and the official who applies that stamp. For example, level 10 in the routing list may indicate that the Certifying Official (CO) should certify the availability of funds.

Leisure in Conjunction with Official (LICWO) Travel: Non-official travel that occurs when leave is taken in conjunction with a TDY trip and extra travel arrangements are required to get to or from the leave location. Example: Going TDY to Phoenix and taking leave to visit San Francisco before returning home.

Line of Accounting (LOA): Identifies the DoD finance account used to pay for the TDY. Outside DTS, it is known as a fund cite.

Local Voucher: The electronic form used in DTS to claim reimbursement for official expenses incurred in the local area of the permanent duty station.

Lock: The act that creates an editable authorization for each traveler listed on a group authorization. If locking is not done manually, it occurs automatically three days after completion of the TDY.

Lodging: The portion of per diem that limits the amount a traveler can be reimbursed for their lodging accommodations.

Meal Rate: The portion of per diem that identifies the amount a traveler will be paid to purchase meals. Sometimes known as the “locality meal rate” or “full meal rate.”

Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE): These two terms are frequently mentioned together, usually using the acronym.

Mileage Rate: The amount paid to a traveler per mile when driving on official travel; rate varies by the type of vehicle.

Non-DTS Entry Agent (NDEA): A Travel Clerk that also has the authority to digitally sign a voucher for a traveler.

Non-Foreign OCONUS: Refers to the states of Alaska and Hawaii, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and U.S. territories and possessions.

Official Day: Each day at a TDY location, plus each approved travel day from the trip start location to a TDY location, from one TDY location to another TDY location, and from a TDY location to the trip end location. Usually includes non-workdays (e.g., weekends and holidays) spent at the TDY location.

Organization: The name of the unit, branch, etc. to which a person is assigned in DTS. Determines which items are available in various drop-down lists in DTS.

Organization Access: Used to limit which organizations' resources (e.g., routing lists, people) a person can access and edit.

Organization Defense Travel Administrator (ODTA): A person appointed to maintain the non-financial assets (people, organizations, routing lists, and groups) of one or more DTS organizations.

Other Authorizations: Screen used to display information that is required to be present on a printed authorization.

Other Ticketed Transportation: The DTS section used to record the costs of travel obtained outside of DTS.

Other Than Economy/Coach Class Travel: Refers to any class of transportation service above economy or coach class, such as business or first class.

Outside Continental United States (OCONUS): Refers to all world landmasses apart from the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia. Frequently divided into Non-foreign OCONUS and Foreign OCONUS.

Overall Ending Point: The location at which the traveler ends the TDY (usually the traveler's permanent duty station or home).

Overall Starting Point: The location at which the traveler begins the TDY (usually the traveler's permanent duty station or home).

Pecuniary Liability: The legal tenet that holds Certifying Officers financially liable for improper payments to the traveler unless recovered from the traveler or an investigation determines the payments were not the result of fraud or negligence on their part.

Per Diem Location: Refers to a location for which the Government has identified a daily reimbursement rate for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.

Per Diem Rate: Limits the amount a traveler may receive for lodging, and determines the amount a traveler may receive for meals and incidental expenses; established by locality.

Personal Leave with Official Travel (PLOT): Describes a TDY trip with leave taken in conjunction. The leave can be taken immediately before, during, or immediately after the TDY, and is usually taken at or very near the TDY location. No extra travel arrangements are required. Example: Going TDY to Phoenix and choosing to stay extra days in that city.

Personal Profile: DTS record that contains personal information about a traveler, such as name, address, Social Security number, and emergency contacts.

Preferred Transportation Mode: The traveler's desired way to travel from the trip start location to a TDY location, from one TDY location to another TDY location, and from a TDY location to the trip end location. The transportation mode identified by the traveler's choices when creating a DTS authorization. It may or may not be the same as the standard transportation mode; if it is not, it may also be referred to as a nonstandard transportation mode.

Primary Traveler: When creating a group authorization, this member of the traveling group has the ability to edit the group authorization before it is locked. DTS identifies the Primary Traveler by placing ***** next to their name.

Proportional Meal Rate (PMR): The meal rate authorized each day a traveler receives one or two, but not all three, meals at a Government dining facility (i.e., available meals) or through some other means such as a conference registration fee (i.e., provided meals). PMR is the average of the locality meal rate and the Government meal rate.

Reimbursable Expenses: Official, allowable, travel-related expenses, such as airfare or lodging, that are paid by the traveler. The Government can repay the traveler for these expenses.

