Watch CBS News

Defense Secretary Pledges Resolution Over California Guard Bonuses

PARIS (CBS / AP) -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter is promising to resolve a festering conflict over demands that thousands of National Guard soldiers repay enlistment bonuses they were given a decade ago after signing up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon demanded the money back after audits revealed overpayments by the California National Guard under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals.

• ALSO READ: Lawmakers Say Guardsmen Shouldn't Be Paying Back Re-Enlist Bonuses

Carter was asked about the matter during a news conference Tuesday in Paris.

He said the issue is complex and is being handled by the deputy secretary of defense, Robert Work. Carter said the issue touches on a core principle, namely, that all who volunteer to serve in the military deserve gratitude and respect. He did not say how he believes the bonus repayment problem can be solved.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.