ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE CLINTON/OBAMA NE0-LIBERALS OR BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONS KILLING ALL PUBLIC WEALTH JUST TO ADVANCE GLOBAL CORPORATE WEALTH AND POWER.
Just as with all operations with no oversights and accountability-----even non-profits and charities are being created just to defraud-------
AND CUMMINGS, SARBANES, CARDIN, MIKULSKI-------AND THOSE RUNNING FOR MIKULSKI'S SENATE SEAT-----EDWARDS AND VAN HOLLEN ALL WORKED TO FLEECE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS WITH ALL MARYLAND POLS.
The aging VETS are being told to be silent as the coming VETS are left with nothing------
IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR BENEFITS THEN DON'T COMPLAIN IS THE MANTRA OF BALTIMORE POLS!
Veterans Charity Fraud: Despite Widespread Outrage, Groups Continue To Abuse Public Trust
06/29/2011 08:07 am ET | Updated Aug 29, 2011
- Marcus Baram Senior Editor, Huffington Post
For hundreds of thousands of veterans returning home from the battlefronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, making it home alive is just the first challenge.
An estimated 25 percent of returning U.S. service members will experience combat-related problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression or anxiety disorders. More veterans are committing suicide than are dying in combat overseas -- 1,000 former soldiers receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs attempt suicide every month. About 50,000 veterans are experiencing chronic homelessness, according to nonprofit housing group HELP USA. And the unemployment rate for 18 to 24-year-old veterans is 21 percent, much higher than the 16.6 percent rate for non-veterans of the same age.
Though the VA has come a long way from the 1970s, when many Vietnam veterans failed to reintegrate into society and became homeless and addicted to drugs, the department still has problems. The VA bureaucracy is notoriously difficult to navigate, and veterans are left to figure out on their own what benefits they are eligible for. As a result, many fall through the cracks -- more than 720,000 veterans do not take advantage of VA benefits for which they are eligible.
To fill in the gap, veterans charities are a crucial resource -- providing financial assistance and job training, funding medical research and rehabilitative services, and helping veterans obtain government benefits. Every year, Americans give millions of dollars to such groups, expecting that the money will assist those who've served their country.
But as a group, veterans charities are prone to abuse, profiteering and outright fraud, say philanthropy watchdogs. Almost half of the 39 veterans charities rated by the American Institute of Philanthropy in its April/May 2011 report received F grades, largely because they devoted only a small ratio of their expenses to charitable programs, in part due to excessive fundraising expenses. Some of these groups defend their spending by arguing that reliance on such ratios is misleading, claiming that new nonprofits may have to spend over 50 percent of their revenue on outreach, education and fundraising for a while. But charities that spend up to 90 percent of their donations on overhead have been widely condemned and were the subject of congressional hearings in 2007.
Despite bipartisan outrage at such practices, there was no real follow-up, either through enforcement efforts or new rules and regulations. And several of the charities publicly shamed at those hearings continue to receive poor grades. In the last few years, there have been several prominent cases of nonprofit groups that preyed on the public's patriotism and generosity, promising assistance to veterans while lining their own pockets. They range from an impostor -- currently one of the most-sought fugitives in the country -- who claimed he was a Navy commander and ripped off at least $2 million, to a classic fraudster, who set up a table for non-existent veterans groups in front of the local post office and raked in money for years.
CRUCIAL LIFELINE TO THOUSANDS OF VETERANS
Their misdeeds cast a pall over the sector, making the public skeptical of veterans charities and threatening future donations to those groups that deserve praise.
"Veterans charities are extraordinarily important," Oregon Attorney General John Kroger tells The Huffington Post. "There is a lot the VA doesn't do, and charities help fill that gap. And the majority of them do an excellent job, but if you're looking to line your own pocket, it's an easy way to raise money. If you're looking for a feel-good cause that can raise money on the phone, there is very little that has as much appeal as veterans' issues."
Darnell Epps, a 52-year-old veteran living in Virginia Beach, was homeless for years until he discovered Vetshouse, the only nonprofit in Virginia to help homeless veterans. Through the group, he was given a car to help him start his cleaning business and provided with transitional housing and food.
"If it wasn’t for them, I would probably still be out on the street," he says. "They gave me my life back. The VA can't do it all and these charities are key; they've helped many of us vets."
Ed Edmundson credits veterans charities with easing the burden of his son, Eric, who incurred shrapnel wounds and a brain injury in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq. The North Carolina native says he sold his business and cashed in his savings and retirement to pay for the cost of moving in with Eric and his family to provide round-the-clock care. Some of the family's expenses, including the cost of flying Eric's wife and daughter from Alaska to Walter Reed Medical Center, were covered by various charities, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Semper Fi Fund.
"Non-profit organizations became an answer to our prayers," says Edmundson.
The Wounded Warrior Project and several other prominent veterans charities such as Fisher House Foundation, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the National Military Family Association, have been praised for assisting thousands of veterans.
Stop Donating To The Wounded Warrior Project – They’re A Fraud
Posted by Tony Oliva on Dec 30, 2014
Update at the bottom
During this Christmas and New Year’s season the gift of charity swells in the hearts of many. And who better to benefit from that charity than those who have literally given life and limb for the freedom and liberty we possess today than the veterans who stood tall when their nation called on them?
When people donate money they expect that the majority of it will go to the actual cause and not line the pockets of some corporate hack or grease the wheels to enable extravagant parties. Unforunately, when it comes to the Wounded Warrior Project, the people who have been so generous with their donations have been bamboozled and the veterans in need have been placed, as one veteran put it, into a “dog and pony show.”
ABUSING THE TRUST OF DONORS: 'THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM'
Attorney General Kroger says the issue is close to his heart since he himself is a veteran of the Marine Corps. But when his office recently surveyed the rising number of charities in Oregon and which ones spend the most on overhead as opposed to charity, "a number of veterans groups came up extraordinarily high on the list. One was outright fraud -- a guy setting up a table at a shopping mall -- and another problem was people who were raising money and not being honest about where the money was going. This is a huge problem."
