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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Schultz: ‘Unacceptable’ That Coast Guard Men and Women Need Food Donations to Get By

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz slammed the continued shutdown burden on his service members as “unacceptable” in a video to Coasties.

“Shipmates: Thank you for continuing to stay on the watch. The master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard, myself and your senior leadership team as well as the American public stand in awe of your continued dedication to duty and resilience of that and your families,” Schultz said.

“We’re five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse, and your non-pay. You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden. I remain heartened by assistance available to you within the lifelines and by the outpouring of support from local communities across the nation,” he added. “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 noted Friday’s non-payment of civilian employees as “another sobering milestone” in the government shutdown.

“We have a workforce of 8,000 civilians that work alongside the uniformed members of the world’s best Coast Guard, doing tremendously important things each and every day,” he said.

“Myself and our service secretary, the Hon. Kirstjen Nielsen, will continue to seek solutions. I will continue, along with the master chief, to take to Capitol Hill to message the critical importance of putting paychecks in the men and women’s hands that serve in the world’s best Coast Guard.”

Schultz reminded members to take advantage of mutual assistance. “That is your fund. That is your safety net,” he said. “We have been working with Adm. Cari Thomas (ret.), who is the administrator, they have secured sufficient funds to put money in your hands to bridge through your personal financial challenges.”

MCPO Jason Vanderhaden assured Coasties, “This will end. We will get through this.”

“I want to thank you for your strong leadership thus far in this challenge,” he added to USCG leaders. “Reconnect with your folks. Make sure that you’re understanding their challenges and putting them in touch with the resources they need. When we get through this, I want you to reflect back on your leadership and be proud of what you did and how you took care of your people.”

Added Schultz, “Continue to stand tall. Your dedication, resilience to this adversity defines the absolute best of our nation. Thank you, and semper paratus.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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