Vet cleared of wrong­do­ing in Army re­cruiter bonus scan­dal

At­tor­ney said ba­sis of rep­ri­mand was de­fec­tive

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

An Iraq war com­bat vet­eran caught up in the Army’s re­cruiter bonus scan­dal has fi­nally been cleared of wrong­do­ing af­ter a long le­gal battle.

Maj. John W. Suprynow­icz, a mem­ber of the Texas Na­tional Guard, was in­formed last week by Army South that his per­son­nel record is no longer “flagged,” mean­ing he can be pro­moted to lieu­tenant colonel and get back his se­cu­rity clear­ance.

Maj. Suprynow­icz al­ways main­tained his in­no­cence in right­fully col­lect­ing $85,000 for re­fer­ring 41 re­cruits over six years to en­list in the Guard. But he faced

a two year-plus probe by the Army’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Com­mand (CID) that stopped his ca­reer and brought threats of pros­e­cu­tion from the Jus­tice De­part­ment.

En­ter the Cen­ter for Ter­ror­ism Law, directed by Jeff Ad­di­cott, a for­mer judge ad­vo­cate for Army spe­cial forces who teaches law at St. Mary’s Uni­ver­sity in San An­to­nio. Mr. Ad­di­cott, who goes to bat for ser­vice mem­bers he be­lieves are un­fairly treated by the mil­i­tary jus­tice sys­tem, took on the ma­jor’s case.

Work­ing with­out a fee, Mr. Ad­di­cott pressed his case with the CID and the com­mand­ing gen­eral of Army South. He ob­tained sworn state­ments from re­cruits who said that Maj. Suprynow­icz did in fact re­fer them, con­tra­dict­ing CID’s con­tention that he did not.

Mr. Ad­di­cott in per­son ac­cused CID in­ves­ti­ga­tors of shoddy work. He said the Guard’s Re­cruit­ing As­sis­tance Pro­gram, known as G-RAP, spit out con­fus­ing reg­u­la­tions.

“It is amaz­ing in our mod­ern mil­i­tary, awash in po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, that they would spend so much time and ef­fort to cru­cify a highly dec­o­rated com­bat war­rior rather than cel­e­brate him as the pre­em­i­nent sym­bol of what our mil­i­tary now needs more than ever — real he­roes,” Mr. Ad­di­cott told The Wash­ing­ton Times. “I will con­tinue to fight for these he­roes here at our pro bono mil­i­tary jus­tice mis­sion.”

At one point Maj. Suprynow­icz re­ceived a rep­ri­mand, a ca­reer en­der. But Mr. Ad­di­cott ar­gued force­fully in a se­ries of back-and-forth let­ters that the ba­sis for the rep­ri­mand was wrong. Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, Army South com­man­der at Fort Sam Hous­ton, ul­ti­mately agreed and or­dered it de­stroyed.

“The CID reck­lessly at­tempted to de­stroy him over false al­le­ga­tions but­tressed by false in­ter­views and a most hap­haz­ard and cherry-picked read­ing of the con­fused G-RAP pro­vi­sions,” Mr. Ad­di­cott wrote to Gen. Chinn on Oct. 26.

The Times fea­tured Maj. Suprynow­icz in a Fe­bru­ary re­port about the Army’s broad in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a re­cruit­ing scan­dal, pri­mar­ily by Na­tional Guards­men who took bonus money for re­cruits they never ac­tu­ally re­cruited.

The CID said it was one of its largest probes in his­tory and could in­volve $100 mil­lion in fraud. The Times ex­am­ined Army records that showed the proven and sus­pected fraud sat at just $6 mil­lion.

The Guard started the re­cruit­ing pro­gram in 2005 as con­tin­u­ous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan caused the Guard to miss its end-strength goal of 350,000 troops. The $2,000-per re­cruit bonus turned into a quick suc­cess.

The Guard met man­power needs, but the Army stopped the cash in­cen­tives in 2012 af­ter au­dits re­vealed fraud.

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