Since taking office in 2009, Kroger has been particularly aggressive in taking legal action against veterans charities that abuse the trust of donors. Among his cases is a lawsuit against Veterans of Oregon, charging that the charity claimed that donations were helping homeless and hospitalized veterans when in fact it was largely used to award medals to veterans. In addition, the group failed to disclose to donors that its fundraising partner kept 80 percent of the money it raised. The head of the charity, William "John" Neuman, is fighting the case, adamantly denying to the Chronicle of Philanthropy that he misled donors.
Kroger also sued the Oregon War Veterans Association and Military Family Support Foundation, claiming that founder Greg Warnock kept most of the money he raised and used donations to make contributions to powerful politicians in the state. The group has called the suit "baseless" and called for an investigation of Kroger.
After initially declining to comment, Warnock wrote HuffPost a lengthy statement. Among his claims, he states that "Kroger's claims are purely political in nature and do not warrant the kind of destructive abuse we are enduring from him, especially considering all of the amazing accomplishments we have made on behalf of veterans in Oregon and beyond." Warnock vehemently denies that he kept most of the money his group raised and claims that Kroger neglected to interview the group's board members, donors or recipients. Warnock also says the campaign contributions were permitted political activity.
The attorney general says he can't comment due to the pending litigation but emphasizes, "When you're going after people and trying to hold them accountable, lots of them fire back."
Such schemes that exploit patriotic sentiment for the plight of veterans have been around for many decades. In 1926, the New York Evening Post exposed a plot hatched in the wake of the armistice that ended World War One by the "battalions of bunk" to raise several million dollars "purporting to aid former soldiers but actually hiding the proceeds away in secret bank accounts." Part of the scheme involved several cleaning women who borrowed neighbors' children, dressed them in rags and pleaded for money from passersby. And in 1958, five Chicagoans were dragged before the House veterans affairs committee to defend themselves against charges that they bilked Disabled American Veterans of $2 million -- three of them were later charged with mail fraud and conspiracy. That same year, Rep. Olin Teague "found so much abuse in fund raising [sic] for veterans" that he urged the House Government Operations Committee to open a wide-ranging probe into the entire field of tax-exempt charitable fundraising, reported the Gadsden Times.
"The most popular causes -- veterans, firefighters, police -- tend to be the least efficient because they attract money-hungry types," says Daniel Borochoff, the president of the American Institute of Philanthropy. "There is very little oversight so it keeps happening again and again." He notes that most enforcement happens on the state level, which often just prompts fraudulent groups to cross state lines "and come out under a different name."
BIPARTISAN OUTRAGE AT 'INTOLERABLE FRAUD'
The prevalence of fraud and misrepresentation in the sector has prompted Congressional scrutiny and bipartisan outrage but very few repercussions. In 2004, the Senate Finance Committee called for a panel to examine nonprofit governance, transparency and ethical standards. Though it concluded that government oversight and regulation was necessary to deter abuse, misrepresentation and fraud, it also maintained that charities are granted wide latitude in their activities due to First Amendment protections and did not recommend any new legislation.
In December 2007 and January 2008, the House Oversight Committee held hearings to spotlight abuses in the system, highlighting several egregious examples. Then-chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) noted that the American Institute of Philanthropy had given failing grades to 70 percent of the veterans charities it examined for several reasons: managing their resources poorly, paying high overhead costs and direct mail campaigns and excessive salaries. Citing the example of the American Veterans Relief Foundation, which raised $3.6 million and spent only $21,000 on veterans' grants and assistance, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) thundered:
They fall into the category of what I would call "profiteering," profiteering by those who use the name of a soldier or a cause in order to justify fundraising that ultimately leads to profit for individuals who may or may not be veterans, may or may not have any need, may simply be good at fundraising.
That particular charity is now defunct, but two other prominent charities whose leaders were subpoenaed to appear before the committee still operate and continue their questionable practices.
One of the hearing's most dramatic confrontations was with Roger Chapin, a self-described "nonprofit entrepreneur" and former
real-estate developer who has launched more than 20 charities. One of those charities, Help Hospitalized Veterans, has been praised for distributing millions of therapeutic arts and crafts gifts to patients at VA medical centers, state nursing homes and military hospitals. The group, which also provides a variety of services to homebound veterans and cash support to many VA special events, has been praised by presidents and Congressional leaders since its founding in 1971.
But a Forbes magazine articles questioned whether Chapin and his wife were using their charities to fund their high salaries and illegitimate expenses such as vehicles, real estate investments and a $17,000 annual country club membership. In addition, the magazine reported that out of every dollar donated to HHV, only 9 cents went to the kits, 5 cents went to administrative expenses and for counselors visiting hospitals and 47 cents went to direct-mail expenses.
One of the charities' critics was Edmundson, who said he didn't feel it was "appropriate" to give a small percentage of donations to charity. He added, "I am concerned, the negative effect that the few self-serving non-profits will have on the ability of the legitimate non-profits to obtain funding from the general public. It would be an unfortunate turn of events if the service they provide is not available. As I have shared, the service they provide is immediate and personalized to the needs of the soldiers and their families."
Chapin didn’t win any friends by reportedly going into hiding after refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee. When he did finally appear a month later, he explained that fundraising for many charities across the country depends on direct-mail expenses and that it was unfair to pick on his charity. Chapin claimed that HHV was awarded two stars by Charity Navigator, a leading watchdog group. Coming to his defense was Richard Viguerie, prominent conservative fundraiser, who lashed out at the committee, claiming that Waxman's agenda was "unconstitutional" and "mean" and stating that advertising mail can be valuable just by generating sympathy for returning veterans.
Chapin retired from Help Hospitalized Veterans in 2009 with a $2.2 million payment package. He still serves as the president of another of his charities, the Salute to America's Heroes Foundation. Both charities were given zero stars in Charity Navigator's most recent evaluation, though they have increased the percentage of funds they spent on charitable programs.
Reached at home, Chapin said both charities had not made any changes in response to the criticism of their fundraising expenses, defiantly stating, "Hell, we just keep doing what we've been doing." He called the hearing a "charade" and a "witch hunt," explaining that SAHF has helped almost 20,000 veterans. He continued to defend the heavy reliance and spending on direct mail practitioners, even in the age of Facebook and Twitter and online charitable tools. "It's an expensive way to raise money but we're all challenged and it's tough as hell to get donations. But something is a hell of a lot better than nothing."
