By Vice Adm. Bill Moran
Chief of Naval Personnel
Just back from Pensacola–where I met and spoke with many Sailors and civilians at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the Blue Angels and several of the aviation and information dominance training centers.
Highlights of the trip (and there are many) included speaking at the Navy and Marine Corps Air Traffic Controller Leadership Continuum, awarding the Meritorious Service Medal to ACCM Tony Corpus recognizing an amazing 30-year career, stopping in to check on our flight demonstration team, and sitting down for lunch with A-school and local CSADD Sailors.
The dialogue at every stop was insightful and candid. Of greatest concern was the budget and potential government shutdown. Clearly these are issues right in front of us as Fiscal Year 13 comes to an end and 14 begins. Sailors were looking to me to provide answers from inside the beltway.
On the flight back from rainy P-cola to DC, I decided to jot down some of the questions most asked-my guess is that most of you have similar questions. As I shared with Sailors on Tuesday, I don’t have all of the answers, but I will share what we know, and be upfront on what we don’t know yet.
Below are the types of questions I received–along with the most current information we have:
1. Is the government going to shut down on Oct. 1?
I honestly don’t know–there is still time for Congress to prevent a shut down. It is our hope that Congress will work with the administration to pass a bill; a continuing resolution is about the best we could hope for at this point prior to Oct. 1.
2. If the government does shut down, will Sailors still be required to go to work?
Yes. If a government shutdown occurs, all Navy personnel (Sailors and Civilians) would still report to work on their next scheduled duty day, beginning at their normal hours, where they will then receive additional guidance and instructions.
3. If the government shuts down, will I get paid on time? If not, when will I be paid?
First off, everyone will receive their pay for Oct. 1. Active-duty Sailors and reserve component Sailors on Federal active duty (activated reservists) on orders will be required to report to work on the 1st and will continue to earn pay. However, they would have to wait to be paid until Congress passes and the President signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution. I’m encouraged by news I’m hearing that some credit unions, like Navy Federal, will cover pay on the 15th as long as Sailor’s have a direct deposit account with them. In any case, uniformed members will receive back pay from the government.
If civilians are furloughed, Congress will determine whether furloughed employees will receive pay for the furloughed period.
4. How will a government shutdown affect support services?
a) Child care, physical fitness and food services
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) and Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) activities necessary to support excepted activities such as child care activities, some base gyms and messing facilities are required for readiness and will remain open.
b) Medical appointments
We would continue to provide emergency services, inpatient care and all support services that are necessary to ensure our beneficiaries continue to receive quality care. Some services will likely be affected-Sailors and families should check with their individual hospital and clinics for specifics.
5. Will any of my training be delayed? Will deployments get cancelled?
There is a real chance that boot camp, A-school and some fleet training could be delayed. I don’t expect that there will be an appreciable manning effect on our ships, squadrons, boats or units, but a shutdown could make it more difficult for some units to get scheduled training and replacement personnel. It will take time for us to recover and get back to normal, even if there is a short disruption.
I don’t know exactly how things will play out, none of us do, but as I shared with Sailors in Pensacola: as we work through all of this, we will all need to stay focused on mission and stand our watch. I will continue to share what we know and when we know it to keep you informed.
Thanks for your time and attention. I look forward to seeing you in the fleet and reading your comments below and on social media.