The Pentagon will require only “a few hundred” California National Guardsmen to repay bonuses that they wrongly received as part of an incentive program at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a top Defense Department official said Tuesday.
California lawmakers in the House and Senate offered legislative proposals Thursday that would allow nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers to keep improper enlistment bonuses they were paid during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago.
This week, The Los Angeles Times exposed that the Pentagon is in the process of forcing thousands of soldiers to pay back bonuses that the California Army National Guard had mistakenly dispersed to current and former soldiers. The California Guard’s mistake is negligent and the idea that well-deserving soldiers would have to pay for the failure of their leadership mistake is unacceptable. We can only assume this is not the last we’ll hear about this problem. It’s already been suggested that this issue exists in other states. It’s not enough for us to make note of this problem; all of us must act to fix it now before it affects more of us.
DoD photo by Cpl. Mark Doran, Australian Defence Force.
Lawmakers on Sunday condemned a Pentagon effort to recoup enlistment bonuses improperly paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers a decade ago, saying the overpayments were not the soldiers’ fault and calling on the Pentagon or Congress to waive their debts.