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Sun Oct 23, 2016, 06:01 PM

Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.

Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-guard-bonus-20161020-snap-story.html

This is not good.

6 replies, 810 views

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Reply Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war (Original post)
Zorro Oct 2016 OP
ColemanMaskell Oct 2016 #1
X_Digger Oct 2016 #3
MFM008 Oct 2016 #2
Javaman Oct 2016 #4
erpowers Oct 2016 #5
Mariana Oct 2016 #6

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Oct 23, 2016, 06:12 PM

1. Yeah, not good. Very not good. Assuming the Guardsmen were not themselves party to any conspiracy

they need to drag every case through every court they can. Offering them bonuses and then reneging is itself fraud against the Guardsmen who accepted the bonuses. If some middle management Guard officers made the offers without authorization, those individuals may have broken laws, but the people who re-enlisted on the basis of such promises did so in the reasonable belief that those extending the offers were authorized to do so. Surely the ACLU would take these cases (one hopes?)

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Response to ColemanMaskell (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 23, 2016, 07:47 PM

3. Both guardsmen and recruiters are at fault.

Incompetent, bonus-seeking recruitment officers applied for enlistment bonuses for soldiers who didn't qualify, in order to get soldiers to re-enlist.

Other guardsmen applied for bonuses based on criteria that they didn't qualify for- and some incompetent schmuck down the line rubber-stamped the request without due diligence.

It's fraud. If you receive money as a result of fraud, should you get to keep it?

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Oct 23, 2016, 07:27 PM

2. Who's idea is this?

?????

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 07:16 AM

4. the defense dept vanishes pallets of money bricks in Iraq...

but they now get pissed for giving soldiers too much money.

we live in a fucked up world.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 08:26 AM

5. I'm Conflicted

There is a part of me that think if money was given out to the wrong people that money should be given back. However, there is a part of me that thinks if these individuals were given money in order to get them to reenlist and they did then they should keep the money if they did in fact reenlist and fulfilled their duties.

I am leaning more toward the idea of letting the soldiers keep the money. Some of these people would not have reenlisted if they had not been offered bonuses. The government did get something out of these soldiers. They spent additional years as soldiers. However, the soldiers cannot get back the additional time the spent in the military.

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Response to erpowers (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 10:38 AM

6. I agree.

If any of the soldiers knew they didn't qualify for the money, and took it anyway, prove it and then make those particular soldiers pay it back. If they were told they did qualify, and received the money in good faith, they should be left alone.

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