Military Veteran Bonus Scandal Might Be Much Worse Than Initially Reported

ZH: The Pentagon and Congress are both promising quick fixes to the scandal surrounding excessive National Guard bonus payments to soldiers. However, the nearly 10,000 California Guard soldiers involved may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The U.S. military prompted outrage and Congress’ attention over the weekend when news spread that it was demanding thousands of California National Guard service members pay back erroneous or fraudulent bonuses. Those payments were offered when it became difficult to recruit enough soldiers for enlistment or reenlistment during the most active years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Los Angeles Times first reported Saturday that the California Guard had sent payback notices to almost 10,000 guard members.

On Wednesday, Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter paused all further repayment requests from the Pentagon.

“While some soldiers knew or should have known they were ineligible for benefits they were claiming, many others did not,” Carter said in a statement.


“About 2,000 have been asked, in keeping with the law, to repay erroneous payments,” the defense secretary explained, adding that the Pentagon’s “established process” had mixed results. Stating it has already “granted relief” to hundreds of members, Carter continued, “that process has simply moved too slowly and in some cases imposed unreasonable burdens on service members.”

While the change of plans is welcomed among servicemen who refused to pay the bonuses back, the White House is not sure how the Pentagon will handle those whodecided to pay them back anyway out of a sense of duty.”

Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported, the California National Guard proposed a legislative fix, adding “legislative language related to ‘service-member debt relief equity.’” According to the document obtained by Politico, the National Guard suggested the change because “[t]housands of soldiers have inadvertently incurred debt, through no fault of their own, because of faulty Army recruiting or accounting practices and malicious individuals.”

Despite bringing up the difficulties service members had been going through at the time, the National Guard’s list of priorities for the fiscal 2015 NDAA makes no mention of the Pentagon’s bonus recoupment policy.


5 Comments on Military Veteran Bonus Scandal Might Be Much Worse Than Initially Reported

  1. I’m afraid that a lot of us here at iOTWr are old enough that the military people we got to know, and the institutional ethos that existed back then, were laudable for patriotism and desire to serve. Alas, those people and that ethos have dwindled to a small minority.

    Those men and women who were in the military (whatever branch/flavor) for the right reasons have a valid moral and legal claim on the crooked recruiters who offered them money that wasn’t actually legally available. They should, heck MUST be relieved of the debt they unknowingly incurred for the best of reasons.

    As for the rest of the mercenaries, and I’m not using that word inaccurately in a lot of cases, fuck ’em. If they were in it only for the money, and knew the bonuses were bogus, then suck ’em dry.

  2. They don’t need or want warriors anymore. The military now exists for social experimentation, feminism, affirmative action, and multi-cultural diversity not to fight wars or provide for the common defense. Our pussy leaders will surrender to the mouse that roared at the first chance!

  3. How many millions have been spent of taxpayer money on Barack Obama’s vacations and all of his golf outings everywhere, everyday? How many millions flying this repugnant, American-hating family of deadbeats around? THEY should have to pay everything back!

    OH! And if the money-grubbing Clinton’s are such lovely, giving people with their so called Charity Foundation, how about THEY pay the solder’s bonuses back?

    How many years have our military protected both of these families with their lives? And this is the thanks the Obama and Clinton Regimes repay them back???


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