Will DoD Reduce MilTech Furloughs?
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will decide soon on the length of the furlough affecting over 800,000 DoD civilian employees, including National Guard military technicians.
After the initial announcement that DoD would furlough its civilians for 22 weeks through September 30, Hagel reduced the number to 14 weeks. Congress and NGAUS have requested that he go further.
The National Guard Coalition, comprised of NGAUS, the Enlisted National Guard Association and the Adjutants General Association, pressed Hagel in a March 20 letter to exempt all Guard military technicians from the furloughs:
“Military technicians perform daily the vital training, maintenance and administrative functions that maintain the high level of readiness required for critical domestic and overseas missions. We understand that the furloughs will affect the entire federal workforce, but readiness concerns fully justify sparing military technicians.”
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little announced last week that DoD was still considering requests for exemptions, and we remain hopeful that these technicians are part of the exemption list.
The services differ on their needs for furloughs in meeting the $40 billion sequester cuts required by the end of the year. The Navy says it will not need to furlough, but the Army says that it would need to in order to meet the ongoing cost demands from overseas operations. Secretary Hagel has stated that he wants to ensure some consistency across DoD in the furlough process. That is fine with NGAUS, provided he consistently exempts all Mil Techs bar none from the furloughs.
It is not too late to respond to our Leg Alerts to the President and Congress to press the case for the Mil Tech furlough exemption.
Peter Duffy is acting legislative director for NGAUS.