2The NeedIn 2006, the Army National Guard (ANG) began the Guard Recruiting Assistant Program (G-RAP). 104,000 soldiers were requested by their command to serve as personal ambassadors for the ANG. Typically, these soldiers were the best of the best, specifically chosen as worthy to represent the ANG.These soldiers became recruiting assistants (RAs), technically hired by a private government contractor, Docupak.
3The PlanDocupak was awarded $500 million by the U.S. government to promote, manage, administer and monitor G-RAP.The soldiers were offered a monetary incentive from Docupak: For every soldier enlisted, they were paid up to $2,000.
4The ResultOver six years, the National Guard paid Docupak close to half a billion dollars to process more than 130,000 enlistments.
5And Then…G-RAP was audited by the Army Audit Agency.
6Army Audit FindingsThe National Guard did not meet most Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements for the solicitation, award, and oversight of Docupak’s contract used for G-RAP.
7Also… The Docupak contract violated the anti- deficiency act. Docupak was improperly paid $9.3 million for referral payment fees that weren’t included in or authorized by the contracts.The Docupak contract violated the anti- deficiency act.For 88% of Docupak’s payments to RAs, one or more key controls were not in place.The Lt Colonel who signed the contract on behalf of the ANG, left the Guard to work for Docupak.
8What Happened NextDocupak associated with a Washington D.C. lobbying and public relations firm. The focus turned away from Docupak and the military brass who implemented the contract.Instead, the ANG assigned 200 Criminal Investigators to pursue soldiers, alleging that the soldiers defrauded the government.
9Rewriting the RulesLong after the close of the program, and after the audit, a new set of undated, unsigned and unsourced rules appeared. Soldiers that participated in the program claim they have never before seen this set of rules, only the original set (labeled Version1.5).This “new” version, called 2.0, reverses the program of the original rules and prohibits RAs from receiving information from a Guard recruitment officer.After the fact, the new rules make actions taken by the soldiers that were valid at the time, now appear illegal.
10The DifferencesVersion 1.5, the rules given to the RAs, states that information regarding recruits may come from the Recruiting and Retention Officer, including Legal Name (Birth Certificate); Address; Social Security Number; Date of Birth; Citizenship; Dependency Status (Marriage License). Version 2.0 prohibits this.This one change opens the door to charges of fraud, identity theft and other felonies.
11The Result109,000 soldiers came under suspicion. After six years of criminal investigations, five Army audits, and five additional Army investigations, with 200 CID investigative agents … Soldiers from all over the country, many of whom have left the ANG — and others who are still active — are suddenly being prosecuted under felony charges. Many are without the resources to fight these charges and are pleading guilty under duress from their public defenders.
12The CostAn estimated $15 million has been spent to recover $900,000.
13The Real CulpritDocupak has not returned $1 to the U.S. government despite Army audits finding fault in every aspect of their contract, administration, and management of G-RAP. Docupak continues to receive government contracts.
14The TragedyThousands of soldiers’ lives have been ruined.
15The Update Even being investigated results in job losses. Charges continue to be filed against soldiers.Even being investigated results in job losses.Beyond the courts, the Guard also uses involuntary separation, debarment and GOMAR (General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, or an administrative censure) in its relentless pursuit of the wrong culprit