DOD act ends furloughs for civilians at Fort Riley

By Kristina Jackson

Furloughed employees at Fort Riley are back at work after a Department of Defense action recalling a majority of civilian workers.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Saturday that furloughs issued as a result of the government shutdown would end. The announcement came after a department examination of the Pay Our Military Act determined that the law permitted the return of some civilians.

For Fort Riley, this meant the restoration of some services that had been reduced or eliminated after the shutdown began last week.

“Fort Riley is very pleased with the news from the secretary of defense. It is the right thing to do — to bring back our civilian workers who are a part of Team Riley and who serve our soldiers, veterans, retirees and their family members daily,” said garrison commander Col. Andrew Cole.

The Fort Riley Commissary resumed regular hours Monday, as did many other services. However, a few institutions are still seeing the effects of the shutdown.

Fort Riley’s museums, including the Cavalry Museum, 1st Infantry Division Museum and Custer House, remain closed. The Leisure Travel Center and Eyster Pool are operating with reduced hours.

Sen. Jerry Moran was one of 50 senators who approached the Department of Defense in support of recalling civilian employees under the Pay Our Military Act.

“I was pleased that a total of 50 senators could put their differences aside, quickly come together in a bipartisan manner, and join me in making our position clear to the Department of Defense,” Moran said.

After reviewing the law, the department recalled civilian employees who have direct contact with soldiers or soldier services.

“The professionalism our civilian employees — those excepted and those furloughed — have shown despite personal hardships during this shutdown is admirable,” Cole said. “They have been on point for Fort Riley and the nation. Each member of Team Riley is crucial in ensuring our continued success.”

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