DoD: Promised Re-Enlistment Bonus? Whatever!

Freedom Isn\'t Free! Support Yourself, Soldier!Here’s another fine example of the DoD supporting the troops. If by support you mean reneging on some promises to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years:

The bonuses were offered in January to Active Guard and Reserve and military technician soldiers who were serving overseas. In April, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs ordered the bonuses stopped, [Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle)] said.

[…]A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, confirmed the bonuses had been canceled, saying they violated Pentagon policies because they duplicated other programs. She said Guard and Reserve members would be eligible for other bonuses.

Krenke said some soldiers had been paid the re-enlistment bonuses, but she was unsure how many or whether the money would have to be repaid. Murray’s office said that as far as it knew, no active Guard or Reserve members had received the bonuses.

Here’s the mostest, bestest warm and fuzzy part:

“As in the private sector, bonuses are quite effective in keeping talented people with high demand skills,” Krenke said in an e-mail response to questions.

Well, except unlike the private sector, you can’t just quit your military career and find another if your signing bonus gets ripped out of your hands by some pencil pusher in the Pentagon. You know because of that thing called the UCMJ Article 86.

And there’s at least one milblogger who got the bonus, but is a little more than wary he may get a bill from the Pentagon:

I hate to say this too loud for fear that they try to take my money back, but what the heck is going on at the Pentagon? If the Pentagon drives me to support Patty Murray, we’re all going to have a problem here.

5 Comments
  1. Sorry ass lying military brass and their political cohorts. I believe we should disband the military, the bunch of worthless pieces of crap. I am now seeing the light. It took me some time. Every man for himself. Those that live where I do and can build a self-contained compound and be well armed will survive and persist in the long run. You idiots that live in Massachussetes, New York, Illinois and all the other gun control freak states better wake up and arm yourselves anyway or move to a great state such as mine where self-reliance is a way of life.

  2. Julian,

    Ah… anarchism as a cynical club with with to try and beat me over the head. Because obviously if I demand accountability, I must want to destroy the very fabric of American government and deliver us into chaos and anarchy, no?

    How clever your argument would be if I were actually saying that, but I’m not. Try again.

  3. Pay out the promised bonuses. We can wash that easily by firing a few Senators, Representatives, career military and Agency workers. Working our way down in that order…. top of the “pile” down.

    Slogan for the day:
    “Give the troops their bonuses, they deserve them. Fire a Politician!”

  4. I am a member of the Army National Guard and I can tell you that this is just another in a long line of ways that our nation’s National Guard and Reserve soldiers find themselves on the wrong end of the Washington priority list.

    As I’ve read into this issue, the DoD says that the $15,000 re-enlistment bonuses are not and never were valid bonuses for National Guard and Reserve soldiers. In the past, it has been their policy to send a letter to each soldier paid the non-regulation bonus politely (I’m assuming) asking for the return of the overpaid amount. And anyone with experience with the military knows that if a soldier owes money, they get it one way or another.

    On top of that, Congress passed the new GI Bill for National Guard and Reservists that are deployed for extended periods of time (Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 1607). This was signed into law over a year ago and is still yet to be funded. And these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. No wonder the recruitment numbers are falling faster than a prize-fighter with a glass jaw. I’ve done my year of service in Iraq, and with the way that the National Guard is treated by the DoD, I’m proud to say that I have less than a year and a half remaining. Now I just hope I don’t get stop-lossed at the end!