The other target in the sights of lawmakers at the 2007 hearing was Pamela Seman, the executive director of the Disabled Veterans Association, a charity which kept only $500,000 out of $4.5 million in donations raised -- about 10 percent -- through a professional fundraising group.
"It makes all of us angry that the veterans, people who have served our country are used to raise money to give [to] some professional organization in the business," said Waxman. "It's absolutely inexcusable."
Seman, who still leads the organization, did not return calls for comment. DVA received zero stars in its latest evaluation from Charity Navigator and an F rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy. Its fundraising ratio has grown even higher, with only 5 percent going to charitable programs.
WASHINGTON DITHERS WHILE FRAUD CONTINUES
In Washington, there has not been much action. On the first day of the 2007 hearings, former Rep. Sarbanes, the author of the post-Enron accounting rules that bear his name, stated that there may be a need for stricter regulation of charities, emphasizing that "charities that serve our veterans have an extra obligation because there is a deeper trust placed in them, a broader trust than with respect to just about any other charitable endeavor."
Though there was some discussion of legislative remedies in the wake of the hearings, especially in regard to requiring more disclosure of charity spending in direct mail pitches, nothing happened. Though some watchdog groups have pressed for more hearings to re-examine the issue, none are planned. A spokesman for Rep. Issa, who now chairs the Oversight Committee, did not return emails requesting comment.
"It got a lot of press attention during the hearings but after that died down, there wasn't any significant demand for more disclosure or information," says Bennett Weiner, the COO of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance and an advocate of voluntary standards rather than government regulation. He says that veterans charities have slightly improved their performance, noting that the number which failed to meet one or more of their standards dropped from 62 to 54 percent. But he notes: "No question about it, veterans and police and firefighter groups have been well-known to be subject to questionable practices by those who got involved in the field and realize that there is public sympathy and the chance to raise money."
Meanwhile, the alleged scams continue. Last month, prosecutors in Ohio pursued Vietnam veteran Michael Muhammad, claiming that he raised money for himself through his charities, Help Homeless Veterans and Veterans Hope Community House. They also claim that he was charging veterans to stay at a shelter that offered horrible living conditions. His lawyer denies the charges, saying that the money raised went to aid veterans.
And last week, an associate of one of the most brazen fundraising fraudsters in recent history pled guilty to corruption, theft and money laundering at a county court in Ohio. Bianca Contreras was the treasurer of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a group founded by a man known as Bobby Thompson, who is accused of using a false identity to raise millions of dollars.
Though the money was ostensibly intended for Navy veterans and Thompson attracted praise from Congressional leaders for his purported efforts, the money went into his own pocket, say attorneys general in several states. Thompson is currently a fugitive, and officials remain tight-lipped about any progress in finding him. But Contreras is expected to cooperate with prosecutors, which may reveal some clues to his identity. The 39-year-old Tampa woman faces up to 25 years in prison when she comes up for sentencing in August.
Donors who've been misled can be hard to identify, since most are not aware that they've been ripped off, says Weiner. "The number one recommendation for people wanting to contribute to a good cause is to check out the charity -- the vast majority of people don't do that. Get a financial report from the group's website, verify that they are properly registered in your state, check with a third-party group that checks these groups out."
Just as Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are joining Republicans in dismantling all New Deal/Social trusts and programs and ignoring the Bill of Rights and US Constitutional rights because global pols do not see a sovereign US ---it sees International Economic Zones reporting to a global corporate tribunal-------all the civil rights, labor rights, disability rights, women's rights and the Equal Protection that comes under Bill of Rights is being discarded ----that is what injustice is soaring and corporate fraud and government corruption soaring-----global pols do not see Rule of Law. Please glance through as what are the GI Bill of Rights and the US Constitutional and Federal laws that gave the military all of these rights and benefits----
As with all workers in the US-----all retirement and benefit contract agreements are being VOIDED or forced into concession moving citizens into the poverty these policies were created to prevent. The military are particularly vulnerable because of nature of their employment comes with lots of need for health care-----lots of need for higher education and housing earned while being paid very little in salary serving our nation.
Clinton/Obama neo-liberals were posing progressive as they pretended they needed austerity and pretended to direct cuts to DOD as if they were downsizing our military complex as everyone shouts to do. All of those cuts were aimed at downsizing US troop staffing with benefits and wages----all while increasing funding to global corporate military corporations for hiring around the world.
ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONS IN BALTIMORE.
This article is long but please take time to glance through----we need to know what our rights are as we fight to get them back!
The GI Bill of Rights
Changing the social, economic landscape of the United States
03 April 2008
A veteran of a more recent war meets with the Department of Veterans Services. Help is still available for returning vets.(© AP Images)
(The following article by Milton Greenberg is taken from the U.S. Department of State publication Historians on America.)
The GI Bill of Rights
By Milton Greenberg
The GI Bill of Rights, officially known as The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, was signed into law on June 22, 1944, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At the same time, its passage through Congress was largely unheralded, in part because the Normandy Invasion was under way; but also because its fundamental significance and major consequences for American society could not have been foreseen. However, with the end of the war in both Europe and Asia just a year later, the GI Bill's provisions would soon be quickly and fully tested. Within a few years, the new law served to change the social and economic landscape of the United States.
Among its provisions, the law made available to World War II veterans immediate financial support in the form of unemployment insurance. Far more important, as it turned out, were generous educational opportunities ranging from vocational and on-the-job training to higher education, and liberal access to loans for a home or a business
While there were numerous bills introduced in Congress to reward the combat-weary veterans of World War II, this particular bill had a significant sponsor. The major force behind the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 was the well-known American Legion, a private veterans advocacy group founded in 1919. The Legion, during its 25th annual convention in September 1943, initiated its own campaign for comprehensive support of veterans. It labeled the resulting ideas, crafted into one legislative proposal by the Legion's national commander Harry W. Colmery, "a bill of rights for GI Joe and GI Jane," but the proposal soon became known as the GI Bill of Rights. The term GI – the slang term for American soldiers in that war – originally stood for "Government Issue," referring to military regulations or equipment. Wedded to the idea of the "Bill of Rights" in the revered U.S. Constitution, the "GI Bill" was bound to project an appealing aura in the halls of Congress as politicians sought ways to reward the homebound soldiers.
