Will Military Members Get Paid if the Government Shuts Down?

Will military members get paid during a government shutdown? The answer is usually yes. But it's not a guarantee. Learn more about why the government shuts down and how it impacts military pay and benefits.
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Will Military Members Ge Paid During a Government Shutdown?
Table of Contents
  1. Why Does the Government Shut Down?
  2. What Happens if the Government Shuts Down?
  3. Will Military Members Get Paid During a Government Shutdown?
    1. Most Recent Government Shutdowns and Impact on Military Pay & Benefits:
    2. Other Ways a Government Shutdown May Impact Pay & Benefits
  4. Will Federal Employees Get Paid During a Government Shutdown?
    1. Some government employees may not be required to report to work.
    2. Will Federal Employees Receive Back Pay? 
    3. Can Federal Employees Claim Unemployment Benefits During a Furlough?
    4. How does a government shutdown impact non-DoD federal employees and military contractors?
  5. What Happens to Other Federal Benefits During a Government Shutdown?
    1. What About Military Health Care Benefits?
    2. What About Veterans Health Benefits?
    3. What About VA Disability Compensation?
    4. What about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.?
  6. Lessons Learned from the Last Government Shutdown
  7. We Need to Take Control of Our Finances
    1. Build an emergency fund
    2. Reduce your debt
    3. Increase income
  8. Stay Informed
  9. Bank with Someone Who Understands
  10. Take Control Where Possible

In what seems to be a recurring theme, the U.S. government is rushing up against the deadline to pass the spending bill to fund the government. This includes, among many other things, military operations.

The US government has experienced several shutdowns in recent memory, the most recent of which was a 35-day shutdown in 2018 that extended into early 2019.

How would a government shutdown affect the average American, and just as importantly, what would it mean for our men and women in uniform?

These are great questions. A government shutdown impacts a large segment of our population, including federal government employees and military members. But what about military retirees, Social Security Recipients, and recipients of other government and military benefits such as Tricare, VA benefits, and more? The answers to these questions vary, depending on several situations.

Why Does the Government Shut Down?

First, let’s start with a little background on the situation. The most common reason the U.S. government shuts down is for failing to pass an Appropriations Bill (essentially a budget). The next most common reason is the government runs up against its Debt Ceiling, which is its ability to borrow money. The inability to borrow money would prevent the government from making debt payments, causing it to default on its sovereign debt.

The US government is required to pass a spending bill each year. These appropriations bills can be equated to their budget. But the government also needs to pass an Authorization bill, to give the government the authority to spend the funds.

The military is funded through the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA. The 2024 NDAA has been passed by Congress and received President Biden’s signature. In 2024, the law allocates $841.4 billion to the Defense Department and a 5.2% pay raise for military and civilian members of the department.

Note: The Appropriations and Authorizations are all based on the Fiscal Year.

The Federal Budget extends for the Fiscal Year, which begins on October 1st and expires each year on September 30th. Without passing a new spending bill, the government will essentially shut down. However, the government can pass a Continuing Resolution (CR), which allows the government to continue functioning for a certain amount of time.

Continuing resolutions are not automatic and must be voted on and passed before they can be enacted. These CRs also come with expiration dates. They can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Sometimes, the continuing resolutions are extended, or new continuing resolutions are passed to buy more time.

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What Happens if the Government Shuts Down?

Each government shutdown is slightly different. The Office of Management and Budget determines the exact government agencies a government shutdown will impact.

In general, emergency and essential services remain operational. This usually includes the military, air traffic controllers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), federal law enforcement officers, and federally funded medical personnel.

However, it does not always include the entire Department of Defense workforce, including traditional members of the Guard or Reserves, dual-status technicians, and many others.

In some instances, Congress passed emergency funding bills to keep certain government organizations operational while other parts of the government were temporarily shut down. This emergency funding included military pay and benefits in some years, while others did not.

We can’t tell you for certain how any given shutdown will impact government or military operations because each situation is unique. But we can give you some examples from recent years.

Will Military Members Get Paid During a Government Shutdown?

The most recent government shutdown in 2018 – 2019 did not cause Department of Defense (DoD) members to miss a paycheck. This means that all military members, retirees, annuitants (survivor benefit recipients), and DoD civilian employees who fall under the DoD received their normal paychecks.

