This was provided to me from a source in the Pentagon.
Direct from the Horse's mouth on what is being changed right now with benefits.
FROM: Robert F. Hale, United States Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
SUBJECT: Additional Guidance for Handling Budgetary Uncertainty in Fiscal Year 2013
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide some additional guidance to the Deputy Secretary of Defense's memorandum on "Handling Budgetary Uncertainty in Fiscal Year 2013", dated January I 0, 2013, to ensure consistency in the treatment of issues across the Department of Defense (DoD) as the reductions levied by sequestration and a year-long continuing resolution are implemented. All of these policies are effective immediately.
Congressional Travel Support
The Department will enforce strictly DoD's policies in its support of travel by congressional delegations (CODELs) and congressional staff delegations (STAFFDELs). It is DoD's policy that support for approved travel of members and employees of Congress shall be provided on an economical basis upon request from Congress, pursuant to law or where necessary to carry out DoD duties and responsibilities. Organizations need to ensure that travel of members and employees of Congress is sponsored by the DoD only where the purpose of the travel is of primary interest to and bears a substantial relationship to programs or activities of DoD and is not solely for the purpose of engendering goodwill or obtaining possible future benefits. Specific guidance is included in DoD Directive 4515.12 (DoD Support for Travel of Members and Employees of Congress) dated January 15, 2010. Some specific policies worth highlighting include:
• Military airlift will not be used for CODELs if commercial airlift is reasonably available.
• Within the Continental United States (CONUS), no CODELs may use military
airlift as commercial airlift is readily available.
• Military airlift may be authorized for CODELs when in a Combatant
Commander's theater if commercial airlift is limited or unsafe; every effmt must
be made to minimize costs.
• Spouses may accompany members ifthere is an official function as long as they
pay their own expenses and do not increase the number or size of aircraft required:
• Minimum number of congressional members for military airlift originating in CONUS.
• No less than 5 members for large aircraft
• No less than 3 members for small aircraft
• Tickets purchased by DoD for CODELs, STAFFDELs, and liaison escorts.
• Must be economy class; individuals may upgrade at their own expense.
• DoD does not pay for a member's personal staff traveling to his/her home
State/District; this includes travel, lodging, meals, or escorts.
All itineraries for CODELs/STAFFDELs must be approved by the escorting Service's 2-star Legislative Affairs Director to ensure that the itinerary is an efficient use of taxpayer's funds.
All Services should consider significant reductions in funding new tuition assistance applicants after the date of this memorandum for the duration of the current fiscal situation.
Civilian Monetary Awards
Consistent with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB Bulletin #M-13-05, Agency Responsibilities for Implementation of Potential Joint Committee Sequestration), the Department will not issue discretionary monetary awards for its civilian employees, which should occur only when legally required, until further notice. For bargaining unit employees, all bargaining obligations must be fulfilled prior to implementing the OMB guidance.
Participation in International Events
The Department should limit its participation in international events except in those instances where individuals are supporting Foreign Military Sales and the funds supporting these efforts are not being sequestered because the accounts are exempt from sequestration.
All aerial demonstrations, including flyovers, jump team demonstrations, and participation in civilian air shows and military open houses will cease as of April 1, 2013.
Flyovers in support of military funerals will be given special consideration. To ensure consistency across the Department all exceptions and waivers for demonstration flying will require the concurrence of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs before approval.
Support to Non-DoD Organizations
All military support to non-DoD organizations for outreach activities will cease, except when the Department has authority to retain any reimbursement and is fully reimbursed for all incremental costs incurred in providing the support. This includes, but is not limited to, military equipment displays at civilian air shows, parades, and civic events.
Fleet/Service weeks as well as military open houses, and local community relations activities are permitted as long as the support/equipment can be provided locally and at no cost to the Department.
To ensure consistency across the Department, all exceptions and waivers for support to non-DoD organizations and special events will require the concurrence of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs before approval.
Military Musical Unit (and Ceremonial Unit) Travel
Military musical and ceremonial units will not be permitted to travel beyond the local area immediately surrounding their respective duty stations except when all transportation, lodging, and subsistence, are provided by the requesting organization and can be accepted in accordance with existing law and Department policies, or where the Department has authority to retain any reimbursement and is fully reimbursed by the requesting organization for all incremental costs.
Units may continue to perform locally both on and off military installations as long as those performances can be conducted at no cost to the Department.
To ensure consistency across the Department all exceptions and waivers will require the concurrence of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs before approval.
Additional guidance will be provided as issues surface that require a DoD-wide policy.
Robert F. Hale