Paul Cook

California National Guard commander takes heat from Congress for forcing soldiers to repay bonuses

California National Guard commander takes heat from Congress for forcing soldiers to repay bonuses

Members of Congress assailed the California National Guard commander Wednesday for ordering thousands of soldiers and veterans to repay enlistment bonuses, saying the demands caused military families unnecessary financial distress, harmed recruiting and broke faith with soldiers.

With Maj. Gen. David Baldwin at the witness table, members of the House Armed Services Committee sharply criticized his now-blocked efforts to claw back millions of dollars from about 9,700 California Guard soldiers, many of whom fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“We betrayed the trust of these troops, and there’s no excuse for that,” said Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley)...

57°