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January Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ronald “Wayne” Peelman, 169th Maintenance Group, South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, May 18, 2015.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ronald “Wayne” Peelman, 169th Maintenance Group, South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, May 18, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Happy New Year Swamp Fox!  As we move into 2017, I am sure we all have resolutions, ranging from quitting smoking to improving PT scores. One specific area I believe we all need resolution in is to improve our knowledge in the Defense Travel System or DTS program. I know as I write this while I am TDY at Nellis, I can hear the sighs, groans and gnashing of teeth. Like it or not, this is the program that has been mandated for us to use to document our travel. I do think it is better than a piece of paper that could get lost or misplaced. Also, when everything is correct with your voucher, it usually pays out pretty quick; which is what everyone wants.

So after watching our group return from the TSP, I saw our folks struggle to get their DTS completed.  Kudos to all of the admin, budget, finance and other reviewers who literally dropped everything to try to get these vouchers pushed. However, I do know there were issues beyond our control and some of these vouchers still are yet to pay out which creates a definite issue with Government Travel Card balances, which can impact credit scores and maintaining security clearances. So I wanted to ask everyone, especially supervisors, to go back and review the DTS process so that you can ensure your people have their DTS correct and complete.

A couple of problems that are routinely seen. Vouchers returned for incorrect banking or GTC information, normally due to an expired GTC or a new GTC not loaded or changed in an individual's DTS profile. So let's start at the beginning. Everyone should be able to access the portal and login to DTS. Go to traveler setup and ensure your personal profile is set up with 'all' of the correct information, to include your correct email address. Ensure you have your correct GTC information loaded to your profile. Keep in mind, when your GTC expires you must go into DTS and update with the new information. Load your correct banking information so that DTS will know where to send your money.  Lastly, load your TSA secure flight information. All of this information will be used in the event you will need to book airline tickets, hotel reservations and rental cars as allowed on your orders.

What requires a DTS authorization and DTS voucher? Normally, any set of AROWS orders where you will be off-station or as a drill-status guardsman (not full-time technician) on orders at home station and living outside of the commuting area, a DTS authorization and DTS voucher will need to be processed.

Supervisors, there are step-by-step instructions and training available on the DTS login page. I also encourage supervisors to become DTS reviewers and go over these steps and instructions with your folks to process their DTS. Get your people to log into DTS and see where their DTS authorization or voucher is in its routing process. We all need to get smart on DTS. Let's be DTS ready for the next TDY or deployment. DTS is here to stay until the next great program comes along.