Top Ten Problems with the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) Investigations


Guest post submitted by:

Doug O’Connell
O’Connell & Associates, PLLC

Attorney Doug O’Connell has represented former Recruiting Assistants for the past two years in both criminal and civil matters. A former state and federal prosecutor, Doug is also a Special Forces Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. In addition to his own practice, Doug is Of Counsel to Fluet, Huber + Hoang law firm.

The G-RAP accusations and investigations have now lingered for over five years. At least 90,430 (1) National Guard Soldiers (88% of all G-RAP participants) have been subjected to investigations as part of a massive dragnet to recover bonuses (2). 125 Soldiers have been prosecuted in Federal or State Courts; at least 2633 Soldiers remain under investigation (3). While a handful of unscrupulous participants took advantage of the ever-changing rules of this contractor-run program, those cases were adjudicated years ago. What the Army CID is now doing is nothing more than pursuing anyone whose G-RAP tenure spanned the years with the most rules’ changes in an effort to prove up the Army’s exaggerated fraud estimate.

It’s hard to pick the Top 10 issues with G-RAP. The items below represent issues apparent in almost every case. This list omits, but hardly overlooks, such things as inappropriate command pressure to participate in G-RAP, forcing accused Soldiers to undergo DNA collection (4), active surveillance of National Guard Soldiers by Army CID (5), coercion to make reimbursements to the Army (6) in lieu of punishment and other notable violations of Soldier’s rights.

1 Letter to Representative Mike Coffman from Daniel M. Quinn, Chief of Staff, USACIC.
2 The U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Justice consistently refers to G-RAP payments as bonuses in sworn testimony, official documents and court filings. The payments were paid by a contractor directly to the Soldier and IRS form 1099 was issued to every participant. Payments were not processed by DFAS and did not appear on a LES. Finally, Congress did not authorize a bonus related to this program. Nevertheless, Government officials consistently refer to G-RAP payments as bonuses, perhaps wishing it were true so that legal recoupment would be possible.
3 Per letter to Rep Coffman.
4 Collected by a cheek swab without a warrant in violation of the 4th Amendment.
5 Related to an allegation of fraud which if true occurred years prior.
6 Possibly an illegal augmentation of appropriations in violation of the Miscellaneous Receipts statute, 31 USC §3302.


Auditors, instead of seasoned law enforcement professionals, launched the G-RAP investigations. Rather than using any type of proper legal standard like probable cause, the Army Audit Agency assembled lists of Soldiers branded “high risk” by the auditors. The definition for “High Risk” was listed as “an inability to follow the rules.” Because the rules changed 60 times in seven years, almost everyone who successfully participated in G-RAP became a target. Soldiers connected to the “high risk” Soldiers were in turn investigated. This self-perpetuating, system of guilt by association crushes any notion of justice and the rule of law. Years later, many of these Soldiers still are under the cloud of a CID investigation and are being forced to defend (at great financial and emotional cost) their names and careers.


Federal CID agents lack any authority to compel National Guard Soldiers (or veterans) to submit to interrogations. Unfortunately, neither CID nor most Guard Soldiers and veterans understand that they cannot be forced to appear or answer questions from Army-dispatched agents. CID agents repeatedly violate this bright line legal standard. Worse yet, some Guard Commanders aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about the law to protect their Soldiers. Once confronted with apparent military authority, many individuals, honestly believing they did nothing wrong, provide answers, later cherry picked and twisted to supposedly show guilt. The unfortunate individual is left having to prove he or she didn’t say something or that the statement was taken out of context.


The CID Investigators pursuing G-RAP allegations include Army Reserve CID Agents voluntarily on active duty orders. At a minimum, the perception exists that the Reserve Agents have a financial incentive to perpetuate the investigations. The longer the investigations continue, the longer these agents remain employed. Further compounding this problem is the very logical assumption that few agents would volunteer for active duty if it meant a pay cut from their civilian employment.