However, other members of the Uniformed Services that do not fall under the DoD were not funded under those government spending bills. That means members of the following organizations went without pay until the government shutdown was over:

  • The US Coast Guard (USCG), which falls under the Department of Homeland Security,
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which falls under the United States Department of Commerce, and
  • The Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) which is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services concerned with public health.

The 2018-2019 government shutdown also saw the cancellation of many Guard and Reserve drill periods. Many civilian members who support the Guard and Reserves were also furloughed during this period.

Most Recent Government Shutdowns and Impact on Military Pay & Benefits:

Thankfully, most military members were paid during the most recent government shutdown. However, military members have missed paychecks in some previous government shutdowns.

Here is a recent history of how government shutdowns impacted military pay and compensation:

Government Shutdown DatesShutdown DurationWas Military Pay Impacted?
December 2018–January 201935 Days– DoD members received full pay and benefits.
– Most Guard & Reserve units cancelled training and many DoD civilians were furloughed.
– Uniformed Servicemembers not in the DoD were impacted (USCG, NOAA, USPHS).
Jan 20 – Jan 22, 20183 DaysNo impact to military pay.
201316 Days– Military pay was not impacted. However, DoD civilians and many dual-status technicians were furloughed.
– Furloughed employees eventually received back pay.
Nov 14 – Nov 19, 1995, and
Dec16, 1995, to Jan 6, 1996
5 Days, and
21 Days
– Military pay was delayed.
Government shutdowns and impact on military pay

Other Ways a Government Shutdown May Impact Pay & Benefits

There is a difference between a full and partial government shutdown.

In a full government shutdown, it is possible that military members may not receive their full pay and benefits such as BAH and BAS. However, other benefits, such as health care, would generally be available.

When the DoD is fully funded before the shutdown, or if there is a partial government shutdown, there may be no impact on your military compensation, including your base pay or other benefits such as your BAS and BAH.

Again, this may apply differently to members of different organizations. Check with your parent government organization for further clarification.

Can I Take Leave During a Government Shutdown? In previous government shutdowns, military members were forced to cancel leave because, technically, the government is not allowed to permit government workers to take paid leave while there is no spending plan due to the way paid leave works from an accounting standpoint. 

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Will Federal Employees Get Paid During a Government Shutdown?

As mentioned above, some essential and emergency government personnel are exempt from government shutdowns. However, shutdowns can still greatly impact the federal employee population. For example, during the 2018-2019 government shutdown, approximately 25% of federal employees, or an estimated 800,000 individuals, went without pay.

To add insult to injury, almost half of the 800,000 employees who weren’t being paid were still required to attend work. The remaining members were furloughed, which means they still have their job, but they aren’t required to report to work. And none of them were being paid while on furlough.

Some government employees may not be required to report to work.

If a funding bill is not passed, most government employees will be temporarily furloughed and will not be required to work until a spending bill is passed. However, there are exemptions, especially for those whose work is required for national security, including most military members.

In previous shutdowns, some military members were not required to report to work. These groups of military members will be broken into exempt and non-exempt categories. So operations in war zones, humanitarian relief, and many people involved in critical fields including medical, security, and transportation will continue to work.

Will Federal Employees Receive Back Pay? 

Congress has authorized back pay after some previous government shutdowns. And there is every indication that will be the case this time around. However, that doesn’t do much for those federal employees who aren’t currently being paid for their work or forced time away from work.

Can Federal Employees Claim Unemployment Benefits During a Furlough?

Yes, most states will allow furloughed government employees to claim unemployment benefits. However, most states will also require the unemployment benefits recipients to repay the benefits if they later receive back pay from the government. So this may not be the best option if it causes you to accrue debt to your state employment office or bureau.

More tips on how to deal with the government shutdown.

How does a government shutdown impact non-DoD federal employees and military contractors?

Many other government civilians will not receive pay during the shutdown, and many government and military support facilities will be closed. Check with your base for a list of current closings.

A government shutdown may also impact some government contracts if the contractors cannot access government facilities or perform their contracted duties.

What Happens to Other Federal Benefits During a Government Shutdown?

Note: The following types of payments are generally safe during a government shutdown:

  • Military Retirement Pay
  • GI Bill benefits
  • VA Disability Compensation & VA Health Care
  • Social Security benefits
  • Medicare and Medicaid

The government shutdown will only affect paychecks for government spending, which must be approved annually. Some military-related payments are made from a separate pot of money and likely won’t be affected. The following payments are expected to continue without interruption during a government shutdown:

What About Military Health Care Benefits?

