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Can I Use My Parent’s and My Own GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can you as a person use their parents’ Montgomery GI Bill then their own after joining the Army Reserves? Is that double tapping? Would that person be able to stack both GI Bills on top of each other? Or would they have to use one or the other?

A: You would not be able to use either parents’ Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty because that GI bill does not have benefit transfer option, meaning your parents would not be able to transfer it to you even if they wanted to. So the MGIB-AD is not an option.

If you signed up for at least six years in the Army Reserve, then you have your own GI Bill – the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). However on the scale of GI Bills, it is at the bottom as far as what it pays, currently $362 per month. Out of that amount, you have to pay your own tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses.

You would also be eligible for the Federal Tuition Assistance, have your monthly drill pay and any education benefits your state offers its servicemembers or veterans. So in the end it can add up, but most likely you would still have out-of-pocket expenses.

Another GI Bill option would be to earn the Post 9/11 GI Bill. As a Reservist, you could deploy for a one-year tour and get 36 months of entitlement at the 60% tier or enlist in the regular Army for three years and get the same entitlement, but at the 100% tier. Both are becoming harder to do with the war winding down and a Reduction In Force (RIF) in place, but not impossible.

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