The Army has negotiated refunds for about 200 soldiers who made travel arrangements and then were subsequently told they actually weren't able to go on leave, Stars & Stripes reports.
There are about 50 soldiers left on the hook for travel costs that refund coordinators are "working diligently on," an Army spokeswoman said. "The command truly regrets the undue stress this has created for our soldiers and their families and will continue to work with each solider to address their individual situation."
The screwup requiring the Army to recoup travel costs came after the incident was first reported by the U.S. Army W.T.F.! moments Facebook page, which is run by current and former soldiers and often shares inside stories from the Army that are sent in from fans.
On Dec. 11, the page said members of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade had been told in early November by their commanding officer they could take leave. Then after hundreds of them bought plane tickets and car rentals, the CO told them on Dec. 5 that their leave wasn't formally approved from higher and, well, sorry.
Col. Scott Galloway “blamed ‘mission requirements’ on this reversal, but not the fact that he had failed to formally receive approval for holiday leave," the page wrote.
Normally, this being the military, an incident like this would happen, some soldiers would say, 'aw well, that's the Army, get used to it,' and then hundreds of soldiers would be paying hundreds of dollars out of their own pocket because their CO passed bum word.
But it turns out that if you shame the Army enough with media coverage and Facebook posts from their own soldiers, they will, eventually, and begrudgingly, do the right thing.
The Army has not yet responded to Task & Purpose on whether Galloway would be disciplined.