Tester backs bill to pick up travel costs for Guard and Reserve soldiers

Measure will repay Montanans who travel for drill duty

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is backing a bipartisan bill that would repay National Guard and Reserve soldiers who are required to travel long distances for drill duty.

If passed, the Travel Reimbursement for Inactive Duty Training Personnel (TRIP) Act, will require the Department of Defense to pay travel expenses for soldiers who travel at least 100 miles roundtrip for inactive duty training.  This TRIP Act would cover the costs of mileage, meals, and lodging at the standard government rate.

“In a state as big as Montana, travel costs add up quickly,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “It’s common sense that we pick up the travel costs when we ask our citizen soldiers to go long distances to serve our country and our state.”

Currently, the National Guard only reimburses soldiers who travel more than 300 miles roundtrip for drill duty, and those traveling for certain medical training.  But those soldiers can only be reimbursed up to $300.

Tester said the TRIP Act will keep many soldiers in Montana and other rural states from having to pay out-of-pocket to answer the call of duty and defend the United States.

“This bill is about doing right by the men and women in the Guard and Reserves,” Tester said.  “It’s about living up to the promises we make to folks who keep our country and our state strong.”

The bipartisan TRIP Act is S. 1558.  The bill is endorsed by the Military Coalition, a group of organizations and service members representing over 5.5 million people nationwide.