Military healthcare benefits should continue during a government shutdown. DoD medical and dental care facilities will remain operational and will continue inpatient and outpatient care during a government shutdown.

What About Veterans Health Benefits?

VA healthcare facilities will remain operational. However, some VA medical professionals who do not work directly with patients may be furloughed. This can include those involved with research or non-critical tasks.

What About VA Disability Compensation?

VA disability compensation should continue during a government shutdown, at least for the foreseeable future. During the 2013 shutdown, VA officials warned of the potential for VA disability compensation delays if the government shutdown dragged on for several weeks.

What about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.?

Certain mandatory, non-discretionary, and entitlement payments are unaffected. This means the government will continue sending Social Security Benefits to recipients. 

Medicare, Medicaid, and VA health care benefits would continue during a shutdown, but payments for the care may be later than normal. So be aware of this when planning any non-emergency or low-priority medical care. Also, note that many non-emergency veteran healthcare services were curtailed during previous government shutdowns.

Lessons Learned from the Last Government Shutdown

The last government shutdown affected just about everyone in some way. And for many of us, it was scary. Would we get paid? Would veterans benefits continue?

The answers changed depending on the day of the week. Until laws were changed, no one would get paid. Congress eventually passed a law that ensured active duty military members would get paid, but many non-military government employees were furloughed without pay (many of them will get back pay, but that doesn’t account for the problems many people incurred while they were without pay).

There were other problems:

Many members of the Guard and Reserves had their drills canceled, reducing their points for the year, and leaving them without their expected drill pay.

Numerous base activities and benefits were temporarily canceled or shut down. The Commissary, base exchange, child care, and other base benefits were unavailable.

In short, it was a bad dream for most military members and government employees. And here is the worst part: it can, and likely will, happen again.

Like the last few times dealing with the debt ceiling, the government placed a band-aid on the wound. They didn’t make a permanent fix. This has been going on for the last two years and will likely continue unless the government passes a permanent solution.

In the meantime, it is up to all of us to do as much as possible to take control of our lives. Here are some tips we can all use to get on a better financial footing so the next time something like this happens it will still be an inconvenience, but hopefully, it won’t be catastrophic.

We Need to Take Control of Our Finances

It is hard to be in control when you are in the military. You go where they tell you to go, you get paid when the government says you get paid, etc. I get that. But there are things we can all do to help ourselves be in more control of our financial lives.

It starts with our day-to-day and week-to-week living. Living paycheck to paycheck is tough; for many, it is a reality. But we all need to try to get ahead of the paycheck game. (Yes, I know it is hard to live on an enlisted salary, but tens of thousands of military families do it daily).

Getting out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle: There are no secrets here. The only way to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is to spend less than you earn (or earn more than you spend). It won’t happen any other way. Here are some recommended tips to get you started:

Build an emergency fund

An emergency fund is a savings account you set up for a rainy day. You don’t touch it unless you absolutely need to. There is no magic number for how much money you need in your emergency fund, but a recommended starting point is $1,000 (you don’t have to stop there; just set that as a target to get started). That is a lot of money, but you don’t have to put it all in immediately. Start saving $25 a week, or $50 a paycheck, or whatever you can afford to put away. The money in your emergency fund will help you deal with unexpected expenses, such as a flight home, a car accident, or a government shutdown. Your emergency fund will help you avoid relying upon credit cards or other loans in an emergency.

Reduce your debt

Debt is nothing but an anchor to your financial growth. It is hard to cut back your spending when you have a large portion of your income tied up in monthly payments. Every bit of debt you reduce now is less money you have to spend before it hits your bank account, making it easier to weather the storm of a government shutdown or other event that limits your cash flow.

Increase income

Increasing your income is a great way to supercharge your savings or reduce the time you take to get out of debt. Not everyone can work part-time when in the military (and most military members shouldn’t). But there are other ways to earn more money, including having a side business, or a hobby that can generate income. Spouses may also be able to work part-time, either in or out of the home. Any additional income can make cash flow problems easier to deal with.

Stay Informed

The government shutdown was not a static event. There was news about it in the weeks leading up to it, and a constant news stream during the shutdown. There was no permanent solution, so it is very possible this can happen again. Be ready if it does. If you see anything about this in the news, start preparing as soon as possible. Cut expenses where possible, save what you can, encourage your spouse to look for part-time work if possible, etc. Look at your personal situation and adjust as necessary. Preparing even a month out can reduce your stress levels.

