Short-changed soldiers being charged for meals they don’t eat

A soldier dines on authentic Korean dishes at the Haneul Hyanggi Restaurant in Dongducheon, South Korea, during a tour organized by the Dongducheon City. (Photo: Staff Sgt. John Healy/Army)

Fort Drum aviation troops deployed to South Korea claim the Army is charging them hundreds of dollars every month for meals they don’t have time to eat.

According to The Watertown Times, a letter signed “The Soldiers of 6-6 CAV” outlining the issue was sent to the publication.

“The average Soldier in our unit is losing two sums of money”, the letter read. “First, is the money we will be charged for the meals – in the amount of $313.50 per month. Second, is the loss of the allotment we are currently receiving as the government meal rate – in the amount of 415.50. So, for each month we are here, we will be receiving $729.00 less than we have been getting. Considering that because of daily operational timelines, Soldiers will still have to procure their own food for many of their meals, it is our feeling that this reduction is not fiscally feasible for us.”

The letter pointed out that soldiers were not only unable to eat at the dining facility during the time schedule they have been ordered to work on, they were also forced to take a 40-minute drive by shuttle, making orchestrating time for food nearly impossible.

The dining facility policy, titled Essential Unit Messing, affects all soldiers on deployments South Korea, according to the Army Times.

The soldiers noted that “while there may be legal policy to back up this fiscal decision, there is a major oversight being made.”

According to 10th Mountain Division spokesman LTC Donald A. Korpi, Fort Drum leadership is aware of the issue and are currently in communication with Army leadership in Korea.

The letter can be found here.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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