The Bayonet

Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2013

Around the Army: Sequestration set to impact schools, commissaries

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WASHINGTON — Civilian personnel at Department of Defense Education Activity schools and the Defense Commissary Agency will be affected by sequestration, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.

The department will struggle to ensure Department of Defense Education Activity, or e — which serves 84,000 students at 194 schools — maintains an accredited school year, Little said.

“We’re mindful that we need to protect the education of military children,” Little told reporters at the Pentagon. But teachers and support personnel at DODEA schools will be subject to the furlough. DOD civilian personnel will be furloughed one day a week from April through the end of September, unless Congress intervenes.

“We are going to do everything we can to manage the furlough process in a manner that enables military children to receive an accredited school year for this academic year,” he said.

Summer school will not be affected by furloughs, Little said, but the first month of the 2014 school year could be.

It’s also “likely,” he said, that the 247 commissaries worldwide will be forced to close one additional day each week. Commissaries are already closed Mondays. Commissary workers also will be furloughed, Little said.

“This will cause pain,” he said.

Furloughs will cut into commissary workers’ paychecks, and for patrons, it means there will be one less day each week to shop at a military commissary. This would not start immediately but would kick in at the same time that furloughs begin — probably at the end of April.

Sequestration, which also will affect military readiness and operations, is “something we are going to have to manage, while we protect the country,” Little said.

Jobs open for Soldiers after leaving active duty

WASHINGTON — As the Army begins downsizing, a personnel official said Soldiers who leave active duty should consider the opportunity to continue serving in the Army Reserve as individual mobilization augmentees.

About 1,300 individual mobilization augmentee, or IMA, positions are currently open with Army commands worldwide, said Lt. Col. Steven Kesling, chief of Reserve Programs and Policies Branch, G3, at Human Resources Command.

A total of about 4,000 authorized IMA positions exist at approximately 75 Army commands ranging from Department of the Army staff level on down to battalion-level units.

A large number of those positions are for senior noncommissioned officers, known as NCOs, and officers, Kesling said.

“Most of those authorizations are going to be E-7 through E-9 and O-4 through O-6 kind of opportunities,” Kesling said. “It gives the Army an opportunity to train a reserve-component Soldier who can be used relatively immediately and reactively in contingency situations.”

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