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Pentagon’s latest stop-move order exempts recruiting, overseas deployments

Pentagon’s latest stop-move order exempts recruiting, overseas deployments
Tuesday, 21 April, 2020, 11:40

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the military services on Monday that they must notify him before they take any steps to curtail recruiting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Monday, DoD reported 5,335 COVID-19 cases across its military and civilian workforce, including 1,332 who have recovered from the virus. Twenty-two have died, including two uniformed service members, 10 civilians, seven contractors and three military family members. The directive came as part of a new stop movement order that relaxed some of the Defense Department’s existing travel restrictions while extending the bulk of them through the end of June.

Recruiting activities were one of two of the major new exemptions Esper added in Monday’s order.

“Travel associated with uniformed personnel recruiting and accessions activities, to include accessions, basic training, advanced individual training, and follow-on travel to the first duty station [is exempt from the restrictions],” he wrote. “The military departments will notify me prior to reducing or suspending recruiting, accessions, basic training, or advanced individual training.”
The military services had already taken some steps to slow their accessions pipelines. The Navy and Air Force, for example, each stopped accepting new recruits at basic training for about a week in order to clean barracks and restructure their programs to accommodate social distancing. The Air Force said earlier this month it was only accepting about 460 new trainees each week, compared to the usual 600 to 800.