SecDef Ash Carter Orders Pentagon To Cease All Bonus Repayment Demands [VIDEOS]

SecDef Ash Carter Orders Pentagon To Cease All Bonus Repayment Demands [VIDEOS]

SecDef Ash Carter Orders Pentagon To Cease All Bonus Repayment Demands [VIDEOS]

It took an LA Times story, this blog along with many others, and social media to generate needed attention to soldiers being forced into bankruptcy because of the Pentagon’s unconscionable demand that they repay their reenlistment bonuses.

Due to the outcry, lawmakers finally started paying attention.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the Pentagon demands “disgraceful.” McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said the House will demand answers from the National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon agency that oversees the California branch of the Guard.

McCarthy was joined in outrage by fellow Golden State Republican congressmen Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, and Mark Takano, a Democrat.

“I find it hard to believe either you or your leadership team was aware that such a boneheaded decision was made to demand repayment,” Hunter wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in which he asked Carter to put his weight behind a quick remedy.

Prior to the LA Times story and afterwards, the Pentagon’s only response was to state the soldiers can appeal the decision, and repayment would be waived on a case by case basis. Some already were and their appeals, Robert D’Andrea’s in particular had been in process for several years with no end in sight.


Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter vowed to take a look at the issue and work to resolve it.

This morning there’s even better news from Sec Def Carter. He has ordered the Pentagon to suspend the demand for repayment immediately.

Carter said there was a process in place to assist soldiers who sought relief of such obligations, and in this case, “hundreds” of Guard members have already sought and have been granted relief.

“But that process has simply moved too slowly and in some cases imposed unreasonable burdens on service members,” Carter said. “That is unacceptable.”

Yes it is unacceptable. It was unacceptable from the start for the Pentagon to go after the soldiers who reenlisted in good faith and received the bonuses they were promised.


Also unacceptable is that the Pentagon seems to have only given a slap on the wrist to those who were in charge of overseeing the program and ensuring that it was run correctly.


Stopping the demand for repayment is outstanding and I know it is welcome news to soldiers all over the country. One thing this blogger also hopes for is that the the soldiers who felt they were left with no choice and thus did acquiesce to the Pentagon’s demands will see their money returned to them and soon.

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    It’s not really outrageous, in and of itself, to demand repayment for an erroneous payment. It happens all the time. And you’re not legally entitled to money received in defiance of law or contract.

    What is outrageous is waiting to recoup the payments, and not punishing the people who caused it to occur. And, as Carter points out, dragging the appeals process out for some of these folks.

    Somehow, the folks who make life hard on everyone else never seem to suffer for their illegalities.

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