DOD officials Sept. 27 issued guidance to the force in the event appropriations lapse Oct. 1 and a government shutdown results. Officials emphasize they still hope Congress can avoid that but say it is prudent to take such steps.
The eight-page document gives basic guidance to commanders and directors on how to handle everything from personnel matters to contracts to medical concerns.
Even if the government runs out of money, military personnel will report to work as normal. This includes active duty personnel and reserve component personnel on active Guard or reserve status.
DOD can also maintain police, fire, and emergency medical protection. These activities – and some others – are labeled as excepted and protected from stoppage. Non-excepted activities must generally stop.
In the event of a funding lapse, DOD civilians who support excepted activities – military operations, emergency services, or other designated activities – would be directed to continue working.
For pay purposes, military personnel will be paid retroactively once the appropriation is passed or the continuing resolution signed. DOD-excepted service personnel will also receive retroactive pay.
Non-excepted DOD civilians will be placed on emergency, no-notice, non-pay furloughs. They would be required to report to work on Oct. 1 to receive their furlough notice. Civilians on emergency furloughs would be paid retroactively only if a law is enacted providing authority to pay them.
Training and travel of military and civilian employees would be disrupted unless it was connected to an excepted activity, officials said.
Those on travel would have to return to their duty stations in an orderly fashion.