Financial stress in the military is an ongoing reality, which is now exacerbated by soldiers paying two homes — one where they live now, and a second where they were to be relocated before a ‘stop-movement order’ froze all plans.
Achieving the American Dream of home ownership is often a perk deemed achievable with the steady pay of a military member, but the stop-movement order has caused chaos for many families that now find themselves paying for two homes at once.
The stop-movement order is expected to continue through May 11 for moves in the Continental US and through May 23 for overseas moves. The main question remains whether or not the stop move will be rescinded or extended beyond these time frames.
The Military’s Finance offices are working on the continuation of basic housing allowance for those impacted. Service members facing this situation are encouraged to talk with their finance office as no regulation will cover all circumstances.
There is a desire to help people dealing with this, “We’re working on ways to be able to go ahead and compensate our members due to any COVID-related issues,” said Ramón “CZ” Colón-López. Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, cited by the Army press department.
Service members also are looking at how this will impact them once the stop-movement is lifted. Financial hardship, separation, essential personnel and schools are among the top issues that will be considered when the priority list is established. A backlog is anticipated, said SEAC Colon Lopez, so patience will be required in this process.
Planned leave for celebrations such as weddings, spring breaks and leave have been cancelled also due to the stop-movement order. The discussion is around treating the carry over leave as they would for a deployment.
Operating under the threat of the Corona Virus may be the new normal. The military along with everyone else is faced with figuring out how that will look.