Defense Secretary Carter On Improper Military Bonuses: ‘We’ll Resolve It’ Credit: NBC News
After the LA Times reported over the weekend that nearly 10,000 California military veterans were being forced to pay back five-figured enlistment bonuses they received, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that he had ordered the Pentagon on Wednesday to stop ordering repayment of the bonuses paid to soldiers when they reenlisted to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Secretary Carter said, “There is no more important responsibility for the Department of Defense than keeping faith with our people. Today, in keeping with that obligation, I am ordering a series of steps to ensure fair treatment for thousands of California National Guard soldiers who may have received incentive bonuses and tuition assistance improperly as a result of errors and in some cases criminal behavior by members of the California National Guard.”
The repayments included interest charges, and the soldiers were threatened with wage garnishments and tax liens if they refused to pay, and were the result of an investigation that revealed widespread overpayments, fraud and mismanagement by California Guard Officials.
In Minnesota, KSTP.com is reporting that a National Guard spokesman told the news outlet that Minnesota soldiers will not have to pay back bonuses, nor has there been “widespread issues to cause concerns with the bonuses or contracts awarded to Minnesota soldiers.”