There are thousands of civilian employees who go to work every day on the military academy bases. Starting on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, with the federal government shutdown these employees have all been furloughed. Their jobs range from highly complex to repetitive and mundane, but they are all vital to the intricate running of the service academies.
According to the
A parent of a second year midshipman said, “These kids have found themselves in the middle of this shutdown. The civilian teachers teach most of the higher level classes and now they are gone. The military instructors are trying to take over but there are no enough of them and it isn’t their area. It’s not good.”
The parent went on to say that the midshipmen have been notified that if the shutdown continues for much longer, the academy will shut down completely and send the students home. For some students, an unscheduled trip “home” would be an undue hardship. Every year there are on average 15 international cadets and 30 veterans in any given class at
Other civilian employees that are noticeably absent this week are meal service workers. There are a few enlisted personal who work in the mess hall who can keep meals coming for a short period of time but not for long. A
The students at the academies do not wear jeans and sweatshirts to class. The uniforms that they are required to wear and some of the only clothing they are permitted to have on base are dry clean only, but the laundry staff are civilians.
All of the barbers at the academies that keep the students groomed so they can meet regulations are also not members of the military.
The Air Force Academy is reporting the most severe impact of the three major service academies at this point. Their website lists closures that include; cancellation of 20 percent of classes, closing the Cadet Chapel, closing the fitness center, closing the library, cancelling flying operations and decreased medical care.
With this level of impact, the core mission of the Academy will be affected.
No academy has felt the federal shutdown as much as the
This year’s federal shutdown could have an effect on the military academies into next year.
For those who have not yet received their academy appointment yet, the news is even worse.
One source close to the nominating process explained the future impact by saying, “High school seniors, candidates for admission, need congressional nominations and with the congressional offices shut down, the offices that are normally providing those nominations between now and the end of the year are unable to do that.”
The military is dependent on a certain number of 2nd Lieutenants entering the military services each year and those coming out of the military academies each year are usually the brightest and the most successful.
If the academies are forced to weaken their programs in order to comply with an extended federal shutdown, the future military leaders would also be weakened.
This is a much bigger problem than a football game.
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