More than 500 South Dakota National Guard employees could lose 20 percent of their salaries iIf automatic federal spending cuts are triggered come March.
The national guard announced its plan to comply with the potential cuts, without compromising their mission readiness.
Five hundred and forty eight full time personnel, about 200 located in rapid city, would be forced to lose one day's work and pay for a period of 22 weeks.
The furlough would add up to $4.2 million dollars in wages that the agency would save.
But National Guard officials say the furlough will compromise their defense, planning and training missions, and has decreased officer morale.
"The financial hardship this is going to cause our families, we can see that in our economy because they're going to spend less, and not do some of those things they were able to do before," said Major . Anthony Deiss, Public Affairs Officer with the South Dakota National Guard.
The South Dakota National Guard employs 918 full time employees. Those included in the furlough: military technicians and civilian employees.