What are "Categories? (CATs)"

Basically, your travel status "category" is your priority. There are six categories (CAT-I thru CAT-VI). CAT-I is highest priority (first to get offered a Space-A seat) and CAT VI is the lowest Category (last to get offered a Space-A seat after CAT I thru CAT V). A GENERIC explanation of each category is:

  • CAT I: Emergency Leave Unfunded Travel

NOTE: Any Space-a passenger (including retirees) "may be" (no guarantees) upgraded by the local installation Commander (often delegated to the Chief of the Passenger Service) to no higher than the bottom of CAT-I for leave under emergency conditions (unfunded) or extreme humanitarian reasons when validated by competent and formal authority such as American Red Cross notification, unit Commander’s memo, doctor’s letter, or other evidence. Emergency upgrade period for initial departure is usually limited to one week. Passengers will maintain the origin station upgrade until they reach the emergency destination; on return, passengers will return to their original Category.

  • CAT II: EML (Active Duty and their accompanied dependents)
  • CAT III: Active Duty Ordinary Leave (including Terminal Leave) and accompanied dependents,, House Hunting Permissive TDY, Medal of Honor Holders, dependents of deployed service members whose sponsor is deployed 365 consecutive days or more (selected behind active duty members regardless of date/time of sign up)
  • CAT IV: Unaccompanied Dependents on EML or dependents whose sponsor is deployed between (and including) 30 to 364 consecutive days and DoDDS Teachers on EML During Summer
  • CAT V: Unaccompanied Command Sponsored and Non-Command Sponsored Dependents of Active Duty, Permissive TDY (Non house Hunting), Students
  • CAT VI: Retired and their accompanied Dependents, Reserve, ROTC, NUPOC, and CEC

If you are a dependent (sponsor stationed in CONUS and not deployed) then you are not elegible for UNACCOMPANIED Space-A Travel (except overseas for emeregncy) and therefore no Space-A Category). If you're not clear what category you are in you can find a more complete explanation of each category in DoDI 4515.13, Section 4, Table 3.

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