But there is more to the story. Though it might appear that the adoption and passage of the bill was entirely the result of unbridled generosity on the part of a grateful Congress, it was also in large measure a product of justified concern, even a certain fear, on the part of lawmakers about a radicalized postwar America. Prior to World War II, America had provided benefits and care to those disabled by combat, but had paid little attention to its able-bodied veterans. Within living memory of many public men of the time, neglect of the returning veterans of World War I, exacerbated by deteriorating economic conditions, had led to protest marches and disastrous confrontations. In 1932, 20,000 veterans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a "bonus march," hoping to obtain financial rewards they thought they had been promised for service in World War I, leading to one of America's most tragic moments. Altercations led President Hoover to call out the army, which under the leadership of future military heroes General Douglas MacArthur and Majors Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton used guns and tanks against the "bonus army."
In the minds of Washington policymakers who had witnessed this confrontation, the viable legislation to meet the needs of veterans that emerged in 1944 came not a moment too soon. Even when it was clear that the Allies were going to win, few foresaw the complete capitulation of the Axis powers one year later with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the sudden return of more than 15 million veterans of the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps, streaming home from the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
We must remember that for 12 years prior to the Japanese bombing attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – the attack that drew America into World War II – America was in a deep economic depression. Thus, the war, when it came, found the nation unprepared and largely uneducated, faced with the need to build a fighting force of young people who had known only the Great Depression years. Unemployment was widespread, with 25 percent of the workforce unemployed at the height of the depression in 1933. Breadlines and soup kitchens for even formerly prosperous middle-class men personified the era, and entire families thought they faced a life of poverty and joblessness. Most of the industrialized world in one way or another was caught up in the same calamity, with disastrous political results, including the rise of totalitarian regimes in crisis-ridden nations around the world.
Though the New Deal government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first elected in 1932, initiated numerous governmental programs that generated some employment, 10 million people, or about 17 percent of the workforce, were still unemployed in 1939. The outbreak of the war in Europe in 1939 brought forth a new surge of economic activity as well as an ensuing military draft. Ironically, it was the American entry into the war in late 1941 that put an end to the Great Depression, by taking young men temporarily out of circulation as most went into the military and putting everyone else to work on the home front, including large numbers of women. The American Legion, strongly supported by William Randolph Hearst and his chain of newspapers, waged their campaign for the GI Bill by stressing fear of a return to prewar breadlines and resulting threats to democracy.
Same Rules for All
In spirit, as well as specific provisions, the GI Bill was enormously democratic. Benefits were available to every veteran upon his release from active service. The rules were the same for everyone. The only requirements were military service for at least 90 days, and an honorable discharge. No financial means tests were applied, no complex tax credits had to be computed, and, most important, no preferences were given for military rank or service experiences. Length of service was used to apply only to duration of educational benefits. Minimal bureaucratic red tape was imposed for the use of any benefit.
The end of World War II was a time of great drama and release for the nation as a whole. Naturally, few people, including many closely connected to the GI Bill's development, were aware of the implications of this revolutionary new law. Commentary of the time – inside and outside of Congress – tended to stress the costs and benefits of the unemployment readjustment allowance contained in the bill and to underestimate the education and loan program provisions. The readjustment allowance authorized $20 a week of unemployment funds for 52 weeks – and soon became known to its beneficiaries as the "52-20 Club." Because of the Great Depression, few in the age group of typical GIs had ever held a job. Skeptics in and out of government said that the giveaway of $20 a week would lead to irresponsible idleness. Opposition arose in Congress from some southern members who resisted providing that much money on an equal basis to blacks and whites. In the mid-1940s, $20 was a lot of money. For 15 cents or even less, one could buy gasoline, cigarettes, beer, milk shakes, or go to a movie. Yet – and this is indicative of that generation's response to the war's end, and the stigma in those days that came with accepting public money – only slightly more than half the veterans even claimed the money; and most used it for so few weeks that less than 20 percent of the estimated cost was actually spent.
For educational benefits, the method was for the Veterans Administration (VA) to certify eligibility, pay the bills to the school for tuition, fees, and books, and to mail a monthly living stipend to the veteran for up to 48 months of schooling, depending upon length of service. For home loans for GIs, the VA guaranteed a sizeable portion of the loan to the lending institution and mortgage rates were set at a low 4 percent interest. The formal aspects of these programs have lived on in subsequent, though less generous, versions of the GI Bill for Korean War and Vietnam War veterans – and still continue as an enlistment incentive for America's current volunteer military under what is now known as the Montgomery GI Bill.
A Boost to Education
However, it was the original bill that changed everything. First among the lasting legacies of the GI Bill of Rights is the now commonplace belief that education can be and should be available to anyone, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or family status. High school graduation was a rare achievement prior to World War II. Millions of members of the armed forces had not even graduated from grammar school and many young Americans did not go beyond the 10th grade. In the 1940s, only 23 percent of the military had a high school diploma and about 3 percent had college degrees. By making it possible for the sons of farmhands and laborers to get a better education than they had ever dreamed of, the GI Bill gave widespread and permanent credence to the idea that education is the pathway to a better job and a better life.
In 1940, a total of about 160,000 people in the United States earned college degrees. Thanks to the bill, the graduating class of 1950 numbered nearly 500,000. Importantly, these were not teenagers going to college. About half the college-student military veterans of that generation were married, and 25 percent had children. In addition to the eventual total of 2.2 million World War II veterans who attended college, another 3.5 million vets made use of vocational school opportunities, 1.5 million used it for on-the-job training, and 700,000 took farm training. The veteran chose any school or training program to which he could gain admission. Dependents of servicemen killed in action could also use the benefits. And GI educational benefits were available abroad as well. In 1950, the Veterans Administration reported that 5,800 veterans were studying in 45 countries under the GI Bill. In admitting battle-scarred vets back to civilian life, most campuses took cognizance of any educational training taken by many GIs while in service. The American Council on Education, the umbrella organization for all sectors of higher education, developed a guide for evaluating military experiences, so that suitable credits could be awarded to help speed the vet through college more quickly and then into the civilian workforce.
