Commissary trims, some DOD school furloughs begin mid-April
By JENNIFER HLAD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 4, 2013
WASHINGTON — All commissaries around the world — about 250 — will likely be closed an additional day each week and DOD school employees will see furloughs as part of the Pentagon’s effort to impose the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, Defense Department spokesman George Little said Monday.
Commissary employees also will be subject to furloughs, Little said. About 64 percent of commissary employees are military spouses, dependents or veterans.
The closures would start mid-April, around the same time DOD employees worldwide face furloughs. According to a Marine Corps personnel website, the average servicemember can save about 32 percent by shopping at the commissary. That means a $128.40 savings for a family spending $400 a month.
Military exchanges will not be affected by the closures and furloughs because they have a different funding source, officials said.
And, while it wasn’t previously clear how DOD schools would be affected by the sequester, Little said Monday that all academic and support employees of the schools will be subject to the furloughs that will impact the rest of the DOD civilian workforce.
Still, he said, the department is “going to do everything we can to protect the education of military children” and ensure a fully accredited school year.
The DOD serves more than 84,000 students at nearly 200 schools in seven states, Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and 12 countries.