National Guard Soldiers not mobilized into federal service, are like any other civilian citizen under the law. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal military personnel from investigating and enforcing the law. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. The PCA is a federal criminal offense punishable by a term in prison. In the G-RAP investigations, federal military agents are investigating allegations of criminal violations by Guard Soldiers, who are the same as civilians under the law (7). This is a clear violation of the PCA. Unfortunately, this flawed law requires the same prosecutors who are prosecuting Soldiers to levy charges against the same agents investigating the cases they prosecute.

7 See Perprich vs. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990).


In our system of justice, a statue of limitations exists to limit the Government’s ability to bring charges so remote that the defendant can’t reasonably mount an effective defense. In G-RAP cases, the Government is circumventing the statue of limitations with a World War II era tolling statute. Most applicable criminal offenses have a 5 year statute of limitations. Since G-RAP ended in 2012 the statute of limitations has long expired in most cases. However, in G-RAP investigations and prosecutions the Government is relying on the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (8) to continue to bring criminal cases. First enacted in 1948, the WSLA is designed to protect the Country from fraud during times of war. This law likely made sense during World War II, the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. However, the nature of warfare has changed. The current war against terrorism and global extremist groups will continue indefinitely. Relying on the outdated WSLA during today’s conflicts effectively terminates the deeply rooted equitable concept of a statue of limitations.

8 18 USC §3287


Our Government has spent at least an estimated $40 million dollars (9) to investigate Soldiers. The ensuing recoupment actions and prosecutions have recovered, at most $3 million dollars (10). Army CID agents have repeatedly conducted full field investigations to determine if a Soldier’s single $2,000.00 bonus was righteous (11). In an era of constrained defense spending with persistent and emerging global terrorist threats, this massive boondoggle sets a new record for fraud, waste and abuse. The CID agents’ limited time and resources would be much better spent working to prevent the next Fort Hood terrorist attack.

9 This is a conservative estimate which includes the personnel cost associated with bringing the USAR agents onto duty status.
10 This figure is also an estimate based on all federal cases reported in the system and media reports from around the country.
11 At least one National Guard officer is currently under indictment for a single G-RAP recruitment.


The entire G-RAP controversy is based on inaccurate and irresponsible testimony to Congress. During Senate hearings chaired by Senator Claire McCaskill (12), Army General Officers testified that the total G-RAP fraud could be as high as $99 million (13). This estimate was wildly inaccurate (14). To date, the Government has only collected $3 million in fraudulent payments. Senator McCaskill immediately branded these Soldiers as criminals despite their Constitutional right to be presumed innocent (15). Many have speculated that the hearings and estimates of widespread fraud were designed to embarrass the National Guard during budget battles. Others suggest that it was an attempt to appease this powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and self styled “accountability advocate.” Still others contend that the hearings were an attempt to shift focus from sexual assaults in the military. Whatever the reason, the McCaskill hearing set off a chain of events abrogating the presumption of innocence justice toward service members and veterans.

12 United States Senate Hearing: Fraud and Abuse in Army Recruiting Contracts, February 4, 2014.
13 Id.
14 It appears that this testimony has never been revised, amended or updated to correct the record.
15 Id.


In the eyes of CID, violations of the program “rules,” indicates intentional fraud worthy of criminal investigation. However, the G-RAP “rules” changed at least 60 times during the life of the program (16). Understanding the “rules” of G-RAP at any given point in time requires a detailed analysis based on a significant review of multiple documents (17). In the vast majority of cases, if the Soldier violated the “rules,” it is more likely due to confusion rather than a deliberate desire to cheat the system. With unrelenting intensity, CID doesn’t investigate an alleged crime; they gather slanted “evidence” to prove that a crime was committed. CID, in fact, has been responsible for elevating an inability to follow the rules of a program run by a private contractor to the level of a crime. One example: at various times full time members of the National Guard were authorized to participate in G-RAP, at other times they were ineligible. If a Soldier entered G-RAP when full time members were allowed, but submitted data for payment months later when full time members were not allowed, that Soldier is investigated for fraud.

16 See Agent’s Investigation Report, CID Special Agent Julie Thurlow, November 22, 2013.
17 National Guard Bureau changed the rules via a contract change order sent to Docupak.