Not only did the GI Bill make access to higher education practical for men from all backgrounds, it changed the meaning of higher education in public consciousness from the 1950s onward. Prior to the war, higher education in the United States was mostly private, liberal arts, small-college, rural, residential, elitist, and often discriminatory from institution to institution with respect to race and religion. Today, opposites of those words provide better characterizations of higher education in the United States. American universities are now overwhelmingly public (80 percent of enrollments), focused heavily on occupational, technical, and scientific education, huge, urban-oriented, suitable for commuter attendance, and highly democratic. Now, upward social, educational, and financial mobility, rather than certification of the upper classes, is what American higher education offers to Americans and increasingly to others in the world. The resulting technological miracles in computing, in industry, medicine, and space can be attributed to a continuing stream of educated men and women.
A Flood of Veterans on Campus
Few of the minds behind the GI Bill could have envisioned the enormous enthusiasm of that generation of young men when they understood the significance of the education provisions. Few colleges and universities were prepared for the numbers of veterans who appeared to register. None were prepared for wives and children of students, a phenomenon never before experienced. Many major state universities doubled or tripled their enrollments in one or two years. University administrators felt the need to perform miracles as they faced huge lines of students, overflowing classrooms, and overworked faculty and staff. Campuses sprouted makeshift dormitories, prefabricated huts developed for the military that now held classrooms instead, and even trailer camps. Around many campuses there was the constant turmoil and noise of construction. The impact upon the surrounding communities was dramatic in terms of spurs to local business and housing development, an impact that only grew stronger in many locations over the coming decades as colleges and universities amassed more resources and prestige.
By the time initial GI Bill eligibility for World War II veterans expired in 1956 – about 11 years after final victory – the United States was richer by 450,000 trained engineers, 240,000 accountants, 238,000 teachers, 91,000 scientists, 67,000 doctors, 22,000 dentists, and more than a million other college-educated individuals.
These college graduates raised expectations throughout the country, and their skilled labor contributed to a burgeoning and literate technological middle class. There was no going back to the old America dominated by agriculture and by life in small towns. College attendance, increasingly followed by careers in urban areas, became an expectation for many thereafter. By the early 1970s, one in five Americans had a college education, compared to one in 16 prior to the war. In 2004, more than 16 million Americans were enrolled in institutions of higher education, including community colleges. Currently, 1.1 million students earn bachelor's degrees each year in an American institution and an equal number earn graduate and professional degrees.
A Catalyst for Social Change
Most important, the GI Bill was one force leading to enormous social change. Settled views regarding sex, religion, and race were shaken up. Not only did the bill expose ordinary people to liberal social concepts through higher education, it led to a great mixing of different groups on campus.
Though many women had entered factories or done other kinds of work during World War II, the postwar experience of high marriage rates, sharply increased birthrates, and new opportunities for home ownership led to a home-centered role for women for the next two decades. About 64,000 of the 350,000 women veterans of World War II took advantage of the bill's higher-education opportunities, but at the time preference was largely for men and many women's colleges even went coed to accommodate the sudden spurt of enrollment. But once the opportunity had been made available, the sons and daughters of the vets (the so-called "baby boomers" born in the 1950s and ‘60s) went on to higher education in greater numbers. Today in the United States more women than men attend colleges and universities.
In the democratic euphoria that followed the war, many Americans reassessed their prewar prejudices. Jewish veterans gained entry into many fine schools previously known to reject or apply strict quotas for Jewish applicants, and they, as well as Catholics, benefited from the growth of public institutions in urban areas. The GI Bill helped move these children of European immigrants into academe, business, and the professions, and thus essentially eliminated religious bigotry in American higher education.
Historically black institutions of higher education experienced sharp increases in enrollments and were granted federal funds for expansion of campus construction. In northern urban areas, black veterans of the war attended formerly all-white institutions. Still, the United States was a racially segregated society in the l940s, a pattern that continued in many regions in the 1950s. The military services were segregated (until President Truman issued a desegregation order in 1948), as were the schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Many black veterans were turned away from overly crowded black institutions and yet could not attend white southern schools. It took several years and another generation to accomplish what the GI Bill could not; but the foundation and development of a black middle class was a highlight of that postwar generation.
Not everyone wanted to go to college. During the war, the military had done an excellent job teaching a wide array of subjects, from reading to engineering, to millions of men from varied backgrounds. Thus motivated, many veterans obtained a high school diploma through the General Educational Development Testing Service of the American Council on Education, still known as the GED. Others continued on in vocational training schools in electronics, medical services, or business schools. Employers were encouraged to continue training their own workers with the help of the GI Bill, thereby facilitating movement into the working mainstream. Many then continued their education, establishing a grand tradition of continuous lifelong learning.
A Nation of Homeowners
This was the second durable legacy of the GI Bill. It turned the American people as never before into stakeholders, self-reliant property owners, owners of homes and businesses prepared to take responsibility for their communities because they now owned a piece of it. The dramatic impact of the GI Bill on the physical, geographic, and economic landscape of the nation is as important a legacy as the educational benefits.
It is hard to imagine the extent of the housing crisis and the pent-up consumer demand for all the necessities of life after 16 years of depression and war. It was not just the whole lack of new housing, but also that existing homes had fallen into disrepair. Even as some building resumed right after World War II, materials from nails to shingles were in short supply. Homebuilders had to compete with those building the stores and office buildings needed to restart the economy. The increasing urbanization of the nation, with most jobs concentrated in large cities, made the housing problem acute in major metropolitan areas. But the GIs returning home after years away were determined to make up for lost time by marrying, raising a family, and, of course, finally owning a home of their own, a potent symbol of economic and psychological security.
Assembly-line manufacturing techniques were applied to the building of homes. By the end of 1947, the Veterans Administration guaranteed well over one million home, business, and farm loans. Housing starts jumped from 114,000 in 1944 to 1.7 million by 1950. By 1950, the Veterans Administration guaranteed loans for over two million homes.
The "VA Loan," as it was called, meant that the government co-signed about half of a veteran's mortgage. This encouraged developers to build, bankers to lend, and veterans to buy, often with no down payment. The resulting explosion in consumer demand stirred the spirit of American manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and local officials who built new roads, schools, churches, and shopping centers. Manufacturers created or recreated in postwar style every conceivable household item to fill those new shopping centers and homes. Since the inception of the GI Bill and similar laws that followed, 16 million veterans have purchased homes using VA loans. Today, nearly 70 percent of the American people own their own homes.
