The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."
While Schultz praised the "outpouring of support" from local communities who have donated daily essentials, he sharply criticized the situation and said he would "continue to seek solutions" on Capitol Hill.
"But ultimately, I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members," Schultz said.
"This will end. We will get through this," Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Vanderhaden added.
In a statement to Coast Guard service members last week, Schutlz offered his support after receiving word their paychecks were delayed.
"Today you will not be receiving your regularly scheduled mid-month paycheck," Schutlz said in a statement.
"I recognize the anxiety and uncertainty this situation places on you and your family, and we are working closely with service organizations on your behalf," he added.
Around 800,000 federal employees and contractors are affected by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The Coast Guard, which operates under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security, was reportedly not able to pay around 42,000 active-duty service members last week.
The shutdown, which has been ongoing for more than a month, marks the first time a branch of the military was not paid.
Around 3,500 Coast Guardsmen in Washington and Oregon are reportedly affected by the shutdown, the majority of whom are working without pay. Food banks have been operating to support the service members, similar to those that have sprouted up in other areas of the nation for federal employees and contractors.
President Donald Trump, who is demanding $5.7 billion in funding for a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border, faces opposition from a Democratic-majority House, who have refused to pass any funding bill that includes spending on the barrier.
An E-2D Hawkeye assigned to the Bluetails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 lands on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Will Hardy)
Nobody can be told what The Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself.
More than two decades after The Matrix showed the world what the future of the sci-fi action flick could look like, Warner Bros. Pictures plans on producing a fourth installment of the groundbreaking epic saga, Variety first reported on Tuesday.
Sailors from Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 1 conduct category III qualifications on the M2A1 heavy machine gun at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. CRS-1 is qualifying for future mobilization requirements. (U.S. Navy/Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kenji Shiroma)
The Navy is considering giving Ma Deuce a quiet new update.
A competitor performs push-ups during the physical fitness event at the Minnesota Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition on April 4, 2019, at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec)
Despite what you may have heard, the Army has not declared war on mustaches.
The Army W.T.F! Moments Facebook page on Monday posted a memo written by a 3rd Infantry Division company commander telling his soldiers that only the fittest among them will be allowed to sprout facial hair under their warrior nostrils.
"During my tenure at Battle Company, I have noticed a direct correlation between mustaches and a lack of physical fitness," the memo says. "In an effort to increase the physical fitness of Battle Company, mustaches will not be authorized for any soldier earning less than a 300 on the APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test]."