Dependent Travel

Dependent Travel

Sorry, no.  Dependents of retirees must be accompanied by their sponsor.

Sorry, no.  Dependents of Retirees (possess a BLUE Retiree ID Card) need to be accompanied by their sponsor.  Retirees and their accompanied dependents can use Space-A within CONUS, OCONUS and Overseas wherever Space-A is allowed.

Generally, there are five situations where dependents can travel Space-A without their sponsor but there are additional restrictions on traveling within CONUS unaccompanied:

  • 1. Emergency situations Cat-I (per DoD 4515.13-RTable C6.T1., ITEM 4)
  • 2. Command sponsored dependent stationed with their sponsor overseas utilizing the command sponsored Cat-V letter obtained from the unit commander. 
  • 3. Unaccompanied Environmental Morale Leave (EML) dependents stationed at some overseas locations can travel CAT-IV with the appropriate EML paperwork.
  • 4. Non-command sponsored dependent (Cat-V), not residing at the sponsor's overseas location, may travel Space-A unaccompanied to and from the sponsor's overseas location with a letter from the installation commander. There is no limit to the number of times you can travel during the year but sponsor commanders may have limitations.
  • 5. Unaccompanied dependents of deployed military members can travel as a Cat-III (after active duty Cat-III if sponsor deployed 365 days or more) or Cat-IV (if sponsor deployed 30 to 364 days), including Reserve and Guard personnel.  The required Dependent Verification Letter is valid for the duration of the deployment and for unlimited trips.

    There is no limit to the number of times Command or Non-command Sponsored dependents can use Space-A but Command or Non-command Sponsored Space-A Letters are only valid for 90 days or one round-trip whichever occurs first. 

Cat-III or Cat-IV (deployed Sponsor) unaccompanied dependents can travel within CONUS. However, ""Cat-V (Command or non-command sponsored) or CAT-IV (EML) unaccompanied dependents can only travel on CONUS segments of international flights during the beginning or end of their international flight."" For example, if a flight originates in Texas, stops in California as part of the mission, and then continues overseas to Korea, unaccompanied Cat-V dependents may fly within the CONUS from Texas to the overseas area on the flight. They may not, however, travel within CONUS from Texas to California and then pickup a new mission/aircraft overseas. If there is no changing of aircraft or mission number, dependents may fly to a destination within the CONUS from overseas. For example, an authorized dependent can get manifested on a plane in Hawaii and travel all the way to Charleston AFB, SC with an overnight stop at Travis AFB, CA as long as that mission had an ultimate destination of Charleston and the dependent was manifested through to Charleston. The same applies on the return. An authorized dependent can travel within CONUS on a plane traveling from Kelly AFB, TX to Travis AFB, CA (overnight at Travis) and then continue on to Hawaii. A dependent can't get on the same plane at Kelly AFB, TX and just go to Travis AFB in the hope of picking up a different mission to Hawaii. Bottom line, once a Cat-V or CAT-IV (EML) unaccompanied dependent lands in the CONUS from OCONUS, their onward travel via Space-A is terminated unless they are manifested through on the same aircraft/mission to another CONUS destination. The same applies going from CONUS to OCONUS. A dependent cannot begin Space-A travel on a plane in CONUS to another CONUS location unless they are manifested though on that aircraft to an OCONUS location. (DoD, C6.1.8.2, AMC 21.1.1)

Yes!! Travel restrictions may apply to certain overseas destinations as determined by the appropriate unified commander. Travel is authorized Overseas-CONUS, CONUS-Overseas, and Overseas-Overseas. NOTE: Travel within CONUS (e.g. hop from Virginia to California) is not allowed unless you're already manifested through on the same mission/aircraft from/to an overseas location. Documentation signed by the sponsor's commander verifying command sponsorship (i.e. a Command Sponsor Letter) shall be presented to air terminal personnel, and shall be in the dependents' possession during travel. The letter is valid for one Cat-V round-trip from sponsor's OCONUS PCS duty location. Space-A travel must be completed within ninety (90) days from the date the letter is issued or a new letter is required. NOTE: Prior to August 2012, overseas-overseas travel was restricted to within the dependent's assigned Theater but the updated regulation no longer has that restriction. Here is a sample Command Sponsor Letter.

The short answer is YES! Non-command sponsored dependents are authorized to travel unaccompanied to/from their sponsor's OCONUS duty station. Documentation signed by the sponsor's commander verifying non-command sponsorship shall be presented to air terminal personnel, and shall be in the dependents' possession during travel. This letter is valid for one Cat-V round-trip to and from the sponsor's OCONUS PCS duty location. Space-A travel must be completed within ninety (90) days from the date the letter is issued or a new letter is required. Here is a sample Non-command Sponsor Letter.