Soldiers participating in G-RAP received instruction to recruit from their “sphere of influence.” This term was never defined. It’s unclear if the intent of this language was to limit recruitment to pre-existing relationships. Regardless of NGB’s intent, the Soldiers received a very different message. For example, once hired by Docupak, Soldiers were provided marketing items such as t-shirts with the message “ask me about the National Guard.” None of the marketing items provided would have been necessary to recruit people already known to the Soldier. Now, these same Soldiers are investigated and some prosecuted for recruiting outside their sphere of influence. Likewise, Soldiers were told that they “shouldn’t” wear their uniform when conducting recruiting activities. If this were truly a prohibited action worthy of investigation, the “rule” would have been written as “you are prohibited from wearing your uniform.”


When CID agents track down and contact recruits many years after their enlistment into the National Guard, most don’t remember the details of their interaction with the recruiting assistant. To the CID agents, this means the RA committed misconduct. The alternative explanation is unfathomable to the agents: the recruit, 7 years later, just doesn’t remember. This is especially problematic since Government prosecutors use this lack of memory to charge the Soldier with Aggravated Identity Theft (18), a charge that carries a mandatory minimum term of prison sentence of two years.

18 18 USC § 1028A.


On May 22, 2007, five years before G-RAP was shut down, Agents from Army CID, Air Force OSI, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) met with Docupak to discuss potential fraud in the program (19). A representative of the United States Department of Justice (20) was also in attendance. The agents specifically instructed Docupak not to notify the State Adjutant Generals, National Guard Bureau, or the contracting officer regarding alleged fraud. This effectively cut off any ability to clarify confusing rules and or enhance fraud prevention measures. Importantly, it also prevented Governors and Adjutants General to execute their Constitutional duty of regulating their National Guard force and apply appropriate discipline (21). Likewise, notification the responsible contracting officer at NGB would have triggered remedial action. Instead, the CID sat on this information for five years, causing a relatively minor amount of confusion to escalate into what we have now – another major bonus scandal ensnaring thousands of junior Soldiers facing accusations.

19 2014 Inspector General Report, page 40, paragraph g, and footnote 142.
20 Presumably a licensed attorney.
21 The Governor’s and TAG’s Constitutional authority to regulate and discipline Guard members included the full time recruiting force in each state, some of whom were suspected of misconduct. These Soldiers operate under the exclusive military jurisdiction of the relevant State Military Code of Justice.


Few Soldiers have the financial resources to mount a proper defense to federal criminal charges. Faced with the possibility of prison time, many take a plea bargain to avoid the risk of prison, financial ruin or deepening emotional trauma to themselves and their families. Even if the accused Soldiers are not prosecuted, the collateral consequences seem never ending. The investigation will continue to haunt them for years to come. Security clearances will be revoked or suspended, and the Government will initiate proceedings to “debar” the Soldier from future employment as a government contractor. Eventually, the case file will be forwarded to the State National Guard headquarters for military justice or administrative action. The range of administrative sanctions includes separation boards, official reprimands and being required to rebut CID’s flawed conclusions to a promotion review board. The administrative flag on their personnel file will continue until all military administrative actions are complete (22). Finally, many of these same Soldiers, never prosecuted in a court of law will have a federal criminal history created as a result of being investigated, “titled” and “founded” by CID.

22 A “flag” prevents any favorable action including re-enlisting, awards, and promotions. The flag does not prevent orders to deploy overseas (again). Flags as a result of G-RAP investigations have been in place for four or more years at this point.

Marine James Glass Severely Injured in Grenade Attack on Marine Corps Base in Kuwait; Fellow Marine Larry Framness and Wife Wendy Glass Guilty of Conspiring to Commit Murder (May 14, 2003)

James 'Houston' Glass

James Glass, U.S. Marine Corps (photo: CBS)

In November 1989, James Glass married Wendy McAdory. They were a close knit family and did a lot of things together. Thirty-three years earlier, James Glass was growing up in Lousiana; life had dealt him a tough hand right from the start. James’ father died when James was only five years old. He died of emphysema; he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. James’ mother struggled to cope raising two children on her own. She eventually met another man and he turned out to be abusive to the family. At one point, James was solely responsible for taking care of his brother. Then one day, a teacher noticed something was wrong and asked the boys what was going on. As a result of their confessions, the teacher called Child Protective Services. James and his brother Robert were taken from the home and placed with foster home. For the first time in a long time, they both felt safe and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. They lived in a wonderful foster home and their foster family ended up adopting the two boys.

