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Pentagon Ordered To Stop Forcing Veterans To Repay Bonuses

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Pentagon Ordered To Stop Forcing Veterans To Repay Bonuses

The Pentagon has been ordered to stop efforts to force National Guard troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to repay their enlistment bonuses that may have been improperly awarded, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The decision by Defense Secretary Ash Carter comes in the wake of angry reaction from congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as president Barack Obama, who demanded the Pentagon relieve the burden on Guard members following news reports that soldiers were asked to repay enlistment bonuses after serving the country honorably.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter. | Imgur

Last weekend, it was reported that bonuses of up to $25,000 that were paid to members of the California Guard who agreed to reenlist in 2006 and 2007, were to be “clawed back” by the Pentagon because some soldiers who claimed the bonuses may not have qualified for them.

But President Obama warned the Defense Department not to “nickel and dime” service members who were victims of fraud by overzealous recruiters. He told the Defense Department to expedite its review of nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers who have been ordered to repay enlistment bonuses improperly given a decade ago.

veteran bonuses

U.S. soldiers before departing to Iraq. Image: The Pentagon

In an official statement issued Wednesday, Defense Secretary Carter said he plans to make sure all who served receive “fair treatment” for their military service.

“I have ordered the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to suspend all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members, effective as soon as is practical,” Carter wrote in the statement, which he posted to his official Facebook page.

Read the full statement below:

veterans-statement

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