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By Enlisting in the Tennessee National Guard, Am I Re-Eligible for the Unused Portion of My Active Duty GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served 8 years in the Marine Corps and released honorably in 1998. I have recently re-enlisted in the TN National Guard. Am I re-eligible for my unused portion of the Montgomery GI Bill?

A: Yes you are – with a caveat. As you know, your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) expired 10 years from your date of discharge or in 2008. However, by enlisting and serving for at least 90 days in a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States (which the National Guard is part of) you reset your delimitation date, meaning your new date will be 10 years from whenever you get out.

Also, you may have a couple of other GI Bill opportunities – the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you enlisted for at least six years, then you should get the MGIB-SR. While not as dynamic as the MGIB-AD that you currently have, it is an opportunity for another 12 months of education benefits. The downside is it only pays around $362 per month. But when you combine it with Federal Tuition Assistance and your drill pay, it adds up.

Also if you deploy on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as Afghanistan, you could pick up some eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. A typical one-year deployment would put you at the 60% tier.

Just remember under the Rule of 48 the most number of months of entitlement, regardless of how many GI Bills you have, is 48.

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