Cuts to military child care programs brought on by President Donald Trump’s Jan. 23 hiring freeze have officially reached a new shore — and the Marine Corps.
Task & Purpose learned late Thursday that Camp Courtney’s Chura Warabi Child Development Center has suspended new enrollment in drop-in, hourly child care for the months of February and March. According to a Feb. 14 email sent to impacted families, the decision to halt sign-ups came from a combination of the hiring freeze, PCS-related staffing changes, and rising enrollment.
The email asked families not to reach out for status updates until the week of March 20, 2017, and were encouraged to seek hourly care at Camp Foster’s Chimugukuru or Ashibina CDCs, or at Camp Kinser’s Yuimaru CDC in the meantime. But those commute could be daunting for military families. Camp Foster is about a 20-mile trek from Camp Courtney and Camp Kinser is nearly 30 miles away.
According to an official statement from Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa, staff recruiting efforts that started before the freeze remain active, but no job offers will be issued until a resolution for the freeze is achieved.
“Positions providing child care and positions providing direct support to the prevention of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and suicide, and providing direct support to those affected are exempt from the hiring freeze and will be backfilled once these exemptions are approved by the Secretary of Defense,” reads the statements, which was originally published on Facebook on Feb 6. As of Feb. 23, this was still their official position.
Marine Corps officials are keeping an eye on the situation, according to Maj. Garron J. Garn, a public affairs officer with Manpower & Reserve Affairs.
"The Marine Corps is carefully monitoring the adverse effects of the civilian hiring freeze on operational and family readiness,” Garn said in a statement provided to Task & Purpose on Friday. “To date we've been able to mitigate these effects by carefully prioritizing critical vacancies and requesting selective exemptions via the Secretary of the Navy. We'll continue to track the effects of the freeze and work to mitigate adverse impacts."
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.