FORT SILL, Okla.-- Department of Defense (DoD) civilians at Fort Sill are now preparing for furloughs of up to 11 days.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is reluctant to make this decision because he "knows that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DoD operations."

The furlough days two per pay period will begin no earlier than July 8 and will be spread out over the last three months of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

On March 1, sequestration went into effect across the federal government. DoD's budget for fiscal 2013 was reduced by $37 billion, including $20 billion in the operation and maintenance (O&M) accounts that pay many civilian workers.

"This is an unpleasant set of choices, but this is the situation we face," said Hagel. "Furloughs will be imposed in every military department as well as almost every agency."

"We continue to prioritize readiness and programs based on our strategy, while adjusting to the fiscal resources available," said Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general.

"We refine and synchronize the Armywide plan focused on top priorities, to reduce the anxiety and impacts of budget uncertainty on our installation and the surrounding community. Collectively, we are working to minimize impacts on our readiness, Soldiers, Department of Army civilians, families and the local community."

The plan is for furloughs days to happen at the rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel.

For now, DoD plans to continue furloughs through the end of fiscal 2013. That schedule will mean 11 furlough days or one fifth of the week for about one quarter of the year.

Furlough timeline:
1. May 28-June 5: Furlough proposal notices will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs.
2. June 4-12: Individual employee reply periods end seven calendar days from when the proposal was received, unless component procedures allow for a different reply period.
3 June 5-July 5: Furlough decision letters will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs, depending on when the proposal was received and prior to the first day of furlough.
4. July 8: Furlough period begins no earlier than this date.
5. Sept. 30: Furlough period ends.