A Decentralized Market Approach
The third legacy of the GI Bill devolved from the manner in which it was administered and funded. Under the terms of the statute, the administration of the program was concentrated in the Veterans Administration (now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs) rather than scattered government agencies or private institutions. It was a centralized federal program that was based on a decentralized market approach. Congress chose to fund the GI Bill educational benefits through the veterans themselves over the protests of the educational establishment, which had initially hoped and sought entirely to control the postwar allocation of such resources. This approach established the basic postwar method for subsequent federal loans and grants to college students. To this day in the United States, funds targeted at educational opportunity, such as student loans, still go directly to the student and not the institution. Similarly, the postwar housing crisis was addressed through individual loan guarantees rather than government-built and -managed housing projects, many of which have not served well in efforts to solve subsequent housing crises.
In retrospect, the GI Bill may appear to some to have been a huge public "welfare" program. But it would be wrong to think of it that way. As initially administered, it was a special law for a very special time, made available only to one generation of veterans and unrelated to need. But it has had a lasting legacy through continued application of its major themes for all veterans of wars subsequent to World War II and still serves as an inducement to sustain a volunteer military force. For non-veterans, and indeed for the nation, it established a model framework for achievement through education and property ownership. In addition, it helped create a climate where intellectual ambition became a commonplace among Americans of all backgrounds, leading to greater social tolerance, and far greater demand for a wide variety of choices, both in the consumer sphere and in other ways of living.
What the GI Bill represented, whether intended or not, is that a clear national commitment to upward mobility for a heterogeneous population pays enormous dividends for both individuals and the nation. The GI Bill enabled the nation to overcome years of instability, restored the nation's human, economic, and social capital, and helped catapult the United States to leadership on the world's stage.
Milton Greenberg is professor emeritus of government at American University in Washington, D.C., where he also served as provost and interim president. His academic career includes service on the faculties of the University of Tennessee and Western Michigan University, as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University, and as vice president for academic affairs at Roosevelt University. He is co-author (with Jack C. Plano) of a major reference work, The American Political Dictionary, first published in 1962 and now in its 11th edition. In 1997, he authored The GI Bill: The Law That Changed America.
Keep in mind today's US Department of Defense looks just like Egypt's autocratic generals------they are all billionaire corporate executives no longer attached to our US military troops----but looking at US military from the Bush/Cheney global military corporation and tribunal view. The US now has hundreds of generals all tied to military contractors ----all doing well financially you can bet. Also, remember the post on how much defense industry fraud we have experienced in just a few decades of Clinton/Bush/Obama-----it is in the trillions of dollars and below you see this article showing these same top brass haggling over some billions of dollars to fund military wages and benefits. That is why I shout that the leaders of organizations and agencies that should be protecting the American people and workers are actually working for this global corporate tribunal. So, we are to believe that Congress only voted to slash our military because these generals suggested to do so. Meanwhile, outsource hiring of US private military corporations around the world is soaring. THIS IS EASY TO REVERSE-------JUST REBUILD RULE OF LAW AND RECOVER JUST THE LOW-HANGING FRAUD AND VOILA----ALL PUBLIC TRUSTS ARE FULLY FUNDED. Social Democrats do that-----Clinton/Obama Wall Street neo-liberals work to create the conditions for corporate fraud and government corruption.
I ALREADY HEAR------EXPANDED AND IMPROVED GI BILL------AND THEY ARE RIGHT.
Cuts to military pay and benefits can’t wait, Pentagon tells Congress
By Jared Serbu | @jserbuWFED March 27, 2014 4:30 am
Pentagon leaders say the reductions to military personnel spending they are proposing as part of the fiscal 2015 budget weren’t easy decisions, but Congress needs to OK them this year, or the overall military budget picture will become far gloomier over the next five years.
The Defense Department is taking heat from military associations and Capitol Hill not just for proposing trims to compensation, but also for the timing of the proposals. They come one year before the congressionally-chartered Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission is scheduled to issue a full package of recommendations to reform the entire structure of military pay and benefits, including salaries, pensions, health care and other perks.
But in budget hearings on Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday, Pentagon officials insisted they’ve done enough analysis on their own to move forward with a package of changes that they said must be made immediately, including lower military pay raises, smaller housing allowances, an end to commissary subsidies and new out-of- pocket health care costs for military family members and retirees.
“If we wait until we have the commission results, then we’re going to have to take all of this money out of readiness and modernization,” said outgoing Defense undersecretary Robert Hale, DoD’s comptroller and chief financial officer. “We think that will damage national security, and that’s why we’re doing this. We’d rather wait; we’d rather not do this at all. But the budget caps are in effect and we don’t see them changing.”
Reductions are ‘modest’
The Pentagon’s budget does not propose any changes to the current retirement system. DoD says it wants to wait for the commission’s recommendations on that politically-volatile topic.
Defense officials defended their current personnel proposals this week as being “modest.” The proposals would lower military pay raises to 1 percent per year instead of keeping pace with private-market wage inflation. Housing allowances would be changed to cover only 95 percent of the estimated cost of service members’ rent, and the department would no longer pay the costs of renters insurance.
Also, commissary shoppers would get about a 10 percent discount from private market prices for groceries, compared to the average 30 percent they enjoy now. And the TRICARE health insurance system would introduce new fees and co-pays to try to push beneficiaries to use lower-cost military treatment facilities and pharmacies.
If Congress enacts those and other personnel changes into law, DoD estimates it would save about $2 billion in 2015.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is one of the few lawmakers who routinely and publicly agrees with the Pentagon’s assessment that the military personnel budget is in need of serious structural reform. But even he was unwilling to embrace the department’s proposals Wednesday.
“Could we find $2 billion [in the federal budget] this year that would avoid us having to make structural decisions about commissaries, about TRICARE and other things about compensation? I’ll probably support these things in the end, I’d just like the commission to do it,” he said. “It’s not that I don’t trust the department’s work product, but we’ve got ourselves in a bind here. You’ve got a commission studying the same subject matter. You’ve got an administration that’s got to come up with money within the budget caps. If we could find a $2 billion safety valve, I think we could allow the commission to do its work. If you’re going to ask people to give up some of their housing allowances, I’d just like to make it a more thoughtful process and be able to go to these folks and say, ‘We’ve had the best minds in the country looking at this.’ I just think it be easier for us to sell.”
