Pay Errors Plague 94% of Deployed Reservists

Everybody both Republican and Democrat claim unwavering support for our troops and want only the best for our service men and women.

It appears that they can’t even get them paid.

The Navy Times report that, “Some 95 percent of deployed reservists experienced pay problems – a dilemma that can’t be solved anytime soon, military officials told Congress.” (The GAO study says 94%)

The military says that they are working on an “interim” improved pay system, but a permanent, military wide system won’t be ready until 2007 or 2008.

Here’s what a GAO study found –

gao_pay_study

About 40 percent of the Iraq force is currently made up of reservists, a figure that is soon to increase to 50 percent.

Some reserve units report that almost every single soldier has had problems with getting paid. This means that back home, mortgages, car payments and other monthly bills go unpaid. This puts strain on relationships, and is devastating to morale.

An Reserve Army Major was assigned as a liaison with the Air Force’s 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Qatar. When he noticed that there was a problem with his pay, he notified this Air Force pay office only to be told that since he was in the Army he would have to find help elsewhere.

He e-mailed the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Cleveland, and was told that he had to work with a personnel office at Fort McPherson, Georgia. Due to the time difference, he was never able to make contact there, so he dropped the matter.

Well after his deployment, he was still being bugged by the Army to pay back over $1,000 in pay that he never received.

The Army Major observed that he shouldn’t have to contact a pay office on the other side of the earth to deal with a pay matter when a pay office from another branch of the service is 100 yards away.

One medical unit deployed to Afghanistan in February 2003 with the 82nd Airborne Division, which should have had the responsibility for pay matter, had to work with a Reserve pay detachment in Uzbekistan. In November 2003, some of the medical unit’s personnel were still waiting for their pay.

The GAO found that not enough trained people were deployed to process military pay records.

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