Bank with Someone Who Understands

I recommend banking with a military financial institution such as Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or United Services Automobile Association (USAA). (There are likely other good financial institutions out there, I am recommending the ones I am most familiar with).

All of these financial institutions are built to serve their members first, not shareholders like corporate banks. (Credit Unions, by definition, are owned by their members, and USAA is under a unique charter; they too are owned by their members).

Because of these differences, these financial institutions are able to do things for their members that other financial institutions won’t do, such as offer low-interest or interest-free loans during a government shutdown. They may also offer other forms of assistance to help members get through a difficult period. These organizations sometimes offer additional member benefits during a PCS or deployment, better customer service than most large commercial banks, better financial products, fewer fees, and more. I recommend looking into joining one of these institutions if you aren’t already a member.

Take Control Where Possible

At the end of the day, the government shutdown was a major inconvenience for many people. And that is unfortunate because the shutdown harmed the people the government is supposed to protect. That makes for an eye-opening experience for many of us. For me, it reinforced that I need to take as much control into my hands as possible.

Note: Here are some tips for Dealing With a Missed Military Paycheck. These tips can show you how to get by on your own or how to contact your lender, landlord, or financial aid service to get help with this situation

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  1. Danielle says

    This article is wrong. Not all branches of the military are being paid during the 2018-2019 shutdown. Yes Department of Denfense is funded, but the Men and Women of the U.S. Coast Guard are not. Even though they are under the Department of Homeland Security, they are designated as an armed force/ branch of the military in 14 U.S. Code § 1. They missed their first paycheck this morning.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Danielle, You are correct, the Coast Guard is a military branch. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, which is where they get their funding.

      There are several uniformed services with the same pay scales as the US military.

      These include the Coast Guard (USCG), which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which falls under the United States Department of Commerce, and the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) which is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services concerned with public health.

  2. Doc says

    This is a sad day in this country when the people that serve to defend our way of life have to worry about how and if the love ones are good to go. This needs to stop and now…………..

  3. kenneth smith says

    What if we veterans and our service persons just say no and don’t work for our gov. in any thing they want us to do? We can go and stop our own gov to force them to pay us all. I will not use the new haelth care service coming in Oct-2013 or use it in Jan-2014. I will force them to pay me and we can all do this fight.

  4. angela says

    This is crazy! How can the government expect our men and women in uniform to work for free! The last time I checked that was slavery!! My husband is an E3 in the Army, he is currently deployed to Afghanistan! We have 2 small children our son is 5 with special needs and our daughter is only 15 weeks old! If he does not get a paycheck PLEASE tell me HOW am I suppose to feed our children, buy diapers, wipes, pay the bills or even put gas in the car! The hot heads in Washington need to stop thinking about themselves and actually THINK about the American people that they promised to serve! Maybe they should all be handed m16 and loaded on a plane and sent over to Iraq or Afghanistan and made to protect this country! Maybe then they would respect the military more and provide for them the way they should!!

  5. Jennifer says

    What kills me is that the reason the Republicans won’t agree to a deal has NOTHING to do with the debt crisis. They were happy to run up the debt for years so who is going to believe they really care now? They won’t agree to it because they hope it will hurt Obama. He’s been compromising on everything but that’s making them even angrier. Sadly for them, most Americans are middle class and are not going to agree that they should pay for the debt crisis with their tax money while Americans making millions are paying 5% of their income in taxes. Fair is fair and it’s ridiculous that they’ve been allowed to exploit the middle class for so long. Whether you like Obama or not, if you aren’t making over $500,000 a year, you are a lot better off with him than a Republican.

  6. Martina says

    back pay, no pay, get rid of soldiers, way to go for the economy, dont these people realize that Military creates jobs to, but hey guess we can live with another 1 or 2 percent of unemployed anyways.

  7. kim says

    back pay? really….do you know how hard it is to get back pay from the military? near impossible! it’ll take ages for everyone to get their back pay, and even longer if the payments are incorrect. Another thing, these troops are going off to war and willing to give the ultimate sacrifice yet the government is saying “sorry, we can’t pay you…but you’re still expected to risk your life in the war zone.” so as i’ve said before they’re good enough to die but not pay? what a slap in the face. what about their families? who’s going to pay our rent, buy food for us and our kids, etc? Are the morons in capital hill still going to get paid? most likely, so why don’t they opt to give their checks to those who will not be paid…since they don’t need the money…and if they knew this was going to be an issue why did they get a 6.1 million dollar bonus to split between themselves?!

