What We Know Now About The Government Shutdown

Updated Oct. 10, 2013, 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with information from Chief of Naval Personnel about PCS moves, October promotion pay, and boards and advancement resultsThroughout the government shutdown, the U.S. Navy will update this blog. 

Permanent Change of Station:

  • Any PCS move currently underway may proceed.
  • Any PCS move with FY13 funding may begin.
  • Accession and training moves associated with recruitment and initial entry training will continue, along with movement to first duty station when required by a move to an excepted activity.
  • Movement to comply with separation instructions will continue.

October Promotion Pay:
Officer promotion pay increases for October cannot be processed at this time. The monthly promotion process that updates the officer’s pay grade in the DFAS system was affected by the shutdown.

A total of 582 officer promotions (322 active and 260 Reserve) have not posted to DFAS. Navy Personnel Command Customer Service Center plans to contact each affected officer with further information. Officers will receive pay and allowances at their prior grade. All back pay and allowance will be paid once the system is updated. If the situation continues and ends up impacting November officer promotions, they those officers will be contacted. NPC is working on a fix and will provide further info when they get it.

Boards and Advancement Results:

  • All October statutory and administrative selection boards, with the exception of the Oct. 28 Aviation Major Command and Reserve/Full-Time Support Aviation Major Command boards will be rescheduled. Details will be announced once they are known.
  • Advancement results are expected to be released as previously scheduled.

Updated Oct. 8, 2013, 1:11 p.m. (EDT) with information from Chief of Naval Personnel about pay and allowances

Just this morning, we received word that the Navy now has the authority to disburse all pay and allowances, with exclusions on some Reserve activities.

This means that bonuses, separation, travel claims and many other types payments (including those missed over the last week) will soon begin flowing.

Sailors should check their direct deposit accounts over the next few days for their payments. If by early next week you haven’t received an owed payment be sure to contact your command and personnel support detachment officials officials.


Updated Oct. 7, 2013, 4 p.m. with information from Navy Education and Training Command.  

Advancements and Education:

Advancements

  • Navy Advancement Center does not anticipate last week’s furlough period will result in any delays in the release of advancement results.
  • NAC Call Center is fully operational and will process advancement discrepancy messages/emails in order of receipt.
  • Command Education Services Officers should check their UIC advancement data on NEAS Web for candidate record updates. Cycle 220 late exam (substitute) ordering has been extended until COB Oct. 11, 2013.

Education

  • Navy College Offices are open for normal operations servicing Sailors.
  • Virtual Education Center is open for normal operations servicing Sailors.
  • Tuition Assistance: Service members can submit WebTA applications. However, until funds are appropriated by Congress and the President signs into law, tuition assistance cannot be authorized. Where there were FY13 dollars available prior to Sept. 30, and where a Sailor submitted a command approved tuition assistance form, the Virtual Education Center approved the tuition assistance for courses starting in October and November. These approved tuition assistance requests should not be impacted. If, however, tuition assistance was submitted in FY13 for a FY14 course and the Sailor had reached their FY13 tuition assistance funds cap, those Sailors will have to wait for the budget/continuing resolution to be passed before their FY14 tuition assistance can be approved.
  • DANTES testing (College Level Examination Program, ACT/SAT, DSST) is on hold pending a budget or continuing resolution. This includes administration of exams to active duty members, spouses and civilian personnel. This affects administration of all exams funded by DANTES contracts with the national testing agencies. The stoppage of testing computer-based testing and paper-based testing.
  • Service members may personally pay for retesting of College Level Examination Program and DSST computer-based exams at base sponsored and on campus National Test Centers.

Updated Oct. 6, 2013, 3:30 p.m. with information about the recall of furloughed Department of Navy civilians.

