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DOD, Department of the Air Force take steps to protect military families moving during COVID-19

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs | Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs | May 7, 2020

ARLINGTON, Virginia —

The Department of Defense, in conjunction with U.S. Transportation Command, has adopted a set of safety measures and protocols designed to protect military personnel and their families who are required to move household goods to new assignments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the measures, which went into immediate effect.

Under the new standards, moving industry personnel must adhere to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 health protection protocols while in the service member’s residence. That means moving personnel must wear face coverings, clean frequently touched surfaces and sanitize their hands often. They must also minimize the number of personnel at the member’s residence in order to meet social distancing requirements.

In addition to prescribing health and safety standards that all moving companies and their employees must meet, the standards also outline specific powers that any military member can use. For example, the member can deny entry to moving personnel or question them about adhering to health protection protocols. They also are specifically empowered to terminate the move entirely if they feel the moving crew is compromising their safety. The move would be rescheduled at a later date.

“It’s important that DoD families know they are empowered to make decisions on the spot and that they have a voice in the process,” said Rick Marsh, director of the Defense Personal Property Program at USTRANSCOM.

Although the Department of Defense is operating under a “stop movement” order through at least June 30, some personnel have been authorized to move to new locations to meet critical mission requirements.

The military services (U.S. Army, Navy, Marines Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force) are required to verify with 100% of their service members that moving companies are complying with these safety measures during their moves.

Visit move.mil to read the latest guidance for Defense Personal Property Program customers.