Aug 29 2017
Washington–This month, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it will allow California National Guard members to keep more than $190 million in disputed enlistment bonuses. According to the Los Angeles Times, a DoD report found that there was no wrongdoing by the overwhelming majority of California Guard soldiers who accepted bonuses that were later deemed questionable or inappropriately offered.
Last November, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Congressman Adam Schiff, introduced legislation that required the DoD to suspend all collection efforts and establish a streamlined process to provide financial relief for affected service members. A provision that mirrored the legislation was passed and signed into law in the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
“More than 17,000 Californians answered the call to duty when we needed their service in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. They served honorably and should not have their compensation clawed back because of the wrongdoings of a few,” said Sen. Feinstein. “I am thankful for the department’s quick action and ultimate decision to halt all efforts to make our servicemembers repay bonuses and benefits they rightly earned.”
“I am pleased that an overwhelming majority of the service members affected by the California National Guard’s bonus clawback will be able to get their bonuses back, as was required by the legislation I helped draft when the clawback effort was disclosed,” said Rep. Schiff. “These enlistment bonuses and other benefits were accepted in good faith and were given in exchange for serving the nation.”