By now you have at least heard in passing that our fearless (and often guileless) leaders have failed to pass into law a federal budget, unless the rock you are currently hiding under is substantially thicker than a Marine Recruit’s skull. This should come as no surprise to anyone however, as we have not had a federal budget passed since 2009, and the continuing “funding resolutions” have been hotly contested by the thermally charged gaseous vessels up in Washington, D.C. “What care we?” you may ask. Well, due to an outstanding conversation I had today with a concerned Officer, I figured I would toss this out there for the general benefit of those who care to waste a minute or two of their lives that they will never get back.
1. A MARADMIN was released with instructions to all Marine Corps units directing the actions to be taken due to nothing but lint left in the pockets of the DoD. This effectively halted all future training and TAD that is not deemed “mission essential.” Now we all know that the term “Mission Essential” can be broadly applied, as in the case with painted sand bag art, but if there is a cool-guy school you have been promised to attend, it’s not going to happen. In addition, if you thought you would get a reprieve from your Commander who was about to attend a conference, sorry to say but your favorite LT will be moping around the office even more uselessly than before.
2. If you are in the long line of former Marines awaiting on VA claims you have even longer to wait now as the VA is down to just essential staff. One would think that essential staff were those tasked with ensuring the benefits you have earned are processed, however the entire waiting process is actually a calculated step by the VA. Knowing that Marines have an affinity for standing in line, the long waiting process is established to make us feel more like we have never left the service, and just as you mutually bitched about the problems with the Corps while in a days long line at CIF, now you may do the same with the VA process. Sharing is caring after all.
3. The powers that be have managed to avoid a lapse in military pay by passing a funding resolution that continues to process “all regular pay and allowances,” which is great… except for the irregular pay and allowances. Now don’t you fret, if they owe you jump pay, hazardous duty pay, or a re-enlistment bonus, you will eventually see it once a budget has been approved. Just like all other pay issues, DFAS will work diligently and aggressively to correct any issues with a service member’s compensation through utilization of their highly skilled staff that is currently furloughed. Expect your back pay right along with that VA disability check (another line is forming about… now.).
4. If you truly enjoy sushi from the base commissary, no longer will you have raw fish to go with your chapped ass- base services will be indefinitely suspended throughout the “crisis.” There are plenty of other options however, like your lovely neighborhood Sodexo-run chow hall. These facilities are located across every Marine installation and offer daily servings of all the essential vitamins and nutrients, to include heart burn, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, queasiness, loss of balance, hemorrhoids, and a general feeling of paranoia or anxiety (pepto bismol not included). And if you happen to live off base, you can share your dining experience with the whole family with a to-go tray. Even the family dog will enjoy the meal, and may or may not clean his tounge on his posterior afterwards as a palate cleanser.
So, in short, please remain clam throughout the shutdown and trust in your elected officials (much like you would trust in your elected prom queen) to solve the world’s problems. If for any reason you run into personal struggles during this time, the D-Stress hotline is still operating- I know because I checked- these guys keep the mission going and can be reached at (877) 476-7734 if your buddies in line at the VA have gone catatonic and unresponsive to your pleas. Oh, and don’t worry so much about seeing a doctor- we still have health care for all now, even if we can’t figure out how to pay the doctors. Keep calm and Slave on friends, I have to get back to a line somewhere.