Reservations: Booking a flight, train, rental car, or lodging. Most reservations are requested electronically through the DTS Travel module or directly through the CTO.

RETURNED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when a Routing Official sends it back to the traveler for changes.

REVIEWED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when a Reviewing Official electronically signs it. The stamps REVIEWED1, REVIEWED2, and REVIEWED3 are indicate that conditional routing is being used.

Route and Review Module: The DTS feature that allows Routing Officials to review, adjust, approve, cancel, or return documents.

Routing Element: A Routing Official or entity assigned to apply a particular status stamp to a DTS document. (See Routing List).

Routing List: A file that identifies the order in which Routing Officials may electronically access a travel document. It must include the CTO (if connected) and the Authorizing Official, but most also include at least one Reviewing Official, and sometimes a Certifying Official.

Scheduled Partial Payment (SPP): A portion of the overall trip payment that a traveler receives before the trip is complete. Only available for trips over 45 days. When SPPs are scheduled, the traveler will receive an SPP every 30 days to cover anticipated expenses included in the authorization for for that month.

SIGNED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when the travel document creator signs it. Begins the DTS routing process. Routing Officials may also apply this stamp to restart the routing process (e.g., to reroute reservation changes to the CTO).

Split Disbursement: A DoD-mandated method of ensuring the traveler’s Government travel charge card (GTCC) bill is paid on time. When a voucher is paid, part of the travel reimbursement is sent directly to the GTCC vendor, while the remainder is deposited into the traveler's personal bank account.

Standard Transportation Mode: The manner identified by a site's local business rules as the best way to accomplish a given trip. The usual standard transportation mode is commercial air, but all sites have locations near them that are more cost effectively reached via other transportation modes.

Temporary Duty (TDY): Refers to a short-term assignment to a location other than an individual's permanent duty station in order to conduct official business, classroom training, or deployment.

Temporary Duty (TDY) Location: Location at which the traveler accomplishes a TDY mission.

Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel: Travel necessary to complete a TDY mission.

T-ENTERED: The status stamp DTS attaches to a travel document when the Non-DTS Entry Agent (NDEA) signs a voucher for a traveler. It is not used on authorizations. Accomplishes the same action as SIGNED.

Training for Accountable Officials and Certifying Officers (TAOCO): Satisfies initial and annual Certifying Officer Legislation (COL) training for requirements for Certifying Officers who use DTS to certify payments. Some DTS roles that may require COL training are Authorizing Officials and Centrally Billed Account Specialists.

Transportation Mode: Refers to a way to travel. Some examples are: commercial air, privately-owned conveyance, rental car, and Government bus.

Travel Assistance Center (TAC): An organization that helps DoD personnel solve travel-related issues.

Travel Authorization Number (TANUM): A six-character document identifier that DTS attaches to an authorization when the Authorizing Official electronically signs an authorization.

Travel Clerk: A person appointed to create travel documents for travelers in DTS. A travel clerk can digitally sign authorizations, but not vouchers, for travelers.

Travel Document: The traveler's official trip paperwork; in DTS, it is created and stored in electronic format. The most common travel documents are authorizations, vouchers, and local vouchers.

Travel Explorer (TraX): A website created and maintained by the Defense Travel Management Office to provide training information, self-help tools, and trip planning tools for DoD travelers.

Traveler: A person, usually a uniformed member or DoD civilian employee, who travels on official business.

Trip Purpose: A selection made on the Trip Overview screen when creating an itinerary in DTS that identifies a general reason for the travel. They are used by DoD organizations for post-trip data analysis.

Trip Type: A selection made on the Trip Overview screen when creating an itinerary in DTS that identifies the travel category (e.g., routine TDY, special circumstances, invitational). Trip types have a direct bearing on a traveler’s trip allowances.

U.S. Flag Air Carrier: Refers to an airline that is certified according to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.

Unidentified Travelers: Available slots in a travel group; indicates that the number of travelers in a group is known, but some of the specific travelers who will be in the group have not yet been identified.

Unofficial day: Every day on a DTS itinerary that is not official. (See Official Day). All unofficial days must be identified by a non-per diem status. The types of non-per diem status in DTS are leave, duty day, and non-duty day.

User: The DTS profile type given to a person authorized to access DTS for administrative purposes, but who will not (or cannot) perform official DoD travel.

User/Traveler: The DTS profile type given to a person authorized to create travel documents for themselves using DTS, and may also use DTS for administrativepurposes. (See Traveler).

Voucher: The electronic form used to claim payment of earned travel allowances and reimbursement for official, allowable, travel-related expenses incurred while TDY.