    • Lewis says

      ok i know everyone is angry but you signed up to serve ME personally i told them i would fight and give my life and thats what i intened to do pay or no pay yes i have a family but we will make it because i trust god so with that i will serve and give my life pay or no pay im serving my COUNTRY not my POLITICANS their not the country the U.S CITIZENS are the country…

  8. Kalen says

    As someone who has many friends in the military I think this is outrageous. My father went through hell in Vietnam and if he was told he had to continue doing it without pay I would take that a personal insult fifty years later. These men and women don’t get paid much but forcing them to hold out for free would be sick.

  9. Pete says

    Freedom is not free!!! How bold is it that Congress wants to continue to get paid while those who protect their freedom, those that put their lives on the line sit back and suck it?!!! If we look back on the foundations of democracy, this would have resulted in armed revolt against the Senators in Rome. And what does the rest of the country do: they sit back sipping their coffee and just let it happen! Enough is enough–it is time for Americans to become more politically involved and if the freshman republicans think this is an appropriate way of conducting the business of the country they have no place in Washington. Lead, follow or get out of the way! If republicans don’t want to do the right thing find someone who does! But don’t expect the military to sit back and just let it happen.

  10. Christian says

    Well, here’s the thing. I’m a A1C in the airforce. You can’t quite critique the present politics ability to do their job, you are kot them. You don’t know the difficulty in trying to form a budget of a whole country with 300 million+ people . At some point in your life your abilities were questioned it’s the same thing just on a bigger scale. Yes their job is to make a budget and just because they are trained in that does not mean they can just magically come up with an amazing bill. Just like if your on the battlefield in a firefight and your surrounded and your out of options to get out safely you can’t magically come up with a plan. You have to take the necessary measures to form a coherent and productive plan. I’m a in the medical field and I work with doctors every day in the ER an sometimes it takes them three hours to come uobwith a diagnosis or a plan of action for a particular patient. The patient gets mad because it takes forever or their left in the dark but the soca can’t help it. And plus a responsible individual should have savings Yo fall back on, you can’t complain about not making it if through out your life you spent money on things you didn’t need rather then saving the money. That’s your fault. I’m a A1C and I’ve been working since I was 6 and I saved money since then. Should have Bren more like then going out and blowing your money

  11. Valerie says

    As disgusted as I am with all this I’m still trying to stay informed and prepared for anything. With that said, my husband pays child support every on every pay check. How will all this affect his child support payments. Will the little that we might get paid end up going to child support? Or….?

  12. Tye says

    So, should we start taking bets now on whether or not these “officials” will get paid overtime for fixing the budget?

  13. sarah says

    will the shut down effect me getting a replacement social security card?? because i just got a new job and i need to get that before i can start..i heard it won’t effect it but then i heard it might so…..??

    • Ryan Guina says

      Sarah, it may. The government is currently working on a possible extension that would give them through the weekend to work on this situation, but it’s all still up in the air at the present time. The best thing you can do is continue checking with the news and with the Social Security website to see if their services have been affected. You won’t be able to get a replacement card over the weekend, so be sure to watch the news and check in first thing Monday morning.

  14. Chelle says

    Can I just clarify what was written here about leave? If an R&R is scheduled to take place and the government is shut down, they will cancel it completely, or delay it until the government resumes operations?

    My fiance has been overseas for the past 8 months and set to come home shortly. He’s been on a downhill slope mentally for the last month and the ONLY thing keeping him going right now is a chance to be home for a couple short weeks. They are really going to take that away from him? After he’s watched all of his counterparts coming and going for R&R? The pay…is a non-issue for us. We will be fine as far as our savings is concerned. (Though I feel terrible for those that will be affected by the pay-delay.)

    Cancellation of R&R would really put him over the edge…

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chelle, it may cause the postponement of leave. Based on what I have read, leave may be canceled because of an administrative issue regarding how leave can and cannot be processed. Unfortunately, we are all in a wait and see mode.

      Best of luck to you and your finance, along with everyone else who may be affected by this possible shut down.

  15. Phil says

    Oh well that’s nice, I get half a check to feed me my wife and my 14 month old daughter plus play all my bills. It’s ironic how if any military member failed to perform his or her duties could possible be discharged.. Yet that’s the reason we’re not getting paid. DISGUSTING!