James’ love of aviation lead him to join the military when he was twenty-four (24) years old. Unfortunately, his eyesight disqualified him from becoming a pilot so he did the next best thing and became an air traffic controller with the Marine Corps. In the spring of 1989, James was on weekend leave and decided to pay a long overdue visit with his family. At the time, James was stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina, so James went with his grandfather to look at a truck he wanted to purchase in Pennsylvania, And this is where James met Wendy McAdory. James fell hard and fast for Wendy; they married a month later. The pair had a big wedding and by 1991, they welcomed a daughter Nicole to the family. Two years later their second daughter Andrea was born. James family meant the world to him; he loved his girls. Five years into his marriage with Wendy, he thought he had it all. Wendy was a great mother.

But in the fall of 1994, everything changed when they were relocated to a military base in Japan. James was up for adventure but Wendy not so much. Having two children was difficult and the transition was hard; Wendy struggled to adapt. Wendy stayed home and took care of the children and James was always at work. While in Japan, James was deployed to Korea and Australia, so he was gone and Wendy was left alone with the two kids. She became a stay-at-home mom but she wanted to be a working mom; Wendy was resentful. Being married to a military man was not easy because his job took precedence. Wendy felt like she wasn’t a priority, and she wasn’t, so she turned to someone other than James about her problems and eventually started having an affair with a married man. News of the alleged affair got back to James’ chain of command and when they confronted him about the affair, he denied it emphatically.

James was unaware Wendy was seeing someone else. But Wendy continued to carry on with the affair, maybe to fill a void or get the attention she was missing at home. Adultery is fairly common, especially in the military, but most don’t talk about it. While James was in the dark, he was transferred to a new base in Yuma, Arizona; this transfer ended Wendy’s affair. Wendy welcomed the move back to stateside from Japan. The family quickly began to build a new community of friends, including neighbors Larry Framness and his wife Shelly. Larry was also in the Marines; his wife took care of the children. And they had girls close to the ages of the Glass’ two daughters. But once again the boredom kicked in when Wendy realized she had to be a stay-at-home mom because James was working all the time. James was the senior enlisted Marine in charge at his new position on the training base so he worked a lot of long hours. But then  September 11th occurred and James was tasked with deployments with the Marines.

James Glass was first sent to Kuwait so they could respond quickly to any threats of weapons of mass destruction. While James was deployed overseas, Wendy was hit hard with a personal tragedy of her own; her mother died. Wendy’s mom was her rock and she fell into a terrible depression and had a hard time recovering from it. She talked to her mother everyday. She tried to lean on James but James had to focus on what he was dealing with in Kuwait. He was deployed and working in harm’s way so his deployment had to be the priority. Wendy found solace from her neighbor Larry Framness. They had a genuine friendship and spent time with Wendy’s two daughters. Larry was there to help when James couldn’t. Larry was willing to listen and became her confidant. After months of being away, James returned and was ready to settle into a regular routine in Arizona. But his homecoming was welcomed with a shocking allegation.

Mrs. Framness complained to the command that she believed her husband and Wendy Glass were engaged in an adulterous affair. Adultery is a chargeable and punishable crime in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Adultery in the military is illegal because service members need to focus on the mission; they shouldn’t have to worry about someone wooing their wife (or husband) while they are gone. Rumors about the affair were making their rounds on base. Others noticed when James was gone, Larry was at the house. The allegations were investigated and the command interviewed James Glass. Again, he denied it because he could not fathom that Wendy would have an affair. James pushed back against the false allegations. Both Wendy and Larry denied the allegations claiming it was purely a friendship. And, investigators didn’t have any reason to doubt them. Larry Framness had a clean career and nobody would admit any wrong doing, so the March 2002 investigation stopped there.

