The Army is tightening its rules for soldiers who are missing the proper documentation to prove they are eligible for Basic Allowance for Housing at the higher with-dependent rate.
An Aug. 16 memo from Raymond Horoho, acting assistant Army secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, gives soldiers with missing documents 60 days to submit the required paperwork or lose their additional BAH. The memo also lays out a plan for soldiers to resubmit documentation every year to continue receiving the higher BAH with-dependent payments.
The memo, first reported by U.S. Army W.T.F.! Moments, is authentic, Army G-1 spokesman Lt. Col. Randy Taylor confirmed to Army Times on Thursday.
Soldiers who are missing documentation will have 60 days to upload paperwork, including marriage licences, birth certificates, divorce decrees and child support agreements, before their paychecks automatically revert to single-soldier levels.
This is not the first time the Army has called on soldiers to update their paperwork. Officials made the same request last year. At the time, about 140,000 soldiers did not have the proper documentation on file.
Soldiers have another 90-day grace period to submit paperwork and correct their BAH levels, but after that window, they could be referred to Army Criminal Investigation Command to review possible fraud.
“Any decision to refer a case for criminal investigation would be made at the local level based upon the facts involved on a case-by-case basis,” Taylor said.
Going forward, unit human resources specialists will be required to annually re-certify their soldiers for increased BAH, checking iPERMS — the Personnel Electronic Records Management System — for current permanent change-of-station and promotion orders, as well as documentation of dependents.
Soldiers also will need to have their BAH re-certified immediately after a life event, including marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, and death of a dependent, according to the memo.
These measures will allow the Army to get payroll spending under control in preparation for its fiscal 2018 audit, the memo said.
An All-Army Activities message that will start the 60-day clock is forthcoming, Taylor said, but no timeline has been set. The message will more clearly outline which documents are acceptable as proof of BAH eligibility, he added.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT