was introduced in the House on Oct 10, 2007, sponsored by
was introduced in the Senate on Dec 3, 2007, sponsored by
. Neither has been scheduled for debate.
The purpose of these bills is to correct a possible oversight in the current Department of Defense rules. These rules state that enlistees must complete their entire military obligation in order to receive their enlistment bonuses in full. At first this sounds quite reasonable, after all we do not want the military paying out bonuses to people who willingly or maliciously abandon their duties. However, over the past months there have been various reports of injured servicemen and women receiving collection notices, demanding repayment of these bonuses. These members of the Armed Services were badly wounded while on active duty and thus had their service cut short. The Pentagon has called these incidents administrative errors and has implemented revised wording in their own documentation to avoid future lapses. Reports vary from thousands to only a handful of affected soldiers.
These two bills would amend
in order to insure that injured servicemen and women receive the accession, special pay, enlistment and reenlistment bonuses due to them under
when they are unable to continue active duty due to a combat related injury.
The two bills differ only slightly in text. The House bill sets a maximum period of 30 days from the date of discharge from the military to the payment of any bonus that is due while the Senate bill sets a longer 90 day maximum. The Senate bill has additional text that would cease the collection of previously paid bonuses and make the amendment retroactive to September 11, 2001.