The impact of sequestration-required cuts is beginning to be felt in military communities across the country, and now those effects are extending to the National Guard. The Department of Defense has ordered furloughs for one day a week over the next three months. The move could cut their pay by about 20 percent, according to The Associated Press.
Along with less compensation, Guardsmen may also find it difficult to perform their necessary tasks due to the shorter hours. For instance, cutting hours may hurt their ability to respond to natural disasters or other emergencies. This is especially troublesome in some states, like Florida, which will be dealing with hurricane season in the near future.
"Our general sense is that short-term, it's going to be a terrible hardship for those soldiers, airmen and their families. But if it goes on for any length of time, that may have a negative impact on our readiness and our ability to respond," said Hawaii National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony.
Guardsmen aren't the only ones feeling the pinch from sequestration. According to MSNBC, the cuts also reduced federal funding for first responders and firefighters.