OKLAHOMA CITY – A program designed to help bolster recruiting efforts by providing financial incentives to National Guard members, retirees and civilians who helped convince people to join the Guard is coming under fire after investigators found that $29 million may have been lost nationwide due to fraud.
In 2005, the Recruiting Assistance Program (RAP) was initiated to provide monetary rewards to individuals that would refer prospective applicants to recruiters. The bonuses offered for each enlistment ranged from $2,000 to $7,500 and the vast majority of those participating in the program did so lawfully. Similar efforts were also utilized by the Army Reserve and Active Army, but the RAP was terminated some six years after it originated when the Army Audit Agency found bonuses had been paid to individuals that hadn’t earned them.
“We know that some Oklahoma Guardsmen may have committed fraudulent acts that are being investigated by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Col. Max Moss, an Oklahoma National Guard spokesman. “We are cooperating fully with military and civil authorities as they work to determine what wrongdoings may have occurred. As with all alleged criminal acts, we take this issue very seriously.”
To protect the integrity of any ongoing investigations, the Oklahoma National Guard will not release any specifics about individual cases. Because the investigation is continuing, it isn’t known how many current and former members of the Oklahoma National Guard are under scrutiny by law enforcement agencies.