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December 07, 2016

Aguilar Questions Military and Defense Leaders on California National Guard Reimbursement Issue

Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar questioned top military and defense leaders on the California National Guard reimbursement issue during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. In October, reports surfaced of California National Guardsmen and women being forced to repay excess bonuses.

“Today’s committee hearing allowed us to hear directly from our military and defense leaders about how this problem occurred, but more importantly, how we fix it and prevent it from happening again,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “It’s crucial that we ascertain all of the relevant information so we can ensure our service members never have to face this type of problem again.”

Rep. Aguilar questioned Major General David Baldwin of the California National Guard, asking him to explain the process that the California National Guard conducted to determine whether or not a soldier’s incentive pay or student loan was required to be recouped, and after the decision and notification was made, to explain what additional steps were taken.

In October, Rep. Aguilar called on the Department Of Defense (DOD) to halt the collection process, investigate the situation and waive the recoupment of all bonuses. Last week, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense policy bill that directs the United States’ defense programs for the fiscal year, passed the House of Representatives. The NDAA includes the necessary tools to resolve the bonus reimbursement issue. Since reports of the collection of bonuses came to light, Rep. Aguilar convened his Veterans Advisory Board to discuss the issue locally. Rep. Aguilar serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Subcommittees on Strategic Forces and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.