    • Sarah says

      I know there are many of you out there with more difficult situations and loved ones overseas. However, my fiance and I are having trouble making ends meet due to the fact that his BAH hasn’t come through since April. He went back to school full time along with working full time and the government had been giving him his BAH since, but for months now he has been getting the run around, telling him the paperwork has been on their supervisor’s desk and just waiting to be processed every time he calls. Does anyone know what is going on? We can’t support our family without this money and we wouldn’t have counted on it if we hadn’t been given it in the first place.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Sarah, The best advice I can do is to recommend your fiance call every day and ask to speak with the supervisor until the situation has been resolved. I would also take down the information each time you make a call so he has good records of the conversations. This would include the date and time he called, the name and rank of the person he spoke with, their phone number, the answer he received, etc. Each time he receive an unsatisfactory answer he should politely request to speak with the person in charge.

        Additionally, your fiance should speak with his First Sergeant. It’s his job to help his troops resolve situations such as these.

  16. Valerir says

    Its an absolute outrage that congress will be payed and soldiers will not.
    Then what should happen is that they should send all the congress members and anyone else involed in this ‘budget agreement’ to replace my and every other soldier that is away from their family over seas as well as here in the US. Soldiers and their familes make enough of a sacrifice already to be put through this. And to think that the military is the one of the few places that one can have ‘job security’ and ‘stability, what a joke! The government that is. Im disgusted!

  17. Ryan Guina says

    Valerie, I’m sorry to hear this. The Govt. has until midnight tonight to reach an agreement, and if they reach an agreement before the next payday, then there shouldn’t be much disruption, if any. Military members will receive back pay if there is an issue. I will write another article on this topic and how military members and their families can cope. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.

  18. Angelis Pseftis says

    So we checked our LES (Leave Earning Statments) today and this is what they say, I for instance am not getting ANYTHING on the 15th. Some people are getting half pay, Some even less.. a Master Sergeant in our unit with 22 years is only getting 500 dollars.. WTH! I just filled Chapter 13. My ex wife left 2 years ago and cleaned me out while over seas. No im paying for it… I was dealing with it and for the first time in a long time I thought I could start rebuilding. Now Im sitting at my desk at work and seeing a 0.00 pay out on the 15th.. How am i supose to pay rent, eat, even put gas in my car?

  19. belmares says

    we are getting paid not only from national guard but post 911 G.I bill ,my question is will post 911 G.I still get paid every month

    • SB05 says

      The article stated that GI Bill recipients WILL continue to receive their payments, as it comes out of a “pot” that is separate from the budget in question. It’s pretty sad that these so called “professionals” can’t even figure out how to balance a budget. There are many large companies in America that have a small group of say, 5 people who keep the budget under control. How many pinheads do we have that are doing essentially the same job in our government?

  20. amanda says

    Being a member of the military, I have a question. Shouldn’t we also recieve interest on the money we will not be recieving on time? If I don’t send my full payment to the credit card company each month I owe them interest. If you are not going to pay me in full so I can pay my bills, I need to recieve additional money to off set my troubles.

  21. Steven S. says

    I would like to know who is resposible for this so we can vote them out of office and replace them with someone that can do their job right!

    • James P says

      Steve, I agree whole-heartedly with you. But unfortunately, we would have to wait until 2014 to vote them out. Seeing as how they just had mid-term elections, right?

      • Gwen says

        Actually, there are a couple of ways this could be done before 2014. They could be impeached or they could be recalled. Personally, I think they should all be charged with “Dereliction of Duty”. My true feeling is that they all need to be investigated and possibly charged with treasonous actions against this country.

  22. charyn says

    What does that mean for the soldiers in training? will they be recycled, stay in training without pay? What????

    • Ryan Guina says


      It shouldn’t affect soldiers in training as far as being recycled. What will most likely happen is they will report as they normally would and continue with their training. The pay situation will likely be the same as the rest of the military, which means military members in training may experience some delays in pay. Keep in mind this isn’t final, and a lot is left unknown at this point. The best thing to do is pay attention to announcements by unit leaders. In all likelihood this will not be a prolonged event.

