Photo retrieved from online sources.
Photo retrieved from online sources. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Kelsey Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL

During times of teleworking and virtual town halls, there are questions that demand answers. The 1st Cavalry Division would like to take the time to provide links with information from official sources addressing your frequently asked questions and providing you with more information.

Overall Picture-

Army Senior Leaders hosted a Virtual Town Hall about COVID-19 with the Honorable Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston. In the video the topics addressed include guidance on the APFT, the holds and current status of deployed Soldiers, information on NCOES and how they are being conducted, Army recruitment, the Child Development Centers, and Army-wide testing capabilities.

PCS Information-

The Army has rolled out new allowances for Soldiers and families facing official travel delays or in quarantine amid the COVID-19 virus outbreak. A hardship duty pay for restriction of movement, or HDP-ROM, now provides Soldiers who are not currently in a travel status $100 per day -- not to exceed $1,500 -- to defray the cost of additional lodging if a commander restricts them to a self-monitoring period.

Soldiers preparing for a permanent change-of-station move can now request to stay at their current duty station for up to a year, as the Army adapts how it moves people during the COVID-19 crisis. New Army guidance says Soldiers can request to defer an assignment and return to their losing unit if they expect to face hardship as a result of a PCS move.

Promotion and Retention Information-

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Army has made important changes to enlisted promotion and retention policies to take care of its Soldiers and maintain a ready force. Changes to enlisted promotion policy include virtual promotion boards, suspension of APFT expiration dates, suspension of weapons qualification expiration dates, and suspension of pin-on requirements for the Advanced Leader Course and the Senior Leader Course.

Face Mask Information-

To mitigate the spread of COVID19, the U.S. Army is implementing U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) guidance on the use of cloth face coverings including wear the neck gaiter and other cloth items, such as bandanas and scarves, as face coverings.

First Team Guidelines on Face Mask wear:

US Army Information and Guidelines on Face Mask wear:

Social Distancing and Staying Connected-

Social distancing, a term used by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to head off the COVID-19 pandemic by advising people to stay at least six feet apart with no large gatherings and as many staying home as possible to slow the spread of the airborne virus. While officials have relied on “social distancing” to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Army’s top chaplain says the term doesn’t mean stopping all contact with friends and family.

Other Information-

The Army has also established a website to address Soldier’s and Family Member’s concerns, as well as outline what the Army’s response is to the pandemic. Due to the developing nature of the situation, updates will be made to this site as well. The site contains information on PCS and training delays, travel guidance, Army response efforts, Army medical research and development, and a message to the force from Army senior leaders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a landing page on their website with the latest COVID-19 information from the CDC and the overarching medical community. As new information becomes available it will be updated on this site. We encourage all First Team Family Members to use this site as an official source of information. The page is currently promoting information on how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma and COVID-19, what to do if you are sick, and frequently asked questions.

The 1st Cavalry Division remains committed to protecting our Troopers, Family members, neighbors, and veterans as we all work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we move forward, this pandemic is impacting all of us in some way, including the delay of planned moves and cancellation of professional military education courses for many Soldiers and Families.