COVID-19: The Impact on Travel Restrictions and PCS’ing

Things are changing fast in the military world. New information pours in daily and it seems every day there are new restrictions or updates about the coronavirus. Many military families have been impacted by the limits on travel and PCS. As a military spouse, I know it can be hard to decipher all the lingo and keep up with the latest information, so I’m here to shed some light on what may be impacting you, your family or friends.

  1. Leave: All travel has been put on hold until May 11. This is the date to keep in mind, for right now. If you had any trips planned anytime between now and May 11, consider them on-hold. Although, it’s worth noting that people who are already on leave (domestically) do not need to cancel their trip and come back. Normally, you would not need to get a pass or permission to go out of town if you were going somewhere within a 250-mile radius (could be different mileage for your location); however, continue to monitor your local installation as the mileage for approved travel will likely decrease.
  2. PCS’ing: All PCS orders set to begin before May 11 have also been put on hold. This means that there are many families stuck in limbo, as they were already in the midst of a move when restrictions were put into place. However, there are options available to people in this situation – first, contact your unit for further instructions – local commanders will be able to make recommendations based on your situation. Also, DoD is doing everything it can to support families who are stuck in temporary housing, and you may be able to use your travel card for these expenses. Bear in mind that some orders will be changing, and overseas installations may be cancelled.
  3. Staying Informed: Local authorities have the most up-to-date information and are responsible for monitoring their locations. Virtual townhalls are now being required – they are streamed on social media and will likely be recurring. Make sure to follow your installation and its senior leaders on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. Military OneSource has also created a page for resources and updates, with articles to help disseminate this information.

As a military community, we have lived with uncertainty and have learned that we cannot control every detail of our lives; plans change, and we remain adaptable. Although this situation feels out of the ordinary, we are well-versed in fluctuating circumstances and uncertain environments. This is a great opportunity to encourage our civilian communities by standing firm in strength and resiliency. Restrictions are likely to continue to change, so it’s important to stay informed. Remember, we are stronger together!

photo of Katelyn Nixon
Written By Katelyn Nixon
Army Spouse

Katelyn has been a military spouse for six years and enjoys the adventurous lifestyle. To share her experiences with other spouses, she started a blog in 2018.

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