Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the Pentagon on Wednesday to stop clawing-back the bonuses that thousands of soldiers got for reenlisting to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There is no more important responsibility for the Department of Defense than keeping faith with our people,” Carter said in a statement. “Today, in keeping with that obligation, I am ordering a series of steps to ensure fair treatment for thousands of California National Guard soldiers who may have received incentive bonuses and tuition assistance improperly as a result of errors and in some cases criminal behavior by members of the California National Guard.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday that the message to struggling soldiers is President Obama “has their back.”
“The President makes the fair treatment of our service members a top priority,” Earnest said. “When a promise is made to our men and women in uniform, we should keep. That’s certainly the view of the President.”