On September 9, 2021, a proposed class action lawsuit commenced against the United States of America by Army Reservists (RC) who were unlawfully denied basic allowance for housing (BAH), overseas housing allowance (OHA), endured wage garnishments, and were subjected to criminal probes. Gulley, et al. v. United States of America, Court of Federal Claims case #21-1825C, outlines how the Army's denial of housing entitlements placed likely thousands of its soldiers in a position of tremendous financial hardship during periods in which they were activated to support the defense of the Nation. In 2016, the Army arbitrarily and without notice altered its interpretation of the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), the governing regulation for the entitlements in dispute. The revised interpretation blatantly ignored clear language to justify the Army's withholding of RC members' housing entitlements while deployed. Even worse, the interpretation was applied retroactively, suddenly indebting soldiers for thousands, some face debts upwards of $200,000.
This battle against the Army began nearly three years ago, when seven soldiers filed suit in Wolfing, et al. v. United States of America, Court of Federal Claims case # 18-523C. After three years of weaving through the court system, the Army was provided the opportunity to administratively “do the right thing.” Through their highest administrative branch, the Army Board of Corrections for Military Records (ABCMR), the Army officially conceded that the misreading of the JTR by their finance office improperly withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars to the named Plaintiffs in Wolfing for lost housing benefits, prompting wrongful garnishments of soldiers' wages and improper criminal probes.
“The ABCMR ruling is just the beginning of our fight for these soldiers,” says Patrick Hughes co-founder of Patriots Law Group, a law firm founded by Air Force JAG veterans to serve the unique needs of the military community. Mr. Hughes continued, “The ABCMR established the actions were wrong, but the Army has not committed to finding every honorably serving soldier who had their lives turned upside down, who faced threats of punishment, and who live with debts that will take years to repay. The Gulley lawsuit is about holding the Army accountable for the Army's gross negligence and forcing the service to make every soldier affected whole.”
Schedule a consultation with Patriots Law Group if you believe you were affected. Contact us at 301-952-9000 or through our website: https://www.patriotslawgroup.com/practice-areas/bah-lawsuit/.