The Department of Defense made an unprecedented move on Friday, announcing that all official domestic travel for service members and their families, including PCS orders, will be halted until at least May 11th, 2020. So what exactly does this mean for military families here in the United States?
Domestic Travel and CONUS PCS Halted: Here are the Facts
The memorandum by the Department of Defense was released on March 13, 2020. The guidance goes into effect March 16, 2020, and continues until May 11, 2020. The DoD will continue to evaluate the decision as the issue and the spread of coronavirus continues, which means it can extend or even shorten the amount of time this guidance is in place.
- All CONUS PCS orders are halted until May 11, 2020. If you are already in transition for you PCS (i.e., your HHG are already picked up and you have checked out of housing), contact your base commander for guidance. If you have already started your travel to your new duty station, you may continue your travel to your final destination. Here are some tips if you are stuck in the middle of a PCS due to quarantine.
- Those who are TDY and whose orders end between the dates of March 16th to May 11th may return home.
- Official domestic travel is stopped, but leave and liberty in the local area will be granted.
- Military service members are on a stop for any domestic travel, including personal, unless in the domestic area.
- Military dependents can travel on personal travel, but it is not recommended.
- Any and all DoD funded travel is suspended. Exceptions will be made for the following reasons and must be approved by the Combatant Commander:
- Mission essential travel
- Extreme hardship
- Necessary for humanitarian reasons
- Those who are retiring are exempt from these restrictions.
- Those traveling for medical care are exempt from these restrictions.
Here is the full memorandum by the Department of Defense:
Given this unprecedented move, many families are feeling confused and overwhelmed, especially if their PCS is on hold and their HHGs have already been shipped to their new locations. The Army has set up a special hotline for Army families to call in this situation. Other branches of the military can contact their incoming command (if they have checked out of their old command), their outgoing command if they are still attached, base housing for extensions of living quarters if they live on base, and their local loan lockers or MWRs for help with household goods.
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