NOTE: "Non-command sponsored" dependents MAY travel (from CONUS) Space-A in Category III if accompanied by their sponsor to and from the duty location and Category V if not accompanied by their sponsor.

According to USCENTCOM CCJ4 message DTG 222016Z Jul 05, all categories of space available (Space-A) travel into, within, and out of the USCENTCOM AOR are suspended with the following exceptions:

  1. DoD eligible travelers serving 12-to 18-month unaccompanied or dependent-restricted tours in the USCENTCOM AOR who are authorized Unfunded Environmental and Morale Leave (UEML).
  2. DoD eligible travelers and their families who are serving command-sponsored tours and authorized UEML travel.
  3. travelers who possess a signed authorization letter from COMUSNAVCENT/ CNRSWA may visit their sponsor "permanently assigned on PCS orders for 365 days or more.

The above policy from 2005 is still in effect as of March 2015.


Sorry, no (unless you are Command-Sponsored and stationed OCONUS then you can travel per Command Sponsored dependent rules).

If the emergency is for an immediate family member then according to DoDI 4515.13, Section 4, Table 3, Item 5 you should be eligible for CAT-I travel:  It states:  "Dependents, accompanied or unaccompanied, of members of the Uniformed Services who are assigned and domiciled in the CONUS" and travel would be authorised C-O (CONUS to overseas) and O-C (overseas to CONUS).  I only know of one person that has actually done it from BWI to Ramstein. You'd need a modified version of a dependent Space-A Letter from the Sponsor's commander.

In addition, you may be able for unit-funded travel (again, if it's immediate family) pe the Joint Federal Travel Reg (JFTR). I don't know the exact reference off-hand (I'd need to do some research).

Sorry, dependent eligibility for Space-A is only available through a current military sponsor and divorced dependents no longer have a sponsor (even though you retained other benefits).

  • The answer is "Yes" IF your sponsor is deployed for 30 consecutive days or more. Unaccompanied dependents of deployed military members, including Reserve and Guard personnel, when the deployment order is between 30 and 365 consecutive days, are authorized to travel Space-A, unaccompanied in Category IV. This includes Navy personnel assigned to a deployed ship with Permanent Change of Station orders. Travel must be completed before the end of the sponsor's deployment period. Travel is authorized to/from CONUS and OCONUS locations, between CONUS locations, and within/between OCONUS theaters.
  • Dependents may sign-up for Space-A travel no earlier than 10 days prior to the military member's deployment and commence travel effective on the first day of military member's deployment. Travel must be complete by the last day of the military member's deployment. Here is the Official 120 Day Deployment Policy Announcement.  Here is the Official 30 Day Deployment Policy Announcement.
  • If the sponsor's deployment exceeds 365 consecutive days the unaccompanied dependent will be assigned Cat-III status ("selected after" Cat-III Active Duty Personnel and their accompanying dependents. This Category is unofficially referred to as Cat-IIIb (because you are selected for seats after the normal Cat-III pax). Here is the Official 365 Day Deployment Policy Announcement. You will still register/signup as Cat-III (there is no Cat-IIIb designator on signup forms etc...).
  • Eligible dependents must present a deployment verification letter signed by the sponsor’s commander or designated representative (Navy and Marine Corps letters must be signed by individuals with "By Direction" authority approval, verifying the active duty member’s deployment. Letters should contain the following information: Sponsor's name, SSN (last four is OK), effective start and end date of deployment, dependents’ names, SSN (last four is OK), relationship to sponsor and unit contact information. The documentation must be in the dependents’ possession during travel and is valid for the duration. The verification letter (copy is OK) must be in the dependent's possession during travel, the letter is valid for travel through the sponsor's deployment return date and there is no limitation on number of times it can be used. NOTE: Dependents of deployed military members will not be denied travel based on incomplete (last four Digits only) or missing SSN on the deployment verification letter (Ref: Passenger Service Update, Aug 10).
  • Here is a sample Deployed Sponsor Dependent Verification Letter verifying the member's deployment.
  • "Deployment" is different from a TDY and is defined as anyone on contingency, exercise or deployment orders (CED - CONTINGENCY EXERCISE DEPLOYMENT orders). This includes one-year extended TDYs to any AOR. Normal TDY/TADs are NOT considered deployments, even if they're for training in preparation for deployment.