(By Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) The U.S. Navy is trying to claw back $7 million from over 1,200 retired sailors after a system error resulted in overpayments for almost four years, according to NBC News.
The errors were a result of inaccurate service calculations for 1,283 retired sailors between August 2019 and February 2023, caused by its personnel system sending incorrect data to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
It counted inactive reserve service as active duty creditable service. That error leaves sailors with debts from $35 to $70,000 that the Navy now must attempt to recoup, with a median debt of $2,700 per sailor, NBC reported.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service will soon issue official debt notifications to retirees detailing how to pay the debt or request a waiver. On top of reduced retirement income since the error was discovered, retired sailors are bracing for tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
According to NBC, retired sailor Devin Morrison has seen his payments fall by $762 per month, and is expecting to be hit with a bill for around $30,000 in repayments. “Through no fault of my own, I’m going to be saddled with this pretty significant bill…That’s a hard pill to swallow,” Morrison told NBC.
This isn’t the first administrative mistake the armed services have made in recent years. The Navy found that 65 dentists and physicians owe three additional years of service after a similar computer error, and in another incident the Air Force found 600 aviation officers also owe three additional years of service.
Our brave men and women that serve in the military risk their lives to defend our country. The least we owe them is a competent administration and accurate information about their years of service and income.