By: Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy)
Military Community and Family Policy provides quality of life programs to service members and their families worldwide. Our programs and services range from commissaries, exchanges and MWR to child and youth centers, family programs and centers, and family advocacy.
A shutdown would furlough much of our global workforce and affect programs, some more than others. We have identified those family support missions and functions that will continue during a shutdown.
Here is a list of some of our programs and how they would operate:
- Department of Defense Education Activity – DODEA – Schools will remain open.
- Commissaries will remain open world-wide.
- Exchanges will remain open world-wide.
- Child Development Centers will remain open with priority given to service members and DoD civilians supporting mission-essential operations.
- Family Support Center staffing will be determined by installation commanders.
- Military OneSource’s website and call center will remain fully operational.
- Military Family Life Counselors are available and will telework if access to offices is prohibited.
- Family Advocacy Program Each Service will determine staffing at each installation.
- MWR – Morale Welfare and Recreation programs will close. However, installation lodges will remain open.
- Education Centers for Family Members and Service Members will be closed. This includes counseling services, testing centers, learning centers and computer labs. Tuition assistance will not be authorized or granted.
- MyCAA – Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts will remain available and are unaffected by the furlough.
- On-Installation Banks and Credit Unions will remain open for business to provide normal services. They can also provide free financial education and counseling.
- Service members who encounter financial difficulties caused by the shutdown are eligible for support through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and financial aid from service organizations.
What advice do you have for other military families in the event of a government shutdown? Join our discussion to share your advice and questions. Thank you.