In 2005, the Army and Army National Guard were struggling trying to lure young men and women to enlist in the military. At the time, the liberal media was rife with reports of US military casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which made recruiting difficult.
Someone in the Pentagon got the brilliant idea of offering incentives to members of the military who recommended someone to enlist. Successful referrals could reward someone anywhere from $2,000 to $7,500. The program started with the Army National Guard and eventually expanded to the Army in general. Recruiters were not included in the referral payments.
A few cases of fraud were reported as early as 2007 but it wasn’t until 2011 that the Army launched a formal investigation. The audit revealed that more than 1,200 Army recruiters had accepted incentive payments that they were not entitled to. Total illegal bonuses are being reported to have added up to over $29 million. Once the Army learned of the extensive fraud being carried out, it terminated the recruiting bonus program in 2012.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-MO) is Chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight. She commented about the investigation and recruiting fraud saying:
“This criminal fraud investigation is one the largest that the Army has ever conducted, both in terms of sheer volume of fraud and the number of participants.”
Army spokesman George Wright stated the no one is more shocked at the findings than the Army leadership. He also said that anyone found guilty of abusing the program will be held accountable and face charges in both military and civilian courts.
One member of the Army National Guard was found to have defrauded the military out of $244,000 in bogus recruiting bonuses. That person was charged, tried and sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.
My question is why did it take the Army so long to figure out that they were being defrauded out of millions of dollars by their own people? They know how much was being paid out and they know how many legitimate recruits were being processed. Didn’t they think to have someone screen the bonus requests from the onset to verify their validity?
Since Obama took over as Commander in Thief, err, I mean Chief, the Army doesn’t need more reason to look bad. He’s done a pretty good job of it all on his own. But this is rapidly becoming a big scandal in the ranks of the US Army and will definitely leave them with a scar that will take a few years to heal.