In Recent Visits to Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, Rosen Learned About Servicemembers’ Inability to Access Dislocation Allowance When Moving from Military Housing
WASHINGTON, DC – Following a year-long effort from Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the U.S. Department of Defense has finally heeded her call to align its internal guidance with current law to provide unaccompanied junior servicemembers with a dislocation allowance when transitioning from military to off-base private housing.
“Ensuring our servicemembers in Nevada and across our nation receive all of the benefits they deserve is one of my top priorities, especially now, when housing costs are rapidly rising,” said Senator Rosen. “It was heartbreaking to hear that junior enlisted Airmen at Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases were ordered to move off-base without receiving their dislocation allowance to pay for the high cost of housing. Over the past year, I’ve made it a priority to press the Department of Defense to fix this issue. While I’m proud of our progress, I will continue working to ensure that our most junior servicemembers finally receive the dislocation allowance they are due.”
“Our priority here at Nellis is taking care of Airmen and giving them the tools to succeed. This update to the Joint Travel Regulation does just that by ensuring our most junior Airmen will receive the financial support they need when transitioning from the dorms to off-base housing,” said Col. Todd Dyer, 99th Air Base Wing Commander, Nellis Air Force Base. “The JTR revision also shows that when military and civilian leaders come together they can achieve significant change that benefits our young service members across the entire DoD.”
“Years of deferred maintenance and aging barracks have led some installations to shut down their facilities and force young servicemembers to find an apartment, only to be met with soaring prices due to lack of availability and rampant inflation,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), President and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America. “The Military Officers Association of America commends Senator Jacky Rosen for her work with the Department of Defense to successfully update the Joint Travel Regulation and authorize partial dislocation allowance to unaccompanied servicemembers ordered to move out of their quarters.”
“Our Junior enlisted servicemembers are of the most vulnerable population of our armed services, Senator Rosen's efforts helped identify and provide the much-needed dislocation allowance (DLA) for our junior enlisted unaccompanied servicemembers who are ordered to vacate government quarters before they are eligible to begin receiving their Basic Allowance for Housing,” said Levi Sadr, Director of Government Affairs for the Non Commissioned Officers Association. “The Non Commissioned Officers Association thanks Senator Rosen and the DOD for approving the updated Joint Travel Regulation and providing the much-needed partial DLA to our junior enlisted servicemembers.”
Prior to Senator Rosen’s efforts and recent changes to federal law, partial dislocation allowance was not available for unaccompanied junior enlisted servicemembers who were ordered to move from base to private housing, which meant they had to cover their moving costs out of pocket. This was particularly difficult for junior enlisted troops, who could least afford the high cost of housing. While this was originally fixed in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Pentagon was still not implementing their new authority. Senator Rosen learned about this discrepancy from her visits to Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases last year, where junior Airmen talked to her about the financial burdens of paying for initial housing costs out-of-pocket.
Upon returning to Washington, she started pressing the Department of Defense to make sure the housing displacement allowance was being given to unaccompanied junior enlisted servicemembers. Senator Rosen included a provision in the FY2022 NDAA holding the Pentagon accountable for not yet using its authority to assist junior servicemembers transitioning to off-base housing and, most recently, she publicly questioned Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall about this during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, where he acknowledged that servicemembers weren’t receiving the dislocation allowance. Finally this month, after a year-long pressure campaign by Senator Rosen, the Pentagon updated its guidance to allow unaccompanied junior enlisted servicemembers to begin receiving their dislocation allowance.