» U.S. Army Reserve leadership continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak. For media queries, call 910-622-3687.
By Army Reserve Strategic Communications | U.S. Army Reserve Command | March 23, 2020
FORT BRAGG, N.C. —
Message: Scheduled battle assemblies are suspended until further notice. This gives commanders the authority to take appropriate action to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Soldiers, Families, and communities. We encourage all U.S. Army Reserve personnel to follow guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. Army Reserve is working to minimize risk to the force to ensure we maintain operational readiness.
The questions below have been submitted by Soldiers to various U.S. Army Reserve social media websites. Here, Soldiers may find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
QUESTION: What should Soldiers do if they are currently on temporary duty (TDY) attending a military school or training away from home?
ANSWER: Soldiers currently in training in a TDY status will remain at their respective locations and complete training. Soldiers with follow on courses at their current school locations will stay and attend their follow on courses. Soldiers who have completed training will contact their units to coordinate travel to their home of record until further notice.
QUESTION: How does the current “stop movement” affect Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians (DAC) on leave or Soldiers requesting emergency leave?
ANSWER: The Secretary of the Army has delegated to the first general officer (GO) or member of the senior executive service (SES) in the chain of command the authority to approve emergency leave. Additionally, Soldiers are only authorized local leave as defined by local commanders. Check with your chain of command for further guidance.
QUESTION: How much longer will battle assemblies be canceled?
ANSWER: Battle assemblies are temporarily suspended – not cancelled – until further notice. Unit commanders still maintain the authority to take appropriate actions to balance training and readiness requirements while taking protective measures to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Soldiers, Families and communities. Check with your chain of command for the latest on battle assembly schedules.
QUESTION: A lot of Soldiers depend financially on pay from their battle assemblies. Are there alternative training opportunities for Soldiers?
ANSWER: U.S. Army Reserve commanders have the authority to approve rescheduled training (RST) opportunities for their Soldiers. Check with your unit for potential RSTs.
QUESTION: How will this impact Reserve Component Soldiers and their TRICARE benefits?
ANSWER: TRICARE service providers are aware of concerns being voiced by Soldiers, including members of the U.S. Army Reserve. Payments for TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) are paid directly by the service member’s specified credit card or bank account, not from a drill pay deduction. As such, a member would not have their TRS impacted due to a change in drill status, unless the member specifically chooses to stop payment. TRICARE is working options regarding support and relief for members who experience a financial hardship and are unable to pay their premiums as a result. Each Soldier is encouraged to call TRICARE experts in their respective region to address individual concerns and answer specific healthcare questions: https://tricare.mil/ContactUs/CallUs/AllContacts
QUESTION: How will suspended battle assemblies affect Reserve Component Soldiers and their Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) benefits?
ANSWER: If a service member is already enrolled in SGLI and does not attend battle assembly for a period of time, SGLI will continue to provide coverage. Premium payment for SGLI coverage is deducted from the Soldiers military payment and reflected on the Leave and Earning Statement (LES). The Soldier will incur a debt for each month the premium was not paid. Once a Soldier returns to duty and receives military payment, the total debt will be collected from the Soldier’s LES.
QUESTION: What about annual training events scheduled within the continental United States in April and May?
ANSWER: In accordance with the Department of Defense latest travel restriction, most training events are suspended or postponed. However, Army Reserve Soldiers and civilian employees should contact their chain of command for the latest information on their upcoming collective training exercises.
QUESTION: What if the local store or commissary runs out of hand sanitizer?
ANSWER: The best way to sanitize your hands is still with the use of soap and hot water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene. You can make your own hand sanitizer by using 99% isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel. For additional information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/infection-control/hcp-hand-sanitizer.html
QUESTION: How will the suspension of battle assemblies affect Army Reserve Soldiers who are trying to complete enough points toward a good retirement year?
ANSWER: It is still possible for U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers to complete a qualifying year for retirement – also known as a “good year” – without attending all scheduled battle assemblies. A qualifying year of service for non-regular retired pay is a full year during which a Reserve Component member is credited with a minimum of 50 retirement points. Soldiers are awarded 15 membership points for each year in an active status. Additionally, Soldiers earn points for active duty orders (one point per day on active duty) and for inactive duty training (IDT). An IDT period will be either four hours in length for one retirement point or eight hours in length for two retirement points, with the exception of the 2-hour IDT funeral honors duty. Check with your chain of command for the latest on battle assembly schedules and check with unit administrator or personnel section for an accurate calculation of current year-to-date retirement points. For additional information on retirement points please visit the HRC Website: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Recording%20and%20Reporting%20Retirement%20Points
QUESTION: Will military schools reschedule Soldiers’ attendance at Professional Military Education (PME) courses that have been canceled or postponed?
