The Department of Defense announced today the issuance of a policy and procedures for reimbursing members of the armed forces for privately purchased protective, safety or health equipment for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom as required by Public Law 108-375, section 351.
According to this policy, the individual services shall reimburse members of the armed forces for the cost, including shipping, of any protective, safety or health equipment that was purchased by either the member or by another person for the members personal use in these operations.
There are certain requirements for this reimbursement. First, the equipment must be included on a list of shortage equipment that certifies the items were critical to the protection, safety or health of its members. The Department of Defense has already certified a basic list that includes ballistic vests, components of ballistic vests, helmets, ballistic eye protection and hydration systems. The services can request that additional items be certified for reimbursement.
The service member must complete a Department of Defense Form 2902, Claim for Reimbursement for Privately Purchased Protective, Safety or Health Equipment used in Combat form, which must be submitted to his or her chain of command. Former members, who have separated from the service, may submit this form to an authorizing official designated by their former service at an address on the form. All claims must be submitted by Oct. 3, 2006. Forms will be available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2902.pdf .
The protective, safety or health equipment must have been purchased after Sept. 10, 2001, and before Aug. 1, 2004. Congress may decide to extend this statutory deadline.
Reimbursement for any one item is limited to the actual purchase price and shipping cost, supported by receipts, which cannot exceed $1,100. If service members do not have receipts, they will be reimbursed a standard estimated cost for each item, as provided on the list of certified items.
All reimbursed items become property of the U.S. government and must be turned in to the unit logistics officer or as otherwise directed by service instruction, unless they were destroyed in combat or are otherwise no longer available for good reason.