Stop Forced Veteran Enlistment Repayments!
- Closed on
- Ashton B. Carter, US Secretary of Defense
- United States of America
This petition is now closed
It has recently been reported that members of the California National Guard are being required by the Pentagon to repay enlistment bonuses and other financial incentives given them upon enlistment a decade after serving their state and country in Afghanistan and Iraq. After conducting audits, the Pentagon has determined that the California National Guard payed enlistees more than was approved, and is now requiring soldiers to make restitution. These are men and women who VOLUNTEERED to serve their country, who enlisted in good faith, and who completed their tours of duty.
If overpayments occurred, as has been alleged by the Pentagon, the fault lies not with the individual soldiers, but with the California National Guard, a military force organic to, and under the command of, the State and Governor of California. The State of California is the entity that authorized payment of large enlistment incentives in order to fill dwindling ranks; therefore, the State of California and the California National Guard are the parties responsible to make restitution - not the soldiers who enlisted in good faith. Driving soldiers into bankruptcy to repay funds they accepted in good faith and who fulfilled their service obligations is morally and ethically abhorrent.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, do hereby call on United States Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter to direct the Pentagon to do the following:
1. Immediately cease and desist their efforts to collect enlistment incentives from individual veterans.
2. IMMEDIATELY return any and all funds taken from individual soldiers, and make whole any soldier harmed by Pentagon collection activities.
3. Direct the Pentagon that any enlistment incentives paid to enlistees that exceeded approved levels shall be reimbursed instead by the State of California and the California National Guard, and that the Pentagon shall take any and all steps necessary to insure repayment of said funds by these responsible entities.