If the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is at all a touchstone for us regarding the gravity of a situation, then it is noteworthy that the Pentagon has imposed DoD-wide travel restrictions for all of the personnel and their families.

It was never to say that the military should be exempt from precautions and measures to curtail the spread of pandemic COVIL-19; all of the Nation must do its part.

As of now, all travel plans by DoD personnel are deferred unless deemed as mission essential or are related to matters of extreme hardship. General staff will be the determining body which will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an exemption is warranted. Persons on orders to separate from the service in the next 60 days are exempt from the new DoD travel restrictions.

This decision comes in the wake of President Trump’s ban on travel from Europe for 30 days — U.S. citizens are exempted from this measure but will have to be tested upon arrival.

Countries immediately affected by the travel freeze are those determined to be a “Level-3” risk by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Italy, South Korea, China, Venezuela, and Iran. That sucks for anyone who had any intention of sending troops to Iran to teach them a lesson in global etiquette… but the Pentagon has spoken!

If this DoD travel restriction sounds alarming… well, then it just sounds alarming. It does NOT alarm me so much so that you could tell by looking at me. There is a tremendous amount of diplomacy work that our military engages in with our allies — joint training exercise this and joint training exercise that. It’s a lot of friendly feel-good fangled folly. It is not imperative for our military to travel outside the U.S. to conduct its preparedness training.

The failsafe mechanism in all this is the bottomless pit caveat “deemed mission essential.” Right there — the almighty judges and superior beings are holding the door open to virtually anything they want; all they need to do is declare it mission essential. They can declare those little jars of tiny cocktail onions “mission essential” if they want them bad enough.