The Defense Department ordered as many as 10,500 former National Guardsmen from California to pay back enlistment bonuses totaling as much as $20 million, or $15,000, according to The Los Angeles Times. The bonuses were paid to entice more people to enlist during the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a 2013 Inspector General’s report deemed some excessive.
These bonuses were paid the guardsmen 10 years ago in recompense for their re-upping to rejoin those fights, many of them as part of the surge in Iraq.
Just to add insult to this despicable injury, the Pentagon also is charging these men and women interest accrued over those 10 years on the claimed overpayments.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis on the matter:
Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who volunteer to serve this country deserve our gratitude, respect, and the full support of the Department of Defense[.]
Then he noted, out of the other side of his mouth, that these men and women can appeal the clawback demand.
That’s just cynically disingenuous bull. These men and women shouldn’t have to appeal the clawback order; they shouldn’t have received the order in the first place.
If this were a legitimate clawback, it would have been initiated within a year of the overpayments; the Pentagon would not have waited these 10 years to get around to it.
Finally, note this: the guardsmen who’re being victimized by this…clawback…have come forward and are known to us. It’s interesting that the Generals and Colonels who’ve instigated this despicable action are keeping themselves hidden behind the closed doors of their Pentagon offices.