From my understanding of this furlough the DoD is cutting hours worked a week from 40 to 32 hours (4 workday week). Civilian workers will not be getting back pay for hey did not work and cannot use leave to compensate for the loss. This is not a shutdown furlough where they could work without pay or take leave till the budget is passed. The DoD has told workers if furloughed they can work a second job as long as it does not interfere or create a conflict of interest with their position. It will be tough times for the lower payed government workers, GS-9 and below, and those with families.
You’re right, the lower grades with children are going to get hit hard.