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Am I Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill If I Used Scholarships While in ROTC?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was an officer in the Air Force and served for seven years. I served in OIF and am a veteran. I never paid into the GI Bill and used a POCI scholarship while attending the ROTC in college. I served from 1998-2005 active duty and 3 years in the reserves. Am I eligible for the 911 GI Bill? Thank you!

A: As you most likely know, officers commissioning though ROTC and having accepted $3,500 or more in any one year of ROTC scholarship money, normally are ineligible for any GI Bill let alone the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, because your scholarship money was not through the ROTC program, but instead coming from the Professional Officers Course Incentive Program, it shouldn’t affect your eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Whether or not you were in OIF is immaterial as far as your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility. You were on active duty for at least three years after September 10, 2001, so you would qualify at the 100% tier.

So to start using your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, just go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In return, you will get your Certificate of Eligibility showing how many months of entitlement you have left to use under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. You have 15 years from your last date of discharge to use up your remaining months of Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement or lose them.

The one thing you will not be able to do is transfer any of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your spouse or dependent children. While you meet the requirement of having served for at least six years, you are not now currently serving nor have four years left on your enlistment as the rules by Congress dictate.

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