  23. Gerald says

    Form my viewpoint as a Senior NCO on Active Duty, I can’t help but have feelings of being attacked with another Terrorist attact, this time from within. I can handle a missed paycheck, but only because I have some laidback. Our Junior military members already (for the most part) are living from payday to payday with a small ability to save because of their rank and pay scale.
    I would have less heartburn in having pay delayed because of a Government shut down if Congress, Senate and the Whitehouse Satff to include the Commander-in-Chief’s pay is cut off as well.

    My biggest concern is that deployed Soldier who has a family back home not going to get paid; this cannot have a possitive affect on them when they need to have their mind on the battlefield. If we loose one individual because of this TERROR ATTACK on them…..

    And we all have sworn to defend to Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and demestic.

    • jessica says

      I sir am an A1C which means i make next to nothing as it is. My husband and i are both active duty and we have a child. He is currently deployed. We have a little bit of savings but im not sure if it’s enough to get us through this. They expect me to be able to afford rent, utilities, car payment, food, and child care. How do they expect me to do all of this? I love my job and i love putting on this uniform everyday, but times like this definitely make me question what we are all fighting for.

      • Lewis says

        we need to wipe the slate clean with the governmet by that i mean they need to re-elect all new people but dont lsoe faith in our government they will come up with something i have TWO children and a wife and im an e-3 in the army i am worried but trust god and everything will work out for the best just pray and trust in him..

  24. Lillie says

    I hear you on being a military wife. My husband is over there fighting also. I this the government needs to buck up and do the right thing. They need to make sure the MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE GET PAID and those people is THE MILITARY. All they are trying to do is line their pockets while we worry if there is going to be a way for us to feed our children, go to the doctor, or even talk to our soldier that is over there fighting to keep this country free.

  25. Mari says

    What are we as military spouses supposed to do when our husband is deployed and no money comes in? My husband is over there risking his life and if we don’t get a paycheck I think the back pay should have interest tacked on seeing a lot of us will have to pay bills with a credit card or loan.

  26. Jeff Austin says

    I’m in the same shoes as most of you but luckily I happen to live in base housing when it comes to rent. For the marines who did live out in town who had questions were told something about the Soldiers and Sailors Act that protects us from stuff like this. Get with your banks and let them know (most banks, especially the ones who work mostly with military already know like Navy Fed.) In most cases you will be protected. What me and my wife did was contact all our payment obligations and inform them of the situation and ask for a extension. The most important thing to me is my family’s needs first (groceries/gas). I’m not totally sure but most places will be okay offering a payment extension if its needed. I’m a E5 so a missing paycheck will really cause issues in my home. Hope I helped!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Thanks for your reply, Jeff. Right now the best we can all do is watch the situation and await guidance from the top. Hopefully this all comes to nothing.

    • kevin says

      the problem with that is some of us are in combat zones and don’t have the time or resources to do all the prep work for that they made a mistake on my pay and i am not receiving any money for this month now i have to wait for this to be done with to get my back pay for that and now this how to i keep my car and stuff from getting reposed when I’m off in a combat zone in another country.

  27. robert says

    What if I can’t pay my house payment and my interest rate goes up becauseof it. Are they going to give me extra money a month to cover this new cost. What if my wife just sues the government what would happen.

    • Russell says

      I talked with my shirt today about it and he said “If they don’t pay us and we miss a payment that we cannot get out of, the government will NOT give us extra pay because of it.” So we’re all SOL if that happens. I feel your pain brother, If I miss a car payment and my credit drops the government wont help me fix it. =\

  28. jessica says

    This country made a promise to pay me just like i made a promise to serve to the best of my ability. I am outraged by this issue.

    • ALYSON HIGDON says

      Jessica – keep up the good work and don’t lose hope. This is just insane – truely and I voted for the president. My nephew is in the Army and is very scared right now as with many many many other millitary peeps!!!! This just makes me sick! You have put it perfectly into words without saying too much – right to the point and I love it!!!!!!!!! You deserve to get paid and then some! Thank you Jessica and good luck in all you do! God Bless!

  29. Pat S. says

    I actually saw your post earlier on Cash Money Life about this same issue, and left a comment over there. The outpouring of rage we are seeing (even though this hasn’t even happened yet) is just a small dose of the betrayal that will be felt by the military if congress allows this to stretch on.

    @ Jessica: Although I’m an officer, and luckily have a little bit put aside for this type of thing, I worry the most about people in your shoes. Many of the men and women I fly with on a daily basis are really concerned about this, especially those with families.

    Indeed, Ryan is right. This won’t go on forever, but I am outraged like the rest of the commenters on this post. If one service member misses a payment or meal because of congressional ineptitude, it would be inexcusable.