No easy choices
DoD says it’s not just a $2 billion problem. The Pentagon estimates the changes it wants to begin making next year would carry compounding savings that would accrue to the tune of $31 billion over the next five years.
And Hale said even delaying the changes by a year or two would throw DoD’s already-tenuous budget plans way out of balance.
“If you delay all of these, the whole budget slips,” Hale said. “You would have to wait probably two years before you could act on the commission’s recommendations, so it’s probably another $15 billion or so in that period. I don’t have the exact number, but what you’re doing is forcing further cuts in numbers of personnel or modernization in the out years.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, said she acknowledges none of DoD’s budget choices are easy ones at the moment. But she said the combined effects of all of the department’s proposed changes would be unnecessarily harsh to service members, especially those who are at lower ranks, and consequently are lower-paid.
“We offer a set of benefits and pay to incentivize our forces to take on these very tough jobs and make the sacrifices of having to relocate your family every two or three years, and your spouse may not be able to work because of that relocation,” she said. “So we really are changing the deal. My concern is if we have this commission and they are going to do a more balanced approach, it seems to be a missed opportunity to not wait to see what they can come up with. This was not an easy process for the Pentagon, but these are real cuts. If you’re a family that’s making $20,000 or $30,000 a year, that 30 percent in grocery savings really matters.”
Defense officials say they were only able to win the military’s Joint Chiefs’ support for the personnel spending cutbacks by pledging that any savings would be applied directly to the military services’ accounts for readiness and modernization, both of which have already taken significant hits and would suffer further if sequestration kicks in again in 2016.
Hale said those are precisely the funding priorities that would most suffer if Congress decides to prohibit any cuts to the services’ personnel accounts.
“The chiefs set meeting after meeting debating these very points,” he said. “But if you choose to go back on these proposals, you’re going to have to take it out of somewhere. I don’t think you’ll want to take it out of modernization, because we could have the same debate about whether we’re buying enough aircraft and ships. I hope you don’t want to take it out of readiness. But those are the choices you’ve got.”
The Pentagon also believes that a majority of its own service members might be less protective of their pay and benefits than members of Congress are. Based on surveys, the department thinks troops are more concerned about the ongoing cutbacks to their training, equipment and other budget-related limitations on their ability to do their day-to-day jobs than they are about their own compensation around the margins.
“Our members join our service to learn and exercise their skills,” said Jessica Wright, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.”We believe that readiness and training are clearly the ultimate care we can give our service members. If we cannot afford to train, exercise and operate — if the quality of their service is diminished — we will lose precisely those service members we want to retain.”
The last issue for VETS this time will look at the restructuring of the US military as global pols-----Clinton/Obama neo-liberals and Bush/Hopkins neo-cons ------see the US military as a global corporate mercenary force reporting to a global tribunal and not a US sovereign force to protect the American people. Global pols are building a global military that protects EMPIRE AROUND THE WORLD----that is very, very, very expensive.
Republican voters have always been the most ready to join the military and as I showed they were burned by Bush/Cheney and now are as likely not to join the military than the Democratic voters always against war. We see national media showing Republican RED states shouting that Obama is a traitor-----that the United Nations troops are operating and training in the West and they are right ------what they are seeing is a US military that is privatatized and global and having over 50% of new recruits as immigrants being brought to the US from around the world and then installed in our military with the promise of citizenship that has always come with service. These immigrants are signed on to the US military and then will spend most of their career time overseas in Asian, African, and Middle-Eastern nations 'PROTECTING' American interests.
So, as Bush burned the American people out of wanting to be in the military------as DOD and Congress gut funding to military wages and benefits lowering them still further from an already too low salary------Republicans and Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are again using immigrants from around the world to fill these military posts AND THEY WILL NOT BE TREATED AS US MILITARY HAVE UNDER US CONSTITUTION AND RULE OF LAW-----they will literally become the mercenary legions.
Do US military troops working for global military corporations with growing numbers of immigrant recruits from around the world see themselves as protectors of US citizens? Of course not----they see themselves as employed by global military contractors following those orders.
'Many foreign recruits are invaluable to the U.S. military which has troops and interests in nearly every corner of the world. Not only do they speak many languages fluently, they offer a unique perspective on the cultures and peoples the U.S. military encounters on their sojourns across the globe. Offering citizenship is often the incentive that gets these foreign soldiers to fight for the United States—that and the cause itself. 19 year-old Shaheen Bahamin is a former resident of Iran and Pakistan and speaks a dialect used in both Iran and Afghanistan spoke about his motivation for joining the U.S. military, saying, “My goal is to fight terrorists. They are power hungry. In the Middle East, they would kill their own family. It could my family they kill. That’s why I’m here, to fight them.” '
A Quick Military Path to Citizenship
Military Path to Citizenship The U.S. military has found itself in need of linguists and cultural specialists as a result of lengthy engagements in foreign countries. In hopes of filling these types of positions, the military has expedited the citizenship process for new recruits. Joining the military to become a U.S. citizen is nothing new and has been in practice since World War II. Now, however, a recruit doesn’t even have to graduate from boot camp before they can start citizenship proceedings. For this to happen, a decades-old rule of not allowing any visitors during boot camp was repealed to allow immigration officials to administer to these would-be citizens. Immigration officials are welcoming the change. Before the rules changed, they would have to visit military personnel at their locations, often dangerous or faraway places without the benefit of a nearby U.S. consulate.
Only immigrants who have been granted legal visas to the U.S. can apply. This policy is not like, for example, the French Foreign Legion where anyone from anywhere can join. Furthermore, recruits must complete at least five years of military service and be honorably discharged or they are at risk of losing their citizenship. Before the rules changed, a recruit would have to complete boot camp and serve at least one year in the military before even being allowed to apply for citizenship. The program is rather popular so far. Karen Dalziel, an official from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) dealing with military citizenship applicants said, “In February (of 2011) alone, we took in more than applications.” Dalziel went on to say that she swears in 30 to 50 new military-based U.S. citizens a week. In 2010 alone, over 11,000 foreign national military members gained citizenship and since September 11, 2001, the military has helped in over 68,000 citizenship acquisitions.
