Shutdown Concerns National Guard Chief

NGAUS Washington Report

(Oct. 1, 2013) The chief of the National Guard Bureau expressed disappointment with the government shutdown that began at midnight Monday. Gen. Frank J. Grass said his concern is mainly with the civilian workforce and the military technicians.

The Guard bureau released this statement today:

"With the government shutting down, I'm deeply concerned about the effect this will have on our military readiness, and especially on our civilian workforce, including more than 48,400 National Guard dual-status military technicians. Our civilians are essential to the success of our mission and the sacrifice they have been asked to make is not taken lightly."

Meanwhile, the president addressed troops and civilian employees of the Defense Department in a video message released today. President Barack Obama said Congress “has not fulfilled its obligation” in letting the government shut down.

“Those of you in uniform will remain on duty status. Threats to our national security have not changed,” he said, “and we need you to be ready for any contingency. … If you are serving in harm’s way, we are going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your mission.”

He expressed sympathy for defense civilians who face furloughs as long as the shutdown lasts.

“Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world,” he said. “That’s why I’ll keep working to get Congress to re-open our government and get you back to work as soon as possible.”

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, released this statement of encouragement for military members serving the nation:

"I regret that our government has shut down. Unfortunately we don't have that option. Please continue to do what you've always done - serve the nation. For those of our civilian teammates who will be furloughed, I'm sorry. You are valued members of our profession, and we look forward to your return to duty. Thank you all. I'm honored to serve with you."