Top Military Officer Promises No More Guard Bonus Problems
Minnesota National Guard troops won't have to worry about bonus pay being stopped or delayed in the future. That's the promise made by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey.
In 2010 and again in 2012 post-deployment "bonus pay" promised to Guard soldiers was threatened to be taken way. Both times Congress had to step in and pass legislation to restore the bonuses promised before the soldiers deployed to war zones like Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
"On occasion we're going to swing and miss and I think that was one where we took a swing and we missed at it," says Gen. Dempsey.
The bonus payments, known in military parlance as the "Post Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence Program," will be made in lump sum payments sometime after October 1st. But that will be several months after the Minnesota National Guard "Red Bulls" returned from their most recent deployment. In many cases they'll receive less money than originally promised.
"Is your question whether we're keeping our eye on it so it doesn't happen again? Yea, absolutely," Dempsey says. "That's this whole notion of keeping faith. The budget pressures that are very real can't put us in a position where we fail to keep faith with the force."
Dempsey is in the Twin Cities to participate in a "town hall" meeting with Minnesota National Guard soldiers and for an awards ceremony at the Rosemount National Guard Armory.