MN National Guard troops still wait for bonuses months after reenlistment

The Minnesota National Guard already stands to lose hundreds of members being terminated over the military’s increasingly irrelevant mandatory covid-19 vaccination policy. Now comes word of another self-inflicted wound affecting morale in the ranks of weekend warriors who’ve chosen to reup with the guard. Fox 9 reports that many soldiers have not received the bonuses the military promised at the time of reenlistment, causing months or more in delays for income many depend on.

Hundreds of Minnesota National Guard soldiers have been left waiting for federal bonus checks, with some saying they’ve gone without a large portion of their salary for more than a year.

“I was supposed to get the second payout of my bonus 16 months ago and I still have not received it,” said one soldier who wanted to remain anonymous. “When I inquire about this to leadership, I get the response that they’re just behind in bonuses but they can’t provide an explanation as to why.”

National guard members are expected to be ready to respond on short notice to emergencies near and far. But after having more than a year to respond, the military bureaucracy continues to flounder its duty to get recruits what they have coming.

The Minnesota National Guard told Fox 9 the delay in payment is due to a software glitch, saying they started to experience issues in October 2020 when Adobe Flash was discontinued.

“Guard leadership used manual payments as a solution over the last two years; however, this process required extensive vetting to determine eligibility for payment,” Lt. Col. Kristen Augé said in a statement to Fox 9. “In some very isolated cases, service members have experienced delays of more than one year due to software changes, but this is not typical for most delayed payments.”

Nevertheless, at a time when the National Guard faces the prospect of losing some 45,000 soldiers nationwide due to the vaccine mandate, the delay in fixing the bonus mix-up could result in a different sort of payback.

While this soldier says they enjoy serving, its made them rethink signing another contract.

“Nobody wants to work for free,” they said. “You re-enlist and they say, ‘hey we’re going to give you a bonus’ and then don’t give it to you, well then what’s the point of re-enlisting?”