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Can Still I Use My GI Bill With a General Discharge?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served in the Navy from September 1997 until August 2001. I was discharged with general discharge under honorable conditions. I am about to start technical school and I want to know if I can still receive my GI Bill.

A: With a general discharge, you will not be able to use your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), as anything less than fully honorable stops you from using the GI Bill education benefits. But, that really doesn’t matter because with a 10-year delimiting date, your MGIB will expire this August anyway.

If you had more time left to use your GI Bill, and if you think your discharge was “unequitable or improper”, then you may have wanted to apply for a discharge upgrade. Because you have been out for less than 15 years, you would have applied to the Navy’s Discharge Review Board using DD Form 293. You could still apply if for no other reason than to get your discharge upgraded, if you think your have enough evidence to convince the Board to make the change.

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