Federal hiring freeze could cause more disruptions to military services
WASHINGTON — Officials are warning that military families could see more disruptions in services as a result of President Donald Trump’s temporary federal hiring freeze.
Staff shortages have already forced cutbacks in some child care services at U.S. military installations in the wake of Trump’s hiring freeze, which bans the Defense Department from hiring replacements for most employees who quit their jobs.
In addition to child care issues, commissaries and exchanges around the world report longer-than-usual lines. Some facilities have been forced to close or curb operating hours due to a shortage of employees, according to spokesmen for the organizations that run the on-post stores.
Thousands of jobs at the Defense Commissary Agency’s stores and hundreds of service-run exchanges cannot be filled until the 90-day hiring freeze that Trump ordered Jan. 23 is lifted.
It is difficult to track down exactly how many jobs have been impacted by the hiring freeze, even in specific categories such as child care. Defense Department spokesman Johnny Michael said the department is in the process of collecting data from across its force to assess the hiring freeze’s impact on the military. But even weeks after that process began, he said the Defense Department had no specific information it could provide.
The freeze has come at an already-difficult time for some of these programs, including the Army’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs that have in recent years faced restructuring and budget cuts from sequestration among other factors, said Nate Allen, a spokesman for the Army’s Installation Management Command based in San Antonio, Texas.
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