For Immediate Release
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Hundreds of soldiers, including Wisconsin service members, have not received due compensation

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today unanimously approved an amendment sponsored by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to compensate soldiers for miscalculated leave time following their military deployment. Kohl’s amendment, based on his bipartisan Fair Military Leave Act, was included as part of the Senate Defense Authorization Bill. Wisconsin Congressmen Tom Petri and Ron Kind are sponsors of companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

“No one denies that these troops should have received their leave, and their records have been corrected by the Army. However, the only option available to these soldiers is to use their leave after a future deployment. For those soldiers who will not deploy again – many of whom are no longer in the military – this remedy means nothing,” Kohl said.

“My amendment gives these soldiers another option to make sure they can all use the benefit they earned.  And this amendment is fully paid for – it does not add to the deficit,” Kohl added.

In 2007, the Army began a program that offered additional paid leave for soldiers after they returned home from multiple or extended deployments overseas. The Army miscalculated the leave time for hundreds of soldiers, including members of the Wisconsin National Guard’s 1157th Transportation Company. The Army corrected the mistake on the soldiers’ records, but will only allow them to use the unused leave after their next deployment. However, many of these soldiers have since left the military or will not be deployed again, making it impossible for them to use the leave they earned. The Fair Military Leave Act gives these troops the option of cashing out this unused leave.

The Fair Military Leave Act is supported by the National Guard Association of the United States.