DOD COVID-19 Testing Prior to OCONUS Travel

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Here’s a cut/pasted message from MyNavyHR:

The dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires the implementation of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread outside the Continental United States (OCONUS).  Many countries now require negative test results before arrival, driving a significant new requirement for our OCONUS travelers.  I recently released the attached NAVADMIN and Fact Sheet explaining the current state of these complex requirements, as well as MyNavy HR’s procedures to help support our Sailors and their families:

Highlights of these new requirements include the following:

Service members and/or family members must do the following:

·        Possess, and present on request, proof of a negative viral COVID-19 test (antigen or PCR) administered within 72 hours of embarkation for OCONUS travel for each traveling family member for all Patriot Express (rotator) flights as well as commercial flights.  Of note, the NAVADMIN provides additional guidance for individuals who have been previously infected with COVID-19 and may therefore exhibit positive test results, depending upon the type of test administered and other factors.

·        Review the Foreign Clearance Guide (https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/Fcg.cfm) for exact entry requirements for the final destination, such as type of test required and requirements for when the test must be administered relative to arrival date.  The Department of State also offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (https://step.state.gov) for a free service enabling travelers to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and receive updates from the embassy regarding updated travel requirements and local conditions.  FYSA, we will start including the recommendation for STEP enrollment within transfer orders.

·        Plan their intermediate travel and leave to ensure time is allowed for required testing in accordance with the required timeline for their mode of travel and the final destination.  These plans should include where the Sailor and family member will have their COVID-19 tests administered.  Options include various MTFs as well as commercial sites offering viral tests.  Testing at commercial sites will likely incur expenses which are not covered by TRICARE, but will be refunded via the travel claim in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulations.  Additional information can be found in the NAVADMIN as well as on MyNavy Portal, https://www.mnp.navy.mil.

·        Be prepared to execute ROM procedures for the entire family unit in the event of a positive test for any member of the family.  The NAVADMIN provides more in-depth information for this eventuality, but understanding that the appropriate steps to be taken in these cases will vary, the My Navy Career Center (MNCC) call center is available 24/7 by phone and email.  Agents will assist Sailors in coordinating communications with their detailers, the Navy Passenger Transportation Office (NAVPTO) and the OPNAV COVID Taskforce Liaison.  As commercial COVID testing and ROM-related expenses can be significant, we highly recommend use of the Government Travel Credit Card (GTCC) or advanced travel pay for travel expenses while on official orders to minimize the impact to the Sailor’s personal finances.

In addition to requirements for Sailors and their families, the NAVADMIN directs specific actions for Command Pay and Personnel Administrators (CPPA) in order to support their detaching Sailors and provide Navy with records of testing plans established by Sailors.  Specific requirements include:

·    Notifying members of testing requirements for their destination

·    Maintaining records of service members’ testing plans to include the intended facility and date

·    Providing detaching members with command contact information for reach-back capability as needed.

In this highly complex environment, we will continue our coordination with the OPNAV COVID Task Force to ensure we provide our Sailors and Commanders with up-to-date guidance on testing requirements, ROM procedures, and the future updates to these policies anticipated in conjunction with more widespread SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

November Sailor 2 Sailor Newsletter

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This newsletter has some pertinent info discussing ROM not being chargeable as leave as well as procedures if you or a family member test positive for COVID during a PCS:

Latest COVID-Related Travel Updates

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Here is the 3 AUG 2020 COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update.

Here is the 6 AUG 2020 Force Health Protection Guidance – Supplement 12:

On Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, the Department of Defense released Force Health Protection Guidance – Supplement 12, which provides guidance for DOD personnel traveling during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. Supplement 12 provides pre- and post-travel guidance for the force health protection of military members, their families, DOD civilian employees and DOD contractors.

The guidance details information on the following:

  • Steps to be taken during Restriction of Movement
  • Determining whether to travel
  • Travel guidance in addition to Restriction of Movement
  • Additional guidance to assist commanders with travel decisions
  • Additional guidance for Reserve and National Guard personnel

The guidance can be found here.

Throwback Thursday Classic Post – How Long Do You Have to Stay in the Navy if Executing PCS Orders?

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Question: If I execute PCS orders, how long do I have to stay in the Navy before I can retire or resign?

Answer: This is something called “retainability” and is detailed in paragraph 9 (on page 6) of OPNAVINST 1300.15B – Navy Military Personnel Assignment Policy. Here’s the quick and dirty version.

It all depends on where you’re coming from and going to:

  • Coming from OCONUS to CONUS = You must wait 1 year before you can get out of the Navy.
  • Going to a CONUS operational billet = also 1 year.
  • Coming from CONUS to a shore/non-operational billet = 2 years.
  • Going OCONUS anywhere = You must serve the full tour length, which depends on your specialty and where you’re going. I could try to explain tour lengths, but it can get complicated. If you’re not sure what your tour length is, ask your Detailer.