Donald Trump can add another "first" to his norm-shattering presidency. He's officially the first president to let a government shutdown interrupt the paychecks of military service members.
The U.S. Coast Guard joined the thousands of federal workers going without pay this week when their first scheduled paycheck of the shutdown came due. Coast Guard Commandant Karl L. Schultz sent out a memo explaining the lack of pay to Coast Guardsmen.
"Today you will not be receiving your regularly scheduled mid-month paycheck. To the best of my knowledge, this marks the first time in our Nation’s history that servicemembers in a U.S. Armed Force have not been paid during a lapse in government appropriations," Schultz wrote.
The admiral added that he understands the pain this missed pay can cause and announced that the Guard was working with USAA to provide relief to struggling families of Guard members.
"I recognize the anxiety and uncertainty this situation places on you and your family, and we are working closely with service organizations on your behalf. To this end, I am encouraged to share that Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) has received a $15 million donation from USAA to support our people in need," he said.
Schultz also noted that the Guard is merely the latest group of federal employees to go without.
"It is also not lost one that our dedicated civilians are already adjusting to a missed paycheck—we are confronting this challenge together. The strength of our Service has, and always will be, our people," he said. "You have proven time and again the ability to rise above adversity. Stay the course, stand the watch, and serve with pride. You are not, and will not, be forgotten."