15 February 2010

Show Them the Money

The 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division's 2005 deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom is the stuff of legend, if for no other reasons than:
(1) Eventually clocking in at 22 months in country, it was the longest deployment of any U.S. Infantry unit--that's any unit, apparently, active-duty or National Guard--since World War II.

(2) The soldiers found out about the extension of their deployment after their families and the media did, moments captured by an hour-long 60 Minutes program titled "Fathers, Sons, and Brothers" that followed the soldiers of Iowa's 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry throughout their lengthy tour.

(3) The soldiers were never fully compensated for the extension of their deployment. According to a 2008 Iowa National Guard press release, the unit returned to the states on July 2, 2007. While a program of paying bonuses for troops incurring extra-long deployments had been put into place in January 2007, the Army waffled as to whether the program was retroactive.
According to the Associated Press via the Army Times, the Pentagon today closed the loophole, potentially allowing some $10 million in back pay to be paid to 2,500 Minnesota National Guard troops. The 1st BCT, while headquartered in Minnesota, included the Iowa's 1/133rd Infantry.

The article notes, however, the Pentagon did not issue itself a deadline to actually start payment.


  1. *looks at the Brigade Badge*... *realises it looks familiar* My just-returned Adopted Soldier is a Red Bull :)

    Good that your government is finally giving due compensation!


  2. @Paxford: Your news really brightened my morning! Please pass along a hearty "Welcome Home" to your soldier from yours truly! And ... welcome to the extended Red Bull family?

  3. Thank you for the welcome :)

    And just so you can see what a special "Red Bull" he is (to me at least) see what he organised to send me http://marionsmeepings.blogspot.com/2010/02/pax-gobsmacked-ed.html


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