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Many civilian DoD and Coast Guard employees will be called back to work

Rand Beers

Just as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Oct. 5 that with the enactment of the Pay Our Military Act “most” of the 400,000 furloughed DoD civilian employees will be called back to work, so too the Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary, Rand Beers, announced the same day that “most” of the civilian employees of the U.S. Coast Guard will also be called back to work.

“The Department of Homeland Security consulted closely with the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice,” said Beers in a notice issued on Oct. 5. “We collectively concluded that the law does allow the Armed Services to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the capabilities, readiness, morale and well-being of service members.” 

In addition, the Coast Guard is likely to resume pay and allowances for contractors who are “providing support to members of the Armed Forces in active service and the U.S. Coast Guard…,” said a memorandum that Beers sent on October 5 to Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., the Commandant of the Coast Guard. 

If the Pentagon calls back “most” of the civilian employees of the Defense Department -- in other words, more than 200,000 employees -- and if a large portion of Cost Guard employees and contractors are also called back, more than a quarter of the 800,000 civilian employees originally put on furlough, or more, will soon be instructed to report back to work.

“We will continue to try to bring all Department of Homeland Security civilian employees back to work as soon as possible,” Beers continued. “The Department of Homeland Security is at its best when all our civilian personnel are on watch.”


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