Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, July 18, 2019

ROTC students' pay, training halted for government shutdown

ROTC students' pay, training halted for government shutdown

Fiona Decaudin leads an early morning PT session in 2010.

Training and compensation for members of AU’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program came to a halt because of the Oct. 1 government shutdown.

“Presently all government service employees are on indefinite furlough and we have had to… postpone critical training in the near term due to lack of funding,” Lt. Col. Michael Donahue of the Georgetown Hoya Battalion, which includes AU’s ROTC program, said.

Many ROTC cadets planned to spend last weekend in land navigation and tactics training. However, this was postponed because of the shutdown.

This is not the first time decreased government funding has affected Army ROTC programs. Sequestration forced three of the Hoya Battalion’s government service employees to reduce their work hours and compensation by 20 percent last spring and summer, Donahue said.

“We endured this and remained capable of providing our cadets with the excellent administrative and logistical support they needed…because those same… employees worked exceptionally hard to set the conditions before their furloughs took effect,” he said.

Donahue said he hopes to make up this training once funding is available.

“While we cannot predict how long this will last, we remain committed to training and developing the best young officers in the Army- and we will continue to do so,” he said. “We are working hard to find innovative ways to educate train and develop our cadets to our same excellent standard within our new fiscal constraints.”

Students involved in ROTC declined to comment.

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