An overseas posting can be a great experience for a family, but sometimes things don’t work out as intended. Under certain situations, a family may find that they need to return to the US*, but the service member needs to remain overseas. This is called an early return of dependents, but usually shortened to EROD or ERD. Of course, the military has rules and regulations for these cases, and it is good to know a little bit about them if you are going overseas. While 99% of families will never experience an ERD, it’s still better to be knowledgeable. ERDs are covered in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), Volume I.
While people may choose to move home at any time, such a move will not be government funded unless certain criteria are met. Typically, this includes:
- the non-availability of appropriate medical care for a family member,
- the death, serious illness or incapacitation of an adult dependent, leaving minor dependents without appropriate care,
- inadequate educational or housing facilities,
- financial difficulties,
- marital difficulties,
- death or serious illness of a close relative.
- There are other, more obscure reasons as well. See JTFR for complete details.
Early return of a dependent(s) under par. U5900-D2 must be employed judiciously; it is a last
JFTR Volume I, Chapter 5, Part J discusses transportation allowances in ERD situations. In general, when the ERD is considered to be in the government’s interest, the government pays for all transportation costs under the usual travel regulations.