How The Military Is Affected By The Government Shutdown

President Obama signed a bill ensuring members of the military will be paid during the government shutdown, but here are some other effects of the shutdown.

1. President Obama signed a bill ensuring the military would be paid during the government shutdown, but United States armed forces are being affected in other ways.

Us Marines / Reuters

2. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, says soldiers need intelligence to carry out their missions but the CIA, like other government agencies, is losing employees due to the shutdown.


“All DoD work will stop on weapons and equipment maintenance not directly related to war, bases will not be maintained and we will see a degradation of facilities,” he said. “You’ll see massive disruptions all across this country.” While the Defense Department will continue to operate with service members and essential employees after a shutdown, Durbin said a gap in funding would “cripple our intelligence community.” “We rely on their agencies to warn us of threats, to prevent terrorist attacks and inform leaders making critical national security decisions,” he said.

3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Tuesday that the government shutdown raised a “dark cloud of uncertainty” over overseas military missions that would raise doubts among key allies, inevitably damaging U.S. credibility.

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

4. Army aviation has reportedly been grounded except in Afghanistan.

In the guidance on Defense.gov for the government shutdown, the movement of military personnel is said to be “limited,” and only movement to essential activities will continue as well as movement from essential activities as long as the commander deems it necessary.

7. While the government will pay civilians and contractors who support the military, there will be other complications.

8. About 400,000 of the Defense Department’s civilian employees will be furloughed.

Andrew Burton / Reuters

About 400,000 civilians, including tens of thousands in California, would be furloughed and would be paid retroactively only after congressional approval, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Department of Homeland Security is planning to furlough just less than 14% of its employees.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the home of the 82nd Airborne Division, plans to put about 38% of its civilian workforce on furlough if the shutdown goes forward, Bragg officials said Monday.

9. Veterans and the retired military population will be affected during the shutdown.

Michael Probst / AP

“We have to remain hopeful that Congress will reach some sort of compromise that won’t financially devastate millions of disabled veterans and survivors, as well as those who provide protect and secure our country,” said Joe Davis, national spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to Military.com.

“The fact that funding for VA benefits could disappear in a month ought to be incentive enough for our elected leaders to achieve a solution,” said Daniel Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion. “Our federal government must never put veterans in this kind of position.”

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