Due to massive public outcry and outrage, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Pentagon to suspend for the moment its endeavor of seeking the repayment of enlistment bonuses. The bonuses were given to thousands of service members with the California National Guard, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
CBS Los Angeles reports that Defense Secretary Carter’s decision came after multiple angry reactions were received from congressional Republicans and Democrats who demanded he ease the soldiers burden after news reports showed that some National Guard members were asked to repay big debts that totaled more than $25,000 in some cases.
Keep in mind this announcement does not stop the reimbursement process, but for now postpones collection efforts so that the Pentagon and Congress can seek a better long-term solution to this problem.
Earlier this week the White House said that President Barack Obama had sternly cautioned the Defense Department not to “nickel and dime” those American service members who were taken advantage of by overzealous recruiters.
Carter said the efforts to collect reimbursement should stop “as soon as is practical.” He also said, because the current program has moved too slow, he has ordered a streamlined process to be set up by Jan. 1 to help our troops get relief from their obligation to repay the bonuses.