Sacramento, CA… Pertaining to the recent Los Angeles Times story on National Guard bonus recoupment, the California Military Department offers the following statement:
“The bonus audit and recoupment process is a federal program governed and adjudicated by the National Guard Bureau and the Department of the Army.
The California National Guard does not have the authority to unilaterally waive these debts. However, the California National Guard welcomes any law passed by Congress to waive these debts.
Until that time, our priority is to advocate for our Soldiers through this difficult process.
To that end, shortly after his appointment as the state’s adjutant general in 2011, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin established the California National Guard Soldier Incentives Assistance Center which has allowed our soldiers to retain $37 million dollars of original bonus payments. Without this initiative 100 percent of the soldiers would have had to pay back 100 percent of the money.
It is our intent to continue working with all parties involved to further advocate for our soldiers.”