*UPDATED ON JULY 20
We know that Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has impacted military families in many ways. On Friday, March 13 the DoD issued an announcement temporarily suspending PCS moves and official travel for all service members.
Obviously, this creates a variety of problems and financial concerns for military families. Please remember that there are policy exceptions and waivers in place for mission-essential travel, humanitarian concerns, and hardship conditions. Individuals seeking specific answers or assistance should go through their chain of command and follow the guidance of their supervisors. Many situations are being resolved on a case-by-case basis.
PCSgrades wants to support all military families who are dealing with an especially confusing PCS move due to Coronavirus announcements. We understand this is frustrating. We are still your trusted source of useful information for military families. We will update this post regularly with official resources as the DoD announces additional information or restrictions.
Our webinar series will continue weekly and include regular updates of new policies and changes every week. You can find all of our Coronovirus PCS Q&A Webinars here: https://blog.pcsgrades.com/coronavirus/
On May 26, the DoD announced that the travel ban will be lifted in 5 stages. Individual bases must meet local, White House, and CDC standards to progress through the stages. Some bases will be able to lift restrictions immediately. Details here: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/05/26/stop-movement-order-be-lifted-immediately-some-installations.html
The DoD has prepared and will be updating a list of questions and answers (Q&A) to address concerns; particularly for families who already received PCS orders or were in the middle of the moving process. The DoD site will be updated as the situation develops. It currently addresses concerns such as what families should do if they have already had their household goods packed up, or whether there will be reimbursement if they are stuck in a hotel for 60 days, as well as additional question regarding BAH and FSA. Please read the FAQs on the DoD website as updated below to find the answers specific to your PCS situation.
UPDATE ON MAY 26:
The DoD announced that compensation for Personally Procured Moves (PPM) will increase by 5% to encourage families to move themselves and allow moving companies to work through backlogs. Instead of being reimbursed at 95% of what a moving company would be paid, families will temporarily be reimbursed at 100% until December 2020. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/05/26/stop-movement-order-be-lifted-immediately-some-installations.html
UPDATES ON APRIL 5:
The DoD announced that effective April 20, 2020, the Stop Move Order will be extended until June 30, and will be re-evaluated every 15 days. There are still some exemptions and exceptions to this policy, which you can read about here: https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/article/2156918/upate-to-travel-restrictions/
The DoD is now requiring face masks in public settings: https://media.defense.gov/2020/Apr/05/2002275059/-1/-1/1/DOD-GUIDANCE-ON-THE-USE-OF-CLOTH-FACE-COVERINGS.PDF
Marines may now request a service extension if COVID-19 is impacting their ability to leave the Corps: https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/coronavirus/2020/04/03/marines-can-request-a-service-extension-if-covid-19-is-impacting-their-ability-to-leave-the-corps/
UPDATES ON MARCH 30:
Here are the notes from the virtual Town Hall on March 27 where Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley explain the recent PCS and troop movement restrictions: https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/2123944/secretary-of-defense-dr-mark-t-esper-chairman-of-the-joint-chiefs-of-staff-gen/
The Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, not the DoD, so they have developed their own PCS guidelines: https://www.uscg.mil/Coronavirus/Information/Article/2129692/coast-guard-planning-a-modified-pcs-season/
Military One Source and military spouse and family programs will remain available during this time, with minor adjustments to minimize in-person contact. https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/Story/Article/2130646/military-onesource-family-readiness-spouse-programs-remain-available/
Coronavirus Facts and Resources for Military Families
You can find official news stories and updates from the DoD including press conferences here: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/
Updates on Global Health Information: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Updates on National Health Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Understand the Health Protection Condition Levels on your base: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Inside-DOD/Blog/Article/2128863/hpcon-understanding-health-protection-condition-levels/
If your child attends a DoDEA school: https://www.dodea.edu/coronavirus.cfm
Refer to your state or local health department website for specific information related to your local area.
Base commanders are making recommendations for service members to practice social distancing, and to self-quarantine for 2 weeks after visiting anyone out of state. Leave requests are limited to the local area (in most cases fewer than 100 miles). Non-essential personnel should request permission to work from home.
Please follow the guidance of your command leadership, base commanders, and branch commanders, as well as state governments.
Military Branch Specific Coronavirus Updates
Coast Guard: https://www.uscg.mil/coronavirus/
Marine Corps: https://www.marines.mil/Coronavirus/
For National Guard and Reserve units, please follow the guidance of both your military branch and your state governor. Here are details about the National Guard mobilization on March 27: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2123860/nearly-10000-guardsmen-called-up-for-covid-19-response/