    What if the military did our jobs this poorly? We don’t have that choice, because lives our on the line. Congress needs to realize that lives are on the line even more with their decisions, and in this case livelihoods.

  30. jessica says

    I am an E3 in the Air Force which means i make less than what some families on welfare make. Now i may not even get a pay check. I have done my job and continue to do my job, so can they please step up and do their job. I live 30 miles from my base so how can i afford the gas and my car payment to get me to work if they wont pay me?

    • Lewis says

      umm your an e-3 in AF if that happens then ….. RUN to work?? 30 miles well lets see run some walk some run some walk some…

  31. MATT says


    • Ryan Guina says

      Michele, right now this hasn’t happened. I am remaining optimistic about the potential shutdown and its effects. The last two government shut downs were temporary in nature, and the pay disruption wasn’t long (and everyone received back pay). It would be political suicide for all political parties to let this drag on too far. If the government doesn’t reach a spending plan agreement by Friday, then they will work overtime until they reach one. It may get ugly, but I don’t think it will last long. The best thing I can say is to hang in there and wait for more information. Best of luck and thanks for your service.

      • VALERIE says


      • Mrs. Hopkins II says

        I am a military wife also with a family of 5 and my husband an Air Force E-5 is only getting $553. I honestly don’t know what we are going to do. I am a fulltime student and the only income I recieve is from my post 9/11 VA Education benefits and that’s only $333. I agree with you about the back pay because that’s money we need now. When we do recieve back pay, it will not be enough to pay bills that will be back owed. I mean we will have bills to pay with late fees and reconnect fees. My husband and the rest of these service men and women don’t deserve this. They all work too dang hard for their money to be issued out like this. The government need to get it together before they lose alot of folks, who will not be re-enlisting. THIS IS BEYOND CRAZY…THIS IS MAD CRAZY!!!

  32. Craig says

    If military gets backpay anyway, why not just pay them? Its unreal that managing a budget is their job and they cant even get it right. If I couldnt do my job, I’d be fired. Maybe thats what needs to happen to them.

      • Gene says

        That’s exactly what will happen Nov 2012. Fire the Republicans who won’t raise taxes to balance the budget, but want to cut everything, including taxes on the rich. Go figure! Vote for someone who cares about jobs, workers’ rights, women’s rights, education and the elderly. Vote the Dems back in!

      • Peter Wesson says

        This country is taxed to death. I am only middle class, and I pay over a quarter of my income in taxes to the federal government alone, not counting what I have to pay to the state. Tax cuts do stimulate jobs, I have seen it happen first hand. It just takes longer, it’s the “I want it now” mentality that has bankrupted this nation. If you want communism, go to Cuba.

      • Aaron says

        Let’s see? Didn’t the fiscal year end in October? Which party had majority control of the government and could have passed any law or budget that they wanted to without a single bi-partison vote from the other side? Oh Yeah! It was the Democrats! Yeah, that’s just who I want to re-elect. A group of morons that don’t do their jobs. The country spoke in November and the Republicans, for once, are trying to make good on their campaign promises. Get a life!

      • Clint says

        Well said Aaron. Nancy Pelosi’s House failed to do their job in FY10, so that is why we were in this situation last month.

        Gene fails to realize that in order to balance the budget, raising taxes AND cutting spending needs to take place. Taxing the rich just makes it easier for them to shelter their assets, then the raised tax rates roll on down to the middle class. It’s simple economics people.

  33. Jack C says

    It’s disgusting that congress will still get paid while military won’t. I recall being a private with a family to feed and many times not having enough to eat. Back pay, great, but most of us didn’t have any savings to fall back on. I guess there’s that disconnect between the have’s in washington and the have-nots doing their work for them.

    • Mary Schwass says

      Why should congress get paid during the time they can’t come to an agreement ??!!!

      Don’t pay them .. & I guarantee they will come to an agreement much faster… Congress needs to get back inside the box !!!!!

  34. Linda Brindle says

    what if some of the military say the heck with it and come home.were not doing it for free when they have bills to pay,and no money and loose things

    • Ryan Guina says

      I hear you, but it ‘s not worth going AWOL for what will likely be a temporary situation. I guarantee the politicians in DC can’t afford to have military members go without pay – it would be a political disaster for them. My guess is they come up with some form of temporary solution for military members if this were to drag on.

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