This program had its beginnings almost ten years ago when George W. Bush anticipated the need for more military recruits after the September 11 World Trade Center Attacks. Bush signed an executive order shortly after the attacks outlining the need for a quicker citizenship process for military personnel. Gaining citizenship during basic training didn’t begin until 2009 when the Army opened its five basic training facilities to USCIS officials. The Navy followed suit the next year, allowing USCIS officials into its basic training camp near Chicago.
Many foreign recruits are invaluable to the U.S. military which has troops and interests in nearly every corner of the world. Not only do they speak many languages fluently, they offer a unique perspective on the cultures and peoples the U.S. military encounters on their sojourns across the globe. Offering citizenship is often the incentive that gets these foreign soldiers to fight for the United States—that and the cause itself. 19 year-old Shaheen Bahamin is a former resident of Iran and Pakistan and speaks a dialect used in both Iran and Afghanistan spoke about his motivation for joining the U.S. military, saying, “My goal is to fight terrorists. They are power hungry. In the Middle East, they would kill their own family. It could my family they kill. That’s why I’m here, to fight them.”
Here is the very, very neo-conservative global corporate news journal TIME telling all red-blooded Americans that NEW Americans/immigrant recruits make better soldiers. Indeed, when the standards of serving in the military degrade with loss of Rule of Law and US Constitutional protections it will take citizens from the developing nations to withstand these harsher conditions with far less wages and benefits. Immigrants in the US are soon to find themselves facing the same International Economic Zone sweat shop labor choices as exist in Asia----where choices are enslavement in factories or extreme poverty and yes, they do find a life in this NEW global military better........American citizens being pushed to retire as wages and benefits are gutted. Progressives do not want military involvement at all-----so these new policies are expanding and building a global force far beyond what has existed before----and much of it is behind closed doors under DOD military outsourcing. Meanwhile, US citizens will see more and more and more funding going into building this global military structure. That was what Bush era NSA/privatized global military corporation expansion was about----it is what Homeland Security expansion is about-----and now Obama restructuring US military to that of asymmetric drone warfare over a dozen nations shows empire at work. These military often feel no connection to domestic American life----NEW AMERICAN status is tied heavily to this Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal structure of protecting global International Economic Zones.
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS DO NOT WANT THIS GLOBAL MILITARY STRUCTURE----IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOT WANTING IMMIGRANTS TO HAVE A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP THROUGH MILITARY SERVICE----WE HAVE HAD THAT FOR CENTURIES. SOCIAL DEMOCRATS WANT IMMIGRANTS ALREADY IN THE US PROTECTED IN THE WORKPLACE UNDER EXISTING US LABOR LAWS-----WANT A CITIZENSHIP NOW FOR THOSE IMMIGRANTS HAVING BEEN IN THE US FOR EXTENDED TIME WITH RECORDS OF EMPLOYMENT.
This mercenary global military status for immigrants will NOT end well for immigrants wanting US citizenship -----and it is bad to dismantle our public US military structure with this global corporate military structure.
Non-Citizens Make Better U.S. Soldiers*
By Mark Thompson @MarkThompson_DCApril 06, 2012 TIME Magazine
Well, there’s a kick in the teeth to all you red-blooded Americans wearing your country’s uniform: It turns out non-Americans donning U.S. military garb have more stick-to-itiveness than you, as well as having vital skills the U.S. military needs that you don’t have, to boot.
Non-citizens are “a potential source of language and cultural skills that are of strategic importance to military operations outside of the U.S.,” the new Pentagon report notes. Adds an earlier study from the Center for Naval Analyses: “…relative to citizen recruits, non-citizen recruits generally have a stronger attachment to serving the United States, which they now consider to be `their country,’ and have a better work ethic.”
In the wake of 9/11, President Bush signed an executive order that allows legal aliens to enlist and become eligible for citizenship after one day of honorable service in the military (it used to be three years). That means that most of them become citizens before they even leave basic training.
Between 1999 and 2010, 80,000 non-citizens enlisted in the U.S. military, representing 4% — one out of 25 — recruits. The Navy had 5.2% non-citizen recruits, the Army and Marines were at about 4% each, and non-citizen recruits made up 2.3% of Air Force recruits. “As a large portion of the growth in the U.S. population is from immigration, non-citizens represent a growing source of potential military recruits,” the new report on Pentagon demographics says.
Non-citizens have to be legal permanent residents of the U.S., have a high school diploma, and speak English well enough to meet each service’s requirements, in order to enlist. All regular U.S. military officers must be U.S. citizens. There were 16,500 non-citizens serving in uniform in mid-2010, constituting 1.4% of the enlisted force.
The Pentagon demographic report says that non-citizen recruits are more likely to be female, minority, older, married or with dependents than citizen recruits, but less likely to be those the military describes as “high quality” or have an enlistment waiver – for minor crimes or other reasons — when they sign up.
Adds the CNA study:
…our data show that non-citizen recruits are likely to possess language and cultural skills that are of strategic interest to the U.S. military. As the U.S. economy improves and the military enters a more difficult recruiting environment, it is important to keep in mind this population’s potential as a recruiting resource. This is especially important given the recent declines in fertility rates associated with the current economic crisis. In the coming decades, the only source of net growth in the U.S. recruiting-age population is projected to be immigration (that is, immigrants and their U.S.-born children).
The report, along with the CNA study, suggest the military is getting a bargain when non-citizens enlist: they are much more likely to complete their initial hitch, usually three or four years, than native-born Americans. Only 4% of non-citizens drop out of the military within three months, half the rate of citizens, the CNA report found. By the four-year mark, one in three citizen recruits has bailed, compared to one in five non-citizens. Every soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who leaves early has to be replaced, with all the additional training and outfitting that requires.
Non-citizens are barred from holding security clearances, which means they qualify for only one quarter of the Air Force’s enlisted billets. They’re eligible for about 40% of Navy slots, and half of the Army and Marine assignments. The Air Force also bars non-citizens from re-enlisting. The other three services have no such restriction, although until 2007 the Army barred non-citizens from more than eight years of service.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have the power to revoke the citizenship of any service member who leaves the military with an other-than-honorable discharge after less than five years in uniform. “To our knowledge, however,” CNA added, “USCIS does not have sufficient visibility on attrition from the services to be able to enforce this, nor does this currently seem to be a priority for USCIS.”