Friday, March 7, 2008

Orders and Travel Pay SNAFUs Persist

When I was a young and humble 2LT (OK, so I was only a young 2LT). Many an NCO would tell me: “Never mess with a soldier’s pay or their mail.” I found that advice to be among the more durable tips I’d been given in ROTC and early on in my career.

Apparently the senior echelons in today’s Army Reserve haven’t gotten the word as chronic problems persist in cutting mob, ADSW AND ADT orders so employers can be notified, soldiers can get paid and travel vouchers languish for weeks. While the Government Travel Card (GTC) may have made life easier for those who didn’t have credit cards or were unable to get them, it hasn’t helped out on the payment end. DFAS processing time remains unacceptable.

To be fair, many civilian employers, like my former employer, Symantec dictated that you used the company credit card or supposedly your expenses wouldn’t be reimbursed. Employees were responsible for paying that AMEX card regardless of when they submitted their expense reports for reimbursement or when the check was ultimately cut by the employer. Failure to pay on time could adversely affect the employee’s credit report. It would appear that the USAR has unfortunately lifted the page from the commercial sector in this case.

Given the pressure on today’s force, the hectic optempo, and the economic pressure on soldiers and their families its time that our GOs and elected officials worked together to quickly address these chronic issues.

I have e-mailed both my Senators and my Congressperson. I’ve also sent e-mails to the leading candidates from both partiers and I suggest you do the same.

I’m not sure if well get a reaction, but it is past time for these problems to be conquered and this is THE election year after all.

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