US Troops to Be Reimbursed for Equipment Purchases
Under a law Congress passed in October 2004, the Defense Department had until Feb. 25, 2005 to develop regulations reimbursing US soldiers for mission-related equipment, which is limited to $1,100 per item. In response, soldiers and their families have reported buying everything from higher-quality protective gear to armor for their Humvees, medical supplies and even global positioning devices – but the reimbursements hadn’t been forthcoming.
It’s the classic organizational conundrum of “rogue buying” that meets immediate needs, vs. the benefits of standardization, quality testing for equipment that must not fail, and interoperablity. Pentagon officials called the Congressional directive “an unmanageable precedent that will saddle the DOD with an open-ended financial burden” – but fortunately, Sen. Christopher Dodd [D-CT] pushed, and a year later, the DoD has just released its formal reimbusement policy. That policy gives eligible Soldiers until October 3, 2006 to apply for reimbursement, and clearly specifies what is and isn’t covered.