Pentagon suspends California National Guard bonus repayments
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon worked Wednesday to stave off a public relations nightmare, suspending efforts to force California National Guard troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to repay their enlistment bonuses that may have been improperly awarded.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the suspension in the wake of angry reaction from congressional Republicans and Democrats. They demanded he relieve the burden on Guard members following news reports that soldiers were asked to repay bonuses that in some cases totaled more than $25,000.
The announcement does not end the reimbursement process, but postpones collection efforts while the Pentagon and Congress look for a long-term solution.