AR20140000042

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 9 October 2014

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20140000042

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests payment of $29,885 under the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).

2. The applicant states she was specifically promised that she would be paid $29,885. No particular type of loan was excluded. She would not have enlisted if she had known of these restrictions and feels she was misled by the recruiter.

3. The applicant provides copies of

* a 27 September 2011 email from the Pennsylvania Student Loan Payment Manager
* her DD Form 4 (Enlistment/Reenlistment Document). dated 13 October 2011
* NGB Form 600-7-5-R-E (Annex L to DD Form 4 (Enlisted Loan Repayment Program Addendum, Army National Guard of the United States) (10 pages)
* Locally-prepared recruiting worksheet
* applicant’s sworn statement, dated, 28 August 2013

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. On 13 October 2011, the applicant enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard (PAARNG) for 6 years.

2. Section III (Acknowledgement) of Annex L (the SLRP addendum) states at paragraph 6, “I have one or more qualifying and disbursed Title IV Federal loan(s) at the time of enlistment/reenlistment/extension/affiliation. The loan must be listed in my National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) statement. Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loans for the use of the individual contracting for this incentive are authorized.” The maximum loan repayment amount was up to $50,000.

3. The NGB Form 600-7-5-R-E is signed and dated by the applicant and Service Representative Jessica C—–.

3. The 27 September 2011 email from the Pennsylvania Student Loan Payment Manager stated the applicant was approved for SLRP payment for six loans totaling $29,885.

4. During the processing of this case an advisory opinion was obtained from the NGB. The Deputy Chief of Personnel Policy:

a. recommended denial of the applicant’s request because the PLUS loans were in her father’s name, not the applicant’s;

b. cited Title 10, U.S. Code (USC), section 16301 which states requires that a repayable loan must have been made to the individual who serves in a Reserve Component;

c. stated that the applicant had only $5,500 in qualifying loans when she enlisted; and

d. wrote, “Since SPC (the applicant) is the Service Member and not her father, only she was authorized to incur PLUS loans as a parent for the support of a child, not the other way around.”

5. A copy of the advisory opinion was provided to the applicant. She responded that she liked serving in the ARNG and that she considered that she was an asset to her unit, but her financial situation was such that she could not continue to serve unless the $29,885 in student loans were paid as she had been promised. She asked that she be relieved of her commitment if the full amount promised her was not paid.

6. Title 10, USC, section 16301 states in pertinent part, “The Secretary of Defense may repay loans described in paragraph (1) in the case of any person

for service performed as a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of an armed force in a reserve component and in an officer program or military specialty specified by the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary may repay such a loan only if the person to whom the loan was made performed such service after the loan was made.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. The available evidence indicates the PAARNG Incentive Manager determined that the applicant had $29,885 worth of qualifying loans that were approved for the SLRP payment. Further, her SLRP addendum stated PLUS loans were eligible for payment.

2. The applicable section of Title 10, section 16301 provides that the SLRP can only be used to repay loans made to the individual who serves. Thus, the PLUS provision of the SLRP bonus addendum was invalid and therefore misleading when it was written.

3. She was neither responsible for the wording of the SLRP addendum to her enlistment contract nor for verifying which of her loans qualified for payment under the SLRP. Those details were the duty of the NGB who wrote the contract and the PAARNG who promised her $29,885.00 in SLRP repayments, not just the $5,500 in other, qualifying loans.

4. The applicant did nothing wrong. She is entitled to receive the benefits promised to her in the SLRP addendum when she enlisted. Accordingly, her records should be corrected to show she was properly authorized to receive those benefits. To do otherwise is an injustice.

5. In view of the foregoing findings and conclusions, it would be appropriate to rectify this injustice by correcting the applicant’s records as recommended below.

6. Title 10, USC, section 1552, the law which provides for the Board, states “The Secretary may pay, from applicable current appropriations, a claim for the loss of pay, allowances, compensation, emoluments, or other pecuniary benefits, or the repayment of a fine or forfeiture, if, as a result of correcting a record under this section, the amount is found to be due the claimant on account of his or another’s service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, as the case may be.”

BOARD VOTE:

____X___ ____X___ ____X___ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

________ ________ ________ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The Board determined that the evidence presented was sufficient to warrant a recommendation for relief. As a result, the Board recommends that all Department of the Army and State Army National Guard records of the individual concerned be corrected by:

a. amending the Annex L to her DD Form 4 to include the statement, “If a student loan is accepted by the officials processing you for enlistment as payable under the SLRP, and the government fails to verify that all student loans accepted actually are eligible under the Higher Education Act of 1965, and such failure results in nonpayment of the loan by the SLRP, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records may pay the loan, at its sole discretion, in accordance with Title 10, U.S. Code, section 1552”; and

b. directing that in accordance with Title 10, U.S. Code, section 1552, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service make payment to the applicant for the total amount of loans not covered under the SLRP, that were listed in her enlistment records, in the amount of $23,385.00 (or $29,885, if the $5,500 in qualifying loans is not part of the $29,885; the applicant should provide evidence to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to show the total amount of the PLUS loan), to which she is entitled as a result of this correction.

____________X____________
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000042

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000042

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