All personnel required to wear face coverings on March ARB

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Osmin Suguitan
  • 452 AMW Public Affairs

COVID-19 was first ruled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) Mar 11, 2020. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have quoted studies, as well as released documentation, that one of the main non-pharmaceutical interventions that Airmen can use to protect the base community and their wingmen are face coverings.

The CDC website states, " cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.”

Civic and military leadership across the Unites States have developed local rules established from the scientific data and recommended CDC guidelines to protect their communities and slow the infection rate. Depending on where you live, rules for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic may be strict or lenient. But, what about on March Air Reserve Base?

 At March ARB, while on the installation, military rules regarding COVID-19 supersede the rules put in place by the surrounding civic leadership. Currently a face covering is part of the military uniform requirement. Unless masks are issued for individuals to wear, Airmen are authorized to wear various types of face coverings and the cloth does not have to be a solid color or camouflage pattern complimenting the uniform –though conservative and standard professional guidelines would apply. (No offensive markings or derogatory phrases.)

Additionally, the face covering policy applies to all individuals entering the base: military members, government civilians, contractors, employees, and their guests.  

 Everyone on base must wear a mask or cloth face covering when in:  

  • Public and military spaces that someone else may access after you
  • Any space where food is made or sold  
  • Common areas in a building (walkways, stairwells, elevators)  
  • Within 6 feet of anyone, in a building, vehicle or outside
  • Operating shared equipment, such as radios, computers, etc.


    Essentially, you should be wearing your mask at all times while on March ARB unless you are the only person in a space that only you frequent – your own, unshared office or privately owned vehicle without passengers, or members from the same household, etc.  

    "We're prioritizing the health of the March population," said Capt. Marissa Hopkins, Infectious Disease nurse practitioner and Public Health Emergency Officer, 452nd Air Mobility Wing. "We know that having everyone wearing a mask helps slows the spread of the COVID-19 infections, allowing Team March (members) to safely focus on our mission."  

    Capt Hopkins recommended against wearing neck gators, as they can increase the spread of COVID-19. The Pentagon’s Bioweapons Protection lab (Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) conducted research showing that a four-ply microfiber cloth used as a filter insert in a cloth mask (the kind that you can get from any box or auto parts store) had the best filtration (75% of COVID-19 virus particles) and breathability of any non-medical facial covering, whereas a bandana only filtered 40% of virus particles.  

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has altered how we accomplish some of the mission,” said Hopkins. “As Reserve Citizen Airmen, we understand how to adapt and we will make the necessary workplace changes to meet the challenges of the virus. By wearing a mask, you are reducing the possibility of illness, lost work days, or even loss of your wingman.”  

    It takes teamwork and compliance to continue our mission sets.

      “Many people support the Team March Mission: military members, civilian employees and their families," said Hopkins. "Facial coverings will help reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure for everyone.”