The U.S. Army announced a temporary hold Monday on sending recruits to basic training amid concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus.
“This tactical pause will allow commands to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place and are operating effectively at training installations,” the Army said in a statement.
Those who are currently in basic combat training and advanced individual training will continue to progress under screening and monitoring guideline, and will proceed to their next assignment upon graduation, the Army said.
Gen. Paul Funk II, commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said Monday, “One of TRADOC’s main focuses is to develop leaders by accessing, training and educating Soldiers.”
“We have to do so responsibly, and we’ve already begun protecting those currently in our ranks with social-distanced-enabled training, reduced movement of our Soldiers and trainees, and increased screening of those moving across our commands,” he said.
“The decision to pause the shipment of trainees to BCT for two weeks will allow leaders to focus on setting conditions so movement can be conducted in a safer manner in the future,” he added.
The moves comes as the Pentagon is determining how to keep its recruitment pipelines going as the country follows a nationwide stay-at-home advisory.
So far, there are 334 soldiers who have tested positive for coronavirus, out of 1,435 cases in the active duty military. One Army National Guard member died last week due to coronavirus. He was 57 years old, and had pre-existing health conditions.