WASHINGTON -- The Navy issued updated Standardized Operational Guidance (SOG) Jan. 15 with measures to help fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest SOG version 5.0 reinforces the need to protect the health of individuals and units while preserving operational readiness. Although the guidance is predominantly focused on the shipboard environment, it applies to all uniformed Navy personnel at home and deployed.
Standardized Operational Guidance 5.0 outlines the role of the Navy Surgeon General as the authority for COVID-19 measures and advises the fleet about the application of new Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance across the Navy’s spectrum of operating environments. It also incorporates lessons learned from commands across the fleet operating in the COVID-19 environment and integrates the benefits of having a 100% vaccinated force into policy. While SOG 5.0 serves as the standard framework for the fleet, commanding officers ultimately hold responsibility for the health and welfare of their crews. The guidance also sets expectations that every Sailor must take personal ownership and responsibility of the promulgated measures required to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It is my responsibility to deliver the most capable force and this guidance helps us maximize mission readiness,” said Vice Adm. Bill Merz, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy. “The Navy continues to execute its mission around the world while we work through the challenges of this pandemic. Vaccinations, vaccine boosters, command engagement, and personal accountability are the foundation of our success in fighting COVID-19.”
This overarching plan includes information regarding restriction of movement (ROM), when to test and quarantine Sailors, and streamlines health protection measures. The Navy has met or exceeded CDC guidance and continues to experience a much lower rate of adverse effects than the general population.
“Over the past two years Navy medicine learned a great deal since the start of the pandemic,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Surgeon General of the Navy. “We learned how to protect our Sailors and Marines by using aggressive testing protocols, isolation and quarantine, good hygiene practices and most importantly we learned that vaccinations work.”
While many shipboard commands still require current health protection measures like PPE, social distancing and routine cleaning, this guidance introduces opportunities for operational units to reduce certain measures. ROM requirements and other potential moderation of mitigation measures are included in the guidance, with the goal of improving operational effectiveness and quality of life for Sailors.
The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery COVID-19 Readiness Guide (BUMED CRG) provides medical personnel amplifying guidance to address deployability, duty status, return to work, and return to exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be found at: https://esportal.med.navy.mil/bumed/rh/m3/m34/crg/default.aspx
For the latest updates on Navy COVID guidance please visit: https://www.navy.mil/US-Navy-COVID-19-Updates/