Most Defense Civilians Begin Forced 3-Day Furlough Weekends

Flickr user Michael Baird

Each Defense Department entity has set its own guidelines for implementing the across-the-board furloughs scheduled to begin Monday, according to a Pentagon spokesman, though most of the department’s civilians face forced three-day weekends.

“There’s no one set of rules,” said Mark Wright, a Defense spokesman. “Every office has been doing it a little differently.”

A majority of Defense agencies, he added, will allow employees to take unpaid leave on Mondays or Fridays.

Roughly 650,000 department civilians will be furloughed 11 days -- once per week for 11 weeks, beginning July 8 -- due to budget cuts resulting from sequestration.

At least one department organization, the Defense Commissary Agency, will furlough all of its civilian employees subject to the unpaid leave on Mondays. All U.S. -- and some foreign -- commissaries will therefore be closed every Monday from July 8 through September, according to agency spokesman Gary Frankovich.

The DCA will maintain normal hours at some overseas commissaries, where foreign nationals exempted from sequestration will keep them operational.

While Wright could not comment on other Defense agencies closing shop once per week due to furloughs, some military bases -- such as the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga. -- will furlough all its civilians on the same day.

While the furloughs were intended only for Defense civilians, some National Guard members will also begin taking unpaid leave starting Monday, after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added military technicians to the furlough list. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the Marine Corps Logistics Base of Albany, N.Y. It's in Albany, Ga. 

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