I know many of you are concerned over the current news regarding the virus known as COVID-19. In a rapidly changing situation that is full of uncertainty, I want to ensure you that my first priority is the protection of our Marines and their families in the 8th Marine Corps District. We continue to balance the readiness of our force with the accomplishment of our vital mission. We are closely monitoring the effects of COVID-19 within our communities and we will respond to conditions in order to meet the critical needs of our people. I encourage you to be proactive in reaching out to the command with your needs and I assure you that we will do everything in our power to ensure they are met.
Staying informed is critical to our understanding of a fluid and dynamic situation. The CDC has issued health guidance concerning the best practices for staying healthy. The website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, contains necessary information on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you may be sick. For information on what the U.S. Government is doing to respond to Coronavirus, COVID-19, please visit https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus.
As many of you may be aware, the Department of Defense has instituted domestic travel restrictions through May 11, 2020 in order to safeguard personnel and families. Service members may only take leave in the local area. Exceptions to these policies may be given for compelling cases where the travel is: (1) determined to be mission essential; (2) necessary for humanitarian reasons; or (3) warranted due to extreme hardship. Please understand that these restrictions are in place to protect our Marines and their families.
We know that fear and overreaction are counterproductive. It is important that we avoid misinformation and instead rely on the information and education provided on the aforementioned websites. I encourage every Marine and their family to adopt the recommended preventative measures and keep their command informed of any issues or developments. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the below points of contact:
Tina Hoffman, Deployment Readiness Coordinator: (214) 674-8474, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Fischer, 8MCD Chaplain: (817) 360-0899, email@example.com
SgtMaj Jon Jerome, 8MCD SgtMaj: (817) 897-3760, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaplain's Letter Regarding COVID-19
District Readiness Coordinator Call to Action