The Defense Commissary Agency announced that most military commissaries will close on Mondays when the Pentagon’s furloughs of civilian defense employees begin in July as a result of budget sequestration. The furloughs are scheduled to start on July 8 and run through September 30, meaning the commissaries will be closed on up to 11 Mondays through the end of the fiscal year, according to the agency’s May 24 release. “We know that any disruption in commissary operations will impact our patrons,” said Joseph Jeu, the agency’s director. “We understand the tremendous burden this places on our employees, who, when furloughed, will lose 20 percent of their pay,” he added. Jeu said Mondays should be the least painful days for customers, employees, and industry partners. Commissaries that are normally closed on Mondays will close the following day as well, states the release. The furloughs will impact all of the agency’s more than 14,000 US civilian employees, states the release. The agency has 247 commissaries in 13 countries and two US territories. (Fort Lee report by Kevin L. Robinson)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.