WASHINGTON, D.C. (KMOX) – Saying “criminals have dishonored the uniform” Senator Claire McCaskill chaired a sub-committee looking into the military recruiting scandal.
She said the bonus money paid to recruiters for submitting potential enlistees could top $100 million.
In many cases the recruiters, other members of the military, civilians, even relatives submitted names of people who they knew were already in the process of joining.
It was during the Iraq war and the military was desperate for recruits, so it handed out bonus money, sometimes up to $7,500.
“According to the auditors the National Guard made mistake after mistake in designing and implementing the program that left it vulnerable to exactly the kind of fraud that occurred.” said McCaskill referring to the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (RAP). The program was established at the height of the Iraq war in 2005 to help the Guard achieve its recruiting goals, and was later expanded to the Army Reserve and Regular Army.
More than a thousand people including Generals and Colonels, have already been implicated. The top recipient of the bonus money received $274,500.
Sen. McCaskill said she’d like to see their military benefits taken away. “I don’t want to mess with anybody’s benefits who served our country honorably, but if you’ve served dishonorably I think they deserve more than the word titled in their file.” said McCaskill.
McCaskill said she also feared some might escape prosecution because of the statute of limitations. She wants that legal time barrier extended.
She called the recruiting scandal the biggest fraud investigation in U.S. Army history. “It breaks my heart to discover that there are criminals who have dishonored the uniform that we are so proud of.” Said Sen. McCaskill.