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4,000 Soldiers Will Lose Their Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer-of-Benefits Option Soon…Within 10 Days!

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

If you think you might be one of the 4,000 E-6 through E-9 Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) identified by the FY13 Qualitative Service Program (QSP) Board to be involuntarily separated, your ability to transfer your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your dependents or spouse are numbered…9 days and counting.

In a new Army ALARACT message dated 7 January 2013, it states that soldiers on the Board results list “…will no longer be eligible to transfer their Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) benefits to their dependents if they chose not to do so PRIOR to 31 Jan 13.”, which is when the Board will post its results. The bottom line is once the results post on 31 January 2013 you will not be able to transfer Chapter 33 benefits period after that date.

For Soldiers who have been recommended for non-retention by the QSP (and you should know who you are if you were properly counseled at the time your Commander recommended you for non-retention), the required future service requirement of four additional years of service will be waived.

If you suspect that you may show up on the list, and you are undecided on how you want to divide up your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, I recommend that you transfer at least one month each to your spouse and each dependent. With each recipient getting at least one month of GI Bill benefits while you are still serving, you retain the right to revoke and reallocated benefits as needed once you are out. However, if your spouse or dependents were not benefit recipients while you were in, you cannot make an initial transfer request to them after you are out.

Since the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer option is a benefit and not an entitlement, it is one it is one of the first things lost under the QSP. The QSP was formed last year to help leadership pare down the force by giving Commanders a tool to evaluate their soldiers, and based on the evaluation, recommend involuntary separation for Soldiers they identify as non-retainable or not eligible for reenlistment.

We did have an indication of changes in the works back in March 2012, when the Army leadership released a memo in which it said “Tough decisions are ahead. Some fully qualified Soldiers will be denied reenlistment….Commanders must carefully assess their Soldiers and ensure only our best Soldiers are retained to meet the needs of our Army.” It looks like at least one of those “tough decisions” has come to fruition.

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