Covid-19 Stop Movement Order for National Guard and Reservists

covid-19 stop movement order

What is the COVID-19 Stop Movement Order?

The original Stop Movement Order, suspending travel for all Department of Defense (DOD) persons and their families, put into effect in March, was recently extended until June 30th. The order applies to both active and non-active duty DOD persons who were scheduled or had planned to travel within this timeframe. While the order has stopped many active duty from moving their Permanent Change of Station (PCS) (see further information on this here), National Guard and Reservists are also restricted in their travel, whether on active duty or not. This includes any non-official travel outside of the soldier’s regional area.

Drill and Annual Training

For many National Guard and Reservists, their unit may be located outside of their regional area and possibly in a different state. The DOD has given commanders and units authorization to reschedule, cancel, or determine alternate training locations, such as remote training, for inactive duty training such as drill or annual training. Authorized absences may also be granted if these are not available options, and commanders should convey their decision to their units. You can see the full DOD fact sheet on the order, released in March, here.

Exemptions and Waivers

The following are exclusions to the Stop Movement Order that may affect those in the National Guard and Reserves, per the DOD statement release:

  • Travel related to basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
  • Travel related to medical treatment for both patients and medical providers. This exemption also applies to authorized patient escorts and attendants, and to the families of medical providers.
  • Travel for Global Force Management (GFM)
  • Travel by those who have already initiated travel
  • Travel authorized by the Chief of Mission

Waivers for travel may also be obtained on a case by case basis, negotiated by the soldier’s gaining and losing organizations, under the following criteria:

  • Travel is mission essential
  • Travel is necessary for humanitarian reasons
  • Travel is warranted due to extreme hardship

If any DOD persons with travel orders have a waiver, or travel is exempted, they may want to ensure their orders have been properly documented by their gaining organization with the exemption or waiver to ensure a smooth transition. They also should ensure an open line of communication with the organization they are destined for in order to relay travel updates and itinerary plans.

The DOD policy will be reviewed every 15 days to determine if travel is safe to resume prior to June 30th.

Additional Resources

The full Stop Movement Order statement can be found within this link.

You can find more information on the DOD’s response to the Coronavirus at the following links:

Defense.gov Resources
MilitaryOneSource Resources
DefenseTravel.dod.mil Resources

 

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About the author

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Diandra is a military spouse affiliated with the North Carolina National Guard. She has focused her writing on science and medicine in the past, but recently has taken a deeper interest in military-focused topics. Her and her husband Nick currently reside outside of the Washington D.C. area.