As reported by USA Today (our corporate mothership), the Army is looking for 35,000 soldiers–mostly OEF/OIF vets–who are owed stop loss pay.
The service owes $160 million to 57,000 current or former soldiers, or to families of those who have died or were killed while on stop-loss. That includes 22,000 requests that are currently under review and about 35,000 people the Army can’t find.
Stop-loss, used to keep troop levels even as Iraq got hairy, was criticized as a “back-door draft.” The practice has since been ended, and Congress in 2009 to compensate the troops with retroactive bonuses of $500 for every month served beyond enlistment.
The law requires service members to apply for the special pay. The Pentagon urges anyone owed money to get more information at www.defense.gov/stoploss.
The Army has used direct mail, worked with the VA and vets organizations and placed notices in the media. Another plan is ask new GI Bill recipients if they are owed the bonuses.
Time is running out. Those eligible must submit a claim by March 4. So go get yours.