Civilian Employees:

All currently furloughed Navy Department employees should return to work Monday or as soon as practical with the exception of the employees in the categories listed below:

  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) functions, not previously excepted from furlough based on the Contingency Plan Guidance for Continuation of Essential Operations in the Absence of Available Appropriations of September 2013
  • Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO) functions not previously excepted.  Should not be any below the Secretariat/Echelon I level.
  • Legislative Affairs and Public Affairs functions not previously excepted or required in support of internal communications to members of the active service.
  • Auditor and related functions, including Inspector General (IG), not previously excepted. Employees supporting Financial Improvement Audit Readiness (FIAR) activities are excepted and can report to work.
  • Work done in support of non-DoD activities and Agencies (except the U.S. Coast Guard) not previously excepted. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) employees are excepted and can report to work.

Employees in these categories will receive calls from their supervisors Sunday explaining the situation. If you have questions, please contact your chain of command.

We greatly appreciate the work that all our civilian shipmates perform.  We will continue to share information as we get it.

  • The Office of Civilian Human Resources provides guidance, fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, and information on the Department of Navy website which will continue to be updated throughout the furlough. Financial and other counseling services  are available through your Civilian Employee Assistance Program.
  • Additional information on furloughs may be found at the Office of Personnel Management.
  • Please direct your questions to your Command HR offices or email DONhrfaq@navy.mil.

Originially posted Oct. 1 and updated since then:

By Vice Adm. Bill Moran
Chief of Naval Personnel

Shipmates, just finished talking to our civilian N1 teammates, giving them final instructions and answering questions before they (like most civilians around the Navy) will turn on the “out of office,” secure sensitive information and depart on furlough.

We had all hoped to avoid this scenario and further hope that it will be short-lived, wanting to get back to normal operations as quick as possible.

You likely have many questions and may even be a bit anxious as you try to figure out what this means and how you and your family will be affected.

None of us know for sure how long this shutdown will last, but to alleviate some of your anxiety and address some of you questions, below is what we know to date:

Pay and bonuses: (based upon new guidance, this section has been updated from the original post—apologize for any confusion)

For basic pay/Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)/Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

  • The Pay our Military Act will permit us to pay military personnel and excepted civilian personnel on time and in full.  The Department of Defense is reviewing the Act to determine if it offers any additional flexibility with regard to excepted civilian personnel. Additionally,  we are working hard to provide servicemembers a final list of all special pays and allowances to be paid.

Bonuses

  • Anniversary payments for all bonuses will be paid, subject to provision of funds from Treasury.
  • Submission of Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) requests should continue and will be processed for eligibility and prescreening per OPNAVINST 1160.8A and NAVADMIN 077/13. Sailors with pending reenlistment requests for October shall move their SRB request via Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) or Officer Personnel Information System (OPINS) to November 2013 (PERS-811 cannot move the requests at this time) unless they meet one of the exceptions below. Members will not lose their quota because of the move to November. Reenlistments for SRB before Nov. 1, 2013 will only be approved for the following exceptions:
    • Sailors who must reenlist to obtain sufficient obligated service for PCS orders to excepted duty stations
    • Sailors with a hard EAOS in October
    • Sailors who will cross retention zones before Nov. 1, 2013
    • Sailors who will reach 14 years of service before Nov. 1, 2013
    • Sailors who will be transiting from a tax free AOR
SRB payments will be delayed until funds have been transferred to pay accounts.

For other issues, the Command Career Counselor should contact the SRB Help Desk for guidance on processing these issues.  Questions should be directed to EMCM Irish douglas.b.irish@navy.mil (901) 874-2526 or (901) 874-3215.

  • Further Pay and Bonus guidance will continue to be disseminated as it becomes available. We certainly regret the inconvenience and hardship that the shutdown has caused our Sailors, civilians and families.  Navy personnel authorities are working closely with Defense Department pay officials to determine when missed or delayed payments will be made–all owed monies will be paid when funds become available.  We appreciate the continued patience as we work through this highly unusual situation.

