Members of Coast Guard Station Juneau, Alaska, shovel snow off their 45-foot Response Boat – Medium on Dec. 20, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios)

Coast Guard to Receive December Paychecks; No Guarantee of 2019 Pay During Shutdown

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard will receive their paychecks for the month of December, according to a Friday email to personnel from Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles W. Ray.

The Coast Guard, as previously reported, is the only service branch of the U.S. military impacted by the partial government shutdown, and while the paychecks will offer welcome relief to active-duty personnel and some reservists, there is no indication that there will be further federal assistance until the White House and Congress reach a compromise to pass a continuing resolution to fund government operations.

“I am pleased to announce the Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard have identified a way to pay our military workforce on 31 December 2018. This one-time action applies to military members that served on active duty in the month of December and those reserve military members that drilled prior to the lapse in appropriation,” wrote Ray in the email. “I must emphasize that this approval covers the 31 December 2018 paycheck. Meeting active duty and reserve military payroll for January 2019 will require a fiscal year 2019 appropriation, a continuing resolution or passage of an alternative measure. Stated very simply, today’s action will not guarantee a paycheck on 15 January 2019.” 

The temporary action helps thousands of service members during the holiday season, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association.

“Basically, this gives our people relief for two weeks to give the politicians time to work this out,” CPOA National President Jon Ostrowski said. “This has relieved the stress on thousands of members who rely on every paycheck.”

SEE: Unhappy Holidays: Coast Guard Only Military Branch Without Pay During Shutdown

What If There Is No Agreement Going Into 2019?

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps impacted by the partial federal government shutdown will be able to secure one-time, low-interest unsecured loans by USAA. 

USAA is offering annual percentage rate loans at .26 percent, and to qualify for a 0.1 percent rate applicants would need to set up an automatic payment plan. The financial services group previously offered zero-percent interest rate loans to impacted service members during the brief government shutdowns this past January and February. 

Meanwhile, Navy Federal Credit Union is offering zero-percent loans under their Government Shutdown Assistance program

 

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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