Non-Profit Groups Help Offset U.S. Coast Guard Pay Gap
The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it is sending an initial $250,000 in family support to assist Coast Guard families impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.
The shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history, and this week, it became the first ever to hold up military servicemembers' pay. 42,000 active-duty Coast Guard servicemembers missed their paycheck on January 15 due to the lapse in appropriations.
“We are here to support the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard, who continue to stand the watch during this challenging time,” said Susan Ludwig, president of the Coast Guard Foundation. “While these funds will not cover the $150 million it takes to fund the service's payroll, we can send our help to those who continue to put their lives on the line every day and serve our nation with pride.”
The Coast Guard Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association to distribute the support to members around the country. Many other servicemembers' and veterans' groups are also joining the effort: the American Legion's Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program is prioritizing grant requests from active-duty Coast Guard families, and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) board has approved an interest-free loan program for lower paygrades.
In an interview Thursday, former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen (ret'd.) had strong words for the nation's political leaders. “The current leadership in Washington is not meeting their constitutional duties . . . It’s not responsible leadership - executive, congressional - it doesn’t matter,” he told the Huffington Post. “If you get to some point where you have people required to work, not being paid, their families subjected to stress, I think sooner or later you have to expect there’s going to be a problem with readiness and ability to respond."