ANSWER: Soldiers scheduled to attend courses or schools in the United States less than six months in duration who are stationed in Italy or Korea will postpone their schooling until further notice. Soldiers scheduled to attend training in the United States for six months or longer will arrive 14 days early to TRADOC identified sites for screening and quarantine. Army Reserve Soldiers and civilian employees should contact their chain of command to find out how their individual school reservations are affected, and work with the unit’s training NCO and the schoolhouse to reschedule reservations for a later date.
(Updated March 23, 2020)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued new regulations including a ban on meetings of more than two people.
There are exceptions for families and for people who live together.
Further details from the announcement:
The Federal Government and the German states agreed on an extension of the guidelines for restricting social contacts adopted on 12 March:
I. Citizens are urged to reduce contacts with other people outside the members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum.
II. In public, wherever possible, a minimum distance of at least 1.5 m must be kept from persons other than those mentioned under I.
III. The stay in public space is only permitted alone, with another person not living in the household or in the circle of members of one's own household.
IV. The way to work, emergency care, shopping, visits to the doctor, participation in meetings, necessary appointments and examinations, help for others or individual sports and exercise in the fresh air as well as other necessary activities remain possible.
V. Groups of people celebrating in public places, in apartments and private facilities are unacceptable in view of the serious situation in our country. Violations of the contact restrictions should be reported to authorities and the police and, in the event of violations, to be sanctioned.
VI. Restaurants will be closed. Excluded from this is delivery and collection of takeaway food for consumption at home.
VII. Personal hygiene services such as hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlors, tattoo studios and similar establishments are being closed because physical closeness is essential in this area. Medically necessary treatments remain possible.
VIII. In all establishments and especially those open to the public, it is important to comply with hygiene regulations and to implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.
IX. These measures should have a period of validity of at least two weeks.
The Federal Government and the States will cooperate closely in implementing these restrictions and in assessing their effectiveness. Further regulations based on regional peculiarities or epidemiological situations in the States or districts remain possible.
The Federal Government and the States are aware that these are very drastic measures. However, they are necessary and they are proportionate with regard to the legal interest of public health to be protected.
The Federal Chancellor and the heads of the State governments would like to thank in particular those working in the health care system, in the public service and in the industries that maintain daily life, as well as all citizens for their sense of responsibility and their willingness to abide by these rules in order to further slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Merkel warned that the new restrictions are rules, not recommendations. The police will make sure that they are adhered to.
After announcing the Germany-wide measures, Merkel was informed that a doctor she had been in contact with on Friday had meanwhile tested positive for the coronavirus. She will now go into quarantine, according to her spokesman.
TRICARE beneficiaries should call the Nurse Advice Line at one of the following toll-free numbers based on your location:
• Bahrain: 800-06432
• Belgium: 0800-81933
• Germany: 0800-071-3516
• Greece: 00-800-4414-1013
• Italy: 800-979721
• Spain: 900-82-2740
• Turkey: 00-800-44-882-5287
• UK: 0800-028-3263
*** To access the Nurse Advice Line (NAL) from a cell phone in Europe you must first call your clinic appointment line and choose the option for the Nurse Advice Line.***
Non-TRICARE beneficiaries should contact their primary care provider for advice. If you do NOT meet ALL THREE of the above criteria, but you have symptoms of upper respiratory infection, call your primary care provider for advice.
The difference between Quarantine and Isolation.
Quarantine is the separation of an individual or group that has been exposed to a communicable disease, but not yet ill, from others who have not been so exposed, in such a manner and place to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.
Isolation is the separation of an individual or group infected or reasonable believed to be infected with a communicable disease from those who are healthy in such a plce an manner to prevent the spread of the communicable disease.
CDC does not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for people exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposures to COVID-19. For instance, "contacts of contacts;" these people are not considered exposed to COVID-19.
7th MSC COVID-19 Hotline:
Rhineland-Pfalz Commander's Hotline:
U.S. ARMY COVID-19 Hotline:
OCONUS DSN: 312-421-3700 | CONUS DSN: 421-3700
LETTER TO THE FORCE:
The Army's Commitment to Health Protection (PDF)
• Army Reserve units in direct support of USAREUR and EUCOM • Army Reserve capabilities are actively used in theater engagement operations • Only Reserve capability in Germany and Italy
Comm: +49(0) 611-143-528-0008
DSN: 314-528-0280 \ 0279
Comm: +49(0) 611-143-528-0280 \ 0279
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Those personnel should not go to work, school or public areas. They should avoid using public transportation, ride sharing or taxis.
Personnel should separate themselves from other people in the home and if possible utilize a separate bathroom.
Personnel in self-isolation should maintain regular contact with their immediate supervisors to understand appropriate pay/leave status and to provide updates on their condition.