Then one day, James learned first hand that the rumors of an alleged affair were true. James went home early to surprise his wife at home. Nobody appeared to be home but when James went upstairs, he witnessed Wendy walk out of their bedroom naked and she was totally surprised by James. She asked him to make her a sandwich and she would be right down but James felt like something was wrong so he entered the bedroom and found Larry hiding on the other side of his bed. James said after he found Larry, he left, got in his car, and drove. His first thought was to go to the Command but Wendy called and asked him to come back to the house. Wendy told him that she cheated on him because he was never home. James was floored she turned things around and made herself out to be the victim. She said she was sorry and wanted to make things work because she loved him. James was sad and the hurt ran deep but the love of his family ran deeper; James stayed because he was scared to lose his children.

James was in a deployable status with the Marines and if Wendy left and took the children, he might not see them as often. He told Wendy he wanted to work it out and agreed to keep the indiscretions to himself; Wendy agreed to stop the affair. But Larry’s wife wasn’t as forgiving. Shelly divorced Larry and moved back to Montana with their kids. Larry was devastated. James and Wendy started seeing a counselor but the trust was gone and difficult to get it back. Their children felt like they loved each other but they weren’t in love. Slowly, things between the couple improved. The two overcame a traumatic event but privately James still had suspicion and hurt to work through. James was deployed again and when he returned in November 2002, Wendy planned a romantic trip to a cabin in the Laguna mountains. James felt like things were getting back to normal and this was a new beginning for James and Wendy.

Wendy and James Glass

Wendy Glass and James Glass, U.S. Marine Corps (photo: CBS)

On their romantic trip, James was feeling jetlagged and tired but later on he had a hard time getting to sleep because of the time difference. Wendy suggested he take a pill to help him get to sleep. James took the pill but it had very little effect on him. The next day they returned home feeling like the effort fell flat. James tried to rebuild the trust and the faith but things only got worse for Wendy and James when James was deployed again to Kuwait. This deployment was very stressful and there was no telling when James would return home this time. James tried to be mindful of staying more connected with Wendy back home. Two weeks into his deployment to Kuwait, James ran into Larry Framness. They both attended regular meetings together so it was impossible to avoid him. James was glad Larry was deployed because he didn’t have to worry about him spending time with Wendy. Larry apologized to James and said he had a lapse in judgment.

James’ Marine unit deployed to Camp Snake Pit, Iraq for thirty (30) days and when they returned to Kuwait, he was tired and went to bed. Larry woke him up and told him he noticed some suspicious activity near the base and wanted James to observe with him. On May 14, 2003, James Glass was lead to a guard shack/bunker where the two stayed for a few minutes; but he didn’t see what he thought he was going to see. The next thing he knows, an explosion went off. James was blown against the side of the building. James survived but he couldn’t see, he couldn’t hear, and there was blood all over him. James thought it was a rocket attack on the military base. The explosion lead to an investigation that revealed a sinister plot months in the making. Military officials scrambled to find out what happened. A few days later, James learned he was targeted.

James was lucky to be alive and the water bottles nearby absorbed a great deal of the shock of the explosion. James was in survival mode after it happened and he walked out of the bunker to get medical help. He was met by Larry with a shocked look on his face. Larry helped him get to the medical tent. James was airlifted to a hospital in Spain where he underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his arms, necks, and legs. Back in Yuma, Wendy broke the shocking news to their two daughters; she assured them he was going to be okay. Meanwhile in Kuwait, investigators started interviewing witnesses. They started with Larry Framness who claimed that an Al Qaida operative must have done it. But the investigators were skeptical given they were in Kuwait because it wasn’t considered a dangerous place like Iraq. They also reminded him the intelligence gathering operatives didn’t have anything on record to back his theory up.

