Ashton Carter

On California National Guard Soldiers' Enlistment Incentives

delivered 26 October 2016, Brussels, Belgium

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

( ensuring that our service members are treated with gratitude and respect for their service; and that they get all the support they need from the Department of Defense.)

Today, I ordered a series of steps to ensure fair treatment for the 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 other members of the California Guard.

First, I've ordered the suspension of all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California Guard members, and that suspension will continue until I'm satisfied that our process is working.

Second, I've asked our top personnel official in the Department of Defense, Peter Levine, to assess the situation and to establish a streamlined and centralized process no later than January 1st of 2017, and to ensure that it it is -- it is capable at that time of resolving all cases by July 1st, 2017.

Our goal is to have a process that honors the commitment of service members and also our responsibility to the taxpayer.

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