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DoD Allowed Government Spending At Casinos And Strip Clubs, According To New Report
Some of the military employees who collectively charged more than $1 million to government credit cards at casinos and strip clubs weren’t held fully accountable by managers, and officials didn’t act appropriately to prevent national security vulnerabilities and further misuse, according to a new federal report.
The report, released Tuesday by the Defense Department Inspector General, followed up on an investigation of travel card misuse from July 2013 through June 2014. The follow-up report focused on 30 card-holders identified in the initial investigation as highest-risk spenders, examining what managers did to address the misspending.
The follow-up review found shortcomings in military travel management’s response to the problems identified in the initial investigation.
Supervisors failed in some cases to discipline personnel, prevent more misspending and sufficiently train employees on appropriate charge card use. Some employees weren’t offered help for gambling and financial problems that may have led to personal spending, and in two cases, supervisors failed to promptly report misuse to security clearance officials.
In the initial report, military management said taxpayers didn’t foot the bill for the improper spending because users are billed directly and pay out of pocket. They may then submit expenses for reimbursement.
But the follow-up review found that 22 of the 30 cardholders sought and received reimbursement totaling $8,544 for charges including lodging and meals on days employees weren’t traveling and ATM fee reimbursements associated with casinos and strip clubs.
An example in the follow-up report of management’s delayed reporting to security clearance officials was an Army sergeant first class, who, according to the initial report, spent $16,400 at Temecula’s Pechanga Resort and Casino between 2011 and 2014.
Supervisors didn’t report the misuse to security officials for almost a year after learning of it, and the employee had access to classified information during that time, according to the follow-up report.
In some cases, managers could or should have identified other misspending and didn’t, the report said. And sometimes misspending continued after managers were aware of the problems.
A Naval Special Warfare petty officer who was identified in the initial report as spending at least $1,100 at four adult establishments while traveling on business in Texas. He was counseled, trained and had to sign a new agreement for a government travel card during 17 days of government travel.
The follow-up review found that he misspent another $29. He was threatened with rank reduction or suspension, but the discipline was suspended for six months unless he broke military rules again. His case was not used in the follow-up report as an example of management failures.
IG investigators recommended that military branches revise policy to emphasize proper use of the travel card, and better specify what actions defense officials should take when misspending is identified.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Personnel Policy agreed with the recommendations but did not address to investigators’ satisfaction what specific policy changes defense officials would make.
©2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.
'An insane game changer' — Soldiers are about to receive the Army's most advanced night vision goggles yet
Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division are just days away from becoming the first to get their hands on the most advanced night vision goggles the Army has fielded yet.