Investigators started putting the pressure on Larry Framness and he broke. He told them he threw a grenade in the bunker in an attempt to kill James so he could be with Wendy back in California. Larry admitted that the plan had been months in the making while James thought the affair between Larry and Wendy was something in the past. But the affair wasn’t over, not by a long shot. Larry and Wendy determined James was worth more dead than alive; they planned to murder him for the insurance money. The two stood to gain over $500,000 from the insurance policies. In the search, investigators found a note that appeared to be written by Wendy to Larry which basically itemized every life insurance policy and what they planned to purchase. Larry was taken into police custody while military investigators questioned Wendy Glass in Yuma. Wendy denied any involvement and told them she was unhappy but would never kill him.

Wendy denied any involvement in the murder attempt and portrayed herself as a good military spouse with an injured husband. But while military investigators were at her house, they started noticing things that belonged to Larry Framness. They asked her for permission to search the entire residence and found e-mails between Larry and Wendy that were very incriminating. They were professing their love for one another and talking about future plans. With the evidence piling up, Wendy had to make a confession of her own. She indicated that if she divorced her husband, he would take the children. And Larry had convinced her that she could be very happy with him with all that insurance money. A week after the explosion, Wendy was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. As James recovered from surgery, he learned the devastating news. James’ Commanding Officer told him Wendy and Larry did it.

James was informed that Larry and Wendy were both arrested for conspiring to murder him. In James’ mind, everything clicked and the sense of betrayal he experienced before was magnified. James’ whole life changed that day but he decided he was not going to let what they did to him define his life. After James got out of the hospital, he filed for divorce. On January 27, 2004, an article 32 hearing was held and James was a witness. At this hearing, James learned that the grenade was not the first attempt on his life. Wendy and Larry had conspired to murder James in the Laguna mountains in California. They wanted to get him drunk, put him in a moving vehicle, and launch him over a cliff. Unbeknownst to James, Larry was in the area to assist with the the murder. James realized the pill Wendy gave him was part of their sinister plot. Thankfully, it had zero effect on him. James’ children learned about the case on television.

Marine Larry Framness was found guilty and sentenced to twenty-five (25) years to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. Wendy Glass took a plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to seven (7) years in prison in exchange for testifying against Larry Framness. Per her plea agreement, Wendy was required to admit her full culpability in the conspiracy and she did so. One of James and Wendy’s daughters wanted to know why their mom would try and kill her dad so she did some research, and learned the hard way. Their other daughter talked about how difficult it was to transition from their mom being there all the time to now being gone. In January 2005, James’ divorce from Wendy was finalized. While reflecting back on the marriage, James said he doesn’t regret his marriage to Wendy because they had a lot of good years and two beautiful daughters, but it will take him a long time to trust anyone ever again.

Source: Collateral Damage, Cold Hearted, Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery:

James is a Marine living the American dream. His duty often takes him away from home, but he still provides for his family. While away his wife seeks companionship closer to home. A sordid affair culminates in an explosive revelation. -Collateral Damage, Cold Hearted (S1,E1) 

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Related Links:
Marine Jailed in Alleged Murder Plot
Wife and Lover Held over Plot to Kill US Marine
Marine Indicted for Allegedly Plotting to Kill Fellow Officer
Marine in Kuwait Grenade Attack Indicted
Wife and marine lover charged with trying to murder husband
U.S. Marine Corps officer indicted for murder conspiracy
Marine’s lover testifies at hearing on grenade attack
Marine Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
Marine Gets Life in Prison for Murder Plot
Officer Gets Life Term for Attempted Murder
Marine sentenced to life in prison for murder plot
Marine’s wife pleads guilty to murder conspiracy
Marine’s Wife in Arizona Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy in Attempt to Have Him Killed in Kuwait
Marine asks leniency for wife who plotted against him
Wendy Glass and her lover, Larry Framness, have been convicted of unsuccessfully attempting to murder her husband, James Glass, three times.
United States v. Larry Framness (U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Criminal Court of Appeals, 2007)
NCIS probe of U.S. Marine’s attempted murder in Kuwait reveals a conspiracy of secrets and lies
Collateral Damage | Cold Hearted | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Collateral Damage | Cold Hearted | Investigation Discovery (website)