Politically Correct Presumptions
The presumption here is that the big, bad, incompetent Pentagon, lorded over by the Department of Defense, is picking on Soldiers and forcing them to repay bonuses they were given as much as a decade ago for their agreement to remain in the National Guard and serve our country. Now every attention whore from Congress to the President and in between has weighed in with their anger and disgust at what is happening, demanding – but not actually requiring – that the big, bad Pentagon stop picking on these Soldiers and stop taking their money away from them.
Like I said, that’s the presumption.
And it’s a good one, isn’t it? People all over the dial and the nation are literally up in arms over this. Yelling, screeching, expressing their indignation over how the Pentagon and how the DoD is treating these soldiers. Even me. Although I will also point out that I believe and have said that this is 100% the fault of the State of California, not the Pentagon.
So that’s the script today and that’s the presumption.
At the risk of being “politically incorrect,” (how ironic that now opposing something like this is un-pc?) are we really getting the entire story here?
First off, let’s be clear. Most of the Soldiers involved – I wont say all because that is not clear to me, but most of them – served with great honor and carried the ball for this nation in war. For that reason alone, those who were in Combat should have these clawbacks forgiven. Period.
But… let us also look at some facts.
First, the CA National Guard at the time period in question had a TOE strength of just over 17,000 men and women. Over the course of more than a decade, some 14,000 were offered the retention bonuses. The bonuses were designed by the DoD to retain specific skill sets and unit strengths. Meaning that if a Soldier had those skills or was a part of (or willing to become part of) a specific unit, they were eligible for the bonus. In addition, there was a contractual obligation to remain in those units and/or maintain those skill sets for a set period of time during the following six years of the re-enlistment.
Of the roughly 14,000 CA National Guard Soldiers who received bonus payments from the mid 2000’s to more recent days, 9,700 were found to have received bonuses for which they were either not eligible or did not fulfill their contracted obligation. The rest were presumably fine.
This means that either the Soldiers did not really understand what the bonuses were for OR they were being tricked, misled, lied to, f**ked over by CA National Guard leadership into signing up for something that they did not qualify to receive or understand that they had to fulfill a specific mission to maintain.
We can beat around the bush, but the FACT is that Master Sergeant Toni Jaffe, (known as “The M&M Lady) the CA National Guards “Incentive manager,” plead guilty in 2011 to filing false paperwork and went to prison. At the time (2010) it was believed that the fraudulent reenlistments had a ToTaL value over $100 Million. She went to prison, folks. For lying about these reenlistments. And probably lying to the Soldiers who re-upped.
Additionally, three other CA Guard Officers were placed on probation after they too plead guilty to fraud and paid restitution. That is in 2010 and 2011, folks. More than five years ago.
What is not clear to me is how long the Soldiers who were tricked by the CA National Guard were aware of the f**kery. Did they know immediately? Or not until the audits were completed? How many of those who failed to complete the contracts – most likely through no fault of their own – then went to war and combat zones?
I will continue to say this – those who went to combat zones, whether they fulfilled the technical aspects of their fraudulent contracts or not, should be forgiven the bonus and refunded anything they paid plus interest and – this is also important – receive tax relief on that money. I believe that the bonus should be tax exempt.
I also believe that there are those who knew full well that they did not qualify or knowingly did not fulfill the contract. If they went on to combat, fine, so be it. Forgive it and move on. If not, however, explain to me why the Pentagon should not attempt to recoup that money?
Like I said, it’s not PC to not blame the Pentagon or the DoD for not just issuing blanket forgiveness. But where is the accountability? Do you honestly believe that one Army Master Sergeant and three mid and lower-grade officers were 100% the problem here?
I don’t. A fraud like this one takes a whole lot more than 4 people. And mostly what it takes is leadership that either tacitly supports what is going on or is utterly oblivious and incompetent.
Either way, folks, the Pentagon is not your boogeyman here. The DoD is following the law and the procedures. The California National Guard, nominally overseen by the State of California is 100% responsible for this screw up.
But please, go ahead and yell at the Pentagon and the Army and the DoD. Then remember that We the People asked them to do an impossible job with limited resources and constant critique.
You may not like it, but the Army and the Pentagon and the DoD are in the right here. The State of California could fix this by writing a cheque to them and taking responsibility. Congress could fix it, I mean, after the election and all. The only reason they care at all about this is that it’s election season. They’ve known about this for more than two years. But now that the Democrats have a real chance at gaining the Senate and the House, how do you think that this will play in Candidate Ads? Hmmm… how about an AHT for the day. Did the LA Time print this article now to help Democrat Candidates attack GOP Incumbents on their “treatment” of Soldiers?
But at the end of the day, while the whole country screams and yells at the Pentagon, it’s still California’s fault.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Defense has “suspended the repayments.” Again, it’s unclear what that means to those who already have repaid them, at least in part.
The Soviets Russians are having a spot of trouble as they attempt to move their fleet from the Barents Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean to start World War III by supporting Asad and his insane PLRI Government in Syria against the US and our insane PLRI rebels who want to be in charge of the Syrian arsenal of chemical weapons which they can then use against Israel. Anyway, the fleet needs to refuel, but Spain wasn’t all that hip to having them do it in their waters. Spain had originally okay’s the idea, but them waffled after pressure form the US and the UK. So now the Soviet Russian ships will not refuel in Spanish territory. No word as yet on where they will refuel, but no doubt, there is an insane PLRI country along the way that will let them take care of that problem.
The so-called “America’s Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio has been charged with contempt in a case involving illegal immigration. .
Speaking of insane people, Philippines President Rodrigo Dutuerte has announced he wants the Us out of his country in two years. The Philippines cannot survive without US dollars, but what the heck, let’s leave. In three years the Philippine people will elect a rational leader and welcome us back.
Posted on October 26, 2016, in Immigration, Iraq War, Putin, Syria, US Army, Veterans Issues and tagged Arizona, Bonuses, California, National Guard, Philippines, Russia, Russian Navy, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Syria, WWIII. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.