Virginia National Guard begins return to normal operations after partial government shutdown

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr.

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr.

To All Virginia National Guard Personnel and Families:

Today we begin an orderly return to normal operations after the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1, 2013. We anticipate all furloughed employees will return to work by Friday, Oct. 18, and we will be very glad once every one of them is back on the job. There are still details we are sorting out as we review the Continuing Appropriations Act and await final guidance from National Guard Bureau. I ask for your patience as we complete our plans for return to duty.

We want to thank every one of our employees and their families impacted by this shutdown for their understanding and support. I regret that we had to deal with the situation in the first place. I commend the Virginia Guard’s senior staff for their extraordinary effort in working through all the issues related to the shutdown and trying to ease the impact on our employees and their families.

I also want to thank our families who continue to support us during the most difficult situations, and we also owe a special debt of gratitude to the employers of our Soldiers and Airmen for their support as we were forced to reschedule drill periods cancelled in October and rescheduled later in the year.

Army and Air Guard units will conduct drill in November. Because each unit rescheduled training based on mission requirements, Soldiers and Airmen should contact their chain of command to confirm how their drill schedule has changed and when they should next report for duty.

Because of the many different categories of state and federal personnel we have, there is no one easy answer for questions in regard to retroactive pay for furloughed employees or other administrative and financial matters. The best thing to do is contact your supervisor and work through your chain of command to address any issues. If for some reason you are not able to resolve your concerns through your supervisor, we have several phone hotlines available to answer questions and provide information:

Army Guard AGR and Technicians: 888-775-9190
Air Guard AGR and Technicians: 757-704-0252
State Employees: 434-298-6110

The Virginia National Guard has family assistance centers at several locations across the state and also has a financial advisor available to help any employee impacted by the shutdown. More information about the FACs is available at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/fac/.

The government shutdown has been a difficult and challenging situation for all of us in the Virginia National Guard; one thing I am very proud of is the fact that we maintained our ability to rapidly respond if we were needed to aid the citizens of the Commonwealth. The shutdown forced us to reschedule weekend drills and other training, prohibited us from conducting routine maintenance and flight operations, and it will take us time to fully recover. But even with those obstacles, we were still ready if our fellow citizens needed our help, and that is a significant accomplishment.

Each and every one of you plays an important role in the mission of the Virginia National Guard, and I hope that everyone can return to duty knowing that you are valued members of the team. Let’s now get beyond the past 16 days and focus on the way ahead.

Major General Daniel E. Long, Jr.
The Adjutant General of Virginia