Arlington, VA – The Pentagon bonus clawback scandal will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to the Department of Defense.
After months of public controversy, the DoD concluded today that the Pentagon will require “a few hundred” California National Guardsmen to repay bonuses that they received as part of an incentive program at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority of the 17,500 California National Guardsman who were facing recoupment of their bonuses will be allowed to keep the money or be reimbursed if it was already collected from them.
In October, investigations exposed mismanagement at the California National Guard after thousands of soldiers in California were ordered to repay enlistment bonuses given to them by the Pentagon over a decade ago. The service members responsible were convicted of fraud. “The error was an error on the part of the government,” admitted Peter Levine, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Mark Lucas issued the following statement:
“Taxpayers will end up paying millions of their own hard-earned dollars to finance the Pentagon’s failed attempt to steal money from American soldiers. This entire incident underscores the urgent need for reform and transparency at the Pentagon. Veterans should not be disrespected by their own government, and taxpayers should not have to pay the price for these unacceptable bureaucratic errors.”
The California National Guard has a history of bonus overpayments and fund mismanagement.