Government shut-down

How a potential shut-down will affect Fort Polk:

Should the U.S. Congress not pass a government funding bill before the midnight April 8 expiration date, a government shutdown will take place that affects about 800,000 federal employees.

According to Department of Defense officials, operations and activities that are essential to safety, protection of human life and protection of our national security are “excepted,” which means they will not shut down. All other employees will be furloughed in a non-pay status and may not telework or volunteer to work.

The DoD will continue to conduct activities in support of national security, including operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan; Libya –related support operations; and other operations and activities essential to the security of Fort Polk.

On Fort Polk, both excepted and furloughed employees were notified by their supervisors April 8 of their status. Both furloughed and excepted employees must report to their place of duty at 8 a.m. Monday, April 11th where furloughed employees will receive further instructions from their supervisors. Contract employees should contact their supervisors for instructions.

Please take note of the following information as it pertains to Fort Polk:

  1. Government shutdown will not affect access control at Fort Polk’s gates, the visitors control centers operations and vehicle registrations. 
  2. CajunFest will take place as scheduled Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Headquarters Field. The community is invited to attend. Those without DoD decals on their vehicles may access any gate with a valid driver’s license. A 100 percent ID check will be enforced.
  3. All star weekend performance will take place as scheduled Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Bayou Theater.
  4. BJACH will be forced to curtail activities/services to comply with the directives.  As such, the following services will operate as follows:

Under normal operations at BJACH:

  1. Emergency Room
  2. Inpatient Services
  3. Behavioral Health
  4. SRP Medical Operations
  5. BJACH support to Joint Readiness Training Center rotations
  6. Managed Care Division (referrals to TRICARE network providers
  7. Class VIII support to JRTC operations

The following services will operate at BJACH, but with reduced staffing/services:

  1. BJACH outpatient clinics: Appointments scheduled for Monday, April 11, will be kept. Afterwards, only acute appointments and two-week well-baby exams will be kept. Previously scheduled non-acute appointments will have to be cancelled and re-accommodated after the shutdown ends.
  2. Immunizations:
  3. Pharmacy
  4. Lab
  5. Radiology:
  6. Operating Room: Emergency/urgent surgeries only plus all surgeries (including elective) for Warrior Transition Unit Soldiers. No elective surgeries will be performed for other beneficiaries during the shutdown.
  7. Patient Administration : Medical records, eligibility certification
  8. BJACH Dining Facility: (only open for inpatient feeding); dining room will be closed for all meals.  No service to non-patients/visitors.

Remaining open at the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Education:

  1. Army Community Service (open); includes Army Emergency Relief, Exceptional Family Member Program, Family Advocacy, Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Deployment and Mobilization, Survivor Outreach
  2. Child, Youth and School Services (open); includes Child Care Centers, School Age Services, Family Child Care, Middle School Teen Program, Youth Sports
  3. Business Operations (open); includes Mulligan’s, Spare Time Lounge, Strike Zone Bowling Center, Warrior Hills Golf Course
  4. Community Recreation (open); includes Cantrell Gym, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Gym, Toledo Bend cabins, trailers and RV sites, car wash. 162d Gym is closed and Operations Group Gym will remain closed through Monday.

Key DFMWR facilities that are closed:
Community Recreation Division, Auto Crafts, Arts and Crafts, Allen Memorial Library, Gator Store, Shooting Range, Alligator Lake Office, Rental Center, Warrior Community Center, Showboat Theater, South Fort 50-meter pool, Soldier Sports Program, Toledo Bend boating

Fort Polk commissary: The Commissary will remain open during normal operating hours.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service: Facilities remain open. Some transactions, such as the purchase of firearms, which require background checks and other federal government actions, will be delayed

Defense officials said that military personnel are not subject to furlough and will report for duty as normal during the shutdown. Reserve component personnel should refer to the DoD Contingency Guidance document and to their chain of command for more specific information. 

However, during the shutdown, the DoD will have no funds to pay military members or civilian employees for the days during which the government is shut down. Both military and civilian personnel will receive pay for the period worked prior to the shutdown.  Military personnel, and civilians occupying excepted status positions and required to work, are entitled to be paid for work performed during the shutdown, and will be paid retroactively once the department receives additional funding. Congress would have to provide authority in order for the department to retroactively pay non-excepted employees for the furloughed period.  

Military retirees and annuitants are not paid from annually appropriated funds, and therefore their benefits should continue without interruption. 
For more information access information and frequently asked questions at


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Last updated: April 8, 2011 7:44 p.m.