Temporary Duty, PCS, Training:

  • Sailors executing TAD orders should be recalled by their parent command.
  • Any PCS move currently underway may proceed.
  • Any PCS move that hasn’t yet started (see caveats below):
    • using FY13 funding and which does not involve intermediate training, may begin.
    • involving intermediate training, shall not begin.
  • Accession and training moves associated with recruitment and initial entry training will continue, along with movement to first duty station when required by a move to an excepted activity
  • Movement to comply with separation instructions will continue

Resources and additional information:

  • If Sailors have specific questions, they should contact their detailer.
  • No boards will be held during the shutdown period.
  • Customer service support will be limited during the shutdown. There will be support available through 1-866-U-ASK-NPC , but the cscemail@navy.mil email account will not be available.
  • Additions and changes to records will not be made at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) -Personnel Support Activity Detachment (PSDs) with military support will be open, however, expect limited support and longer wait times.

Professional Military Education Guidance During Shutdown:

Professional military education courses are not designated excepted activities– where instructors are military personnel or contractors and no additional costs would be incurred beyond the safety of life and protection of property, classes may continue and military personnel may attend; furloughed civilians may not attend.

Military students on extended (e.g., year-long) TDY at service schools (for example War College and Naval Post-graduate School) and civilian educational institutions should remain in place.

Civilian students on training or taking education courses associated with nonexcepted activities are furloughed. For short-term training travel, this ordinarily will entail the student returning to the home station sooner than planned, unless considerations of reasonableness and practicality weigh in favor of return travel as originally scheduled (e.g., where time and expense required for early return travel, compared to the anticipated length of the funding lapse and the originally planned return date, dictates not changing the return date). For mid- to long-term training while TDY, any return travel for the furloughed student at the government’s expense should occur promptly. If a TDY civilian student/enrolled in mid- to long-term training elects to remain in place during the furlough, the student does so at the student’s own expense. Furloughed civilian students who elect to remain in place may not attend scheduled training/classes.

Students should work with their parent command to determine what constitutes “short” vs. “mid/log-term”.

Recruiting:

  • There will be no disruption in the recruiting and processing of new accessions, recruiting station will remain open for business, but no contracts for enlistment bonus can be entered into.

Training Support Center, Great Lakes and learning sites:

  • In-processing of new recruits will continue. For now there have been no changes in published Great Lakes Recruit Training Command (RTC) graduation schedules.
  • The length of the shutdown will determine the exact impact to the training pipeline. There may be delays in moving new Sailors from boot camp to follow-on assignments.
  • The concern is that a shutdown that lasts several weeks could have similar effects to those experienced after Hurricane Ivan, in which large backlogs of students developed within days.
    • It took more than six months to work through the backlog, even with increased classes in the pipeline.
  • Officials at Great Lakes and the Fleet Training Support Centers will provide updated guidance as more information becomes available.

Advancements:

  • The Navy Advancement Center (NAC) will be unable to receive, scan and process Cycle 093 Reserve (Aug. 2013) and Cycle 220 Active Duty (Sept. 2013) exam answer sheets during the furlough period.
  • NAC cannot guarantee eligible candidates will be rank-ordered in time to meet set exam result publication schedules.
  • It is not known whether pay increments for all advancement-eligible Sailors be impacted.
  • Currently, 1,774 Sailors are scheduled to advance on Oct. 16. Pay increments must be set prior to Oct. 10 to be effected.

Additional Information (will be updated as we receive new information):

  • Financial counseling and short term loans are available through Navy Marine Corps Relief Society.
  •  Stateside commissaries will close on Oct. 2 for the duration of the shutdown. Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) commissaries will remain open.
  • Navy Exchanges will remain open.

We know that this shutdown places further hardship on our valuable civilian workforce. Our teammates have already been strained by a summer of furloughs. You are valuable members of our profession and as the Secretary of Defense shared yesterday, “ we are going into this challenge together and we will come out of it together.”

Sacrifice and dedication in the face of adversity is what makes our Navy strong. I ask that in spite of the uncertainty of this shutdown, those of us remain on watch continue to stay focused on the mission as we look forward to our shipmates’ return.

I will continue to keep you informed, sharing what we know, when we know it.

If you have questions not answered within the text above, please leave them in the comment section below and we will do our best to provide you answers as they become available.

Editor’s note: Information originally posted in the blog that is no longer accurate has been removed or updated at the beginning of this blog.

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