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Does a Second Term Bad Discharge Affect My Post 9/11 GI Bill Status?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: OK, so I served on active duty from Jan. 2004 to Jan. 2008 and separated with a honorable discharge. Six months later, I joined the National Guard. I have already applied through the VA, got an acceptance letter and will be starting school in Sep. If I were to receive anything other than an honorable discharge from the National Guard, how would that affect my Post 9/11 GI Bill?

A: No, even if you get a bad discharge from the National Guard, it will not affect your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility from an earlier active duty term that you had with an honorable discharge.

You do have a couple of other education options that you might want to explore. You are most likely eligible to use the National Guard’s Tuition Assistance program to help you go to school.  And every state has a variety of education benefits available to their Guard members.  It doesn’t hurt to know all your options before deciding on which one to use.

Most Guardsmen have the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, but since you already have made your selection for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you will have to stay with that one, which is a much better Bill anyway.

Comments  (9)

I just got inform that I have been Less tha Honorable Discharge from the National Guard do to unsatisfactory participation.
(I am previous Army active duty with a Honorable Discharge).
How this affect my benefits with the GI Bill and VA Compesantion?

I have to add that dismissal was giving before the 45 days to excercise my priviliges, and I was also suppose to get medical discharge.
What can I do? Is this legal?

posted by Dude
7:00 pm on August 31, 2010

I can’t comment on the legality of what they did as that is not my area of expertise. However, from the GI Bill standpoint, your GI Bill is safe, due to your first period of service in the Army and having a Honorable Discharge.

Even if you had an Honorable Discharge from the National Guard, it would not affect your GI Bill as the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, which is what you had while in the National Guard, ends upon discharge, so you didn’t lose anything.


posted by Ron Kness
9:38 am on September 1, 2010

i was a reservist in the marines. got activated to active duty after sept. 11 2001. i was on active duty for 2 years and got an honorable discharge. then went back on reserve and got an other than honorable discharge. how does this affect my post 9/11 gi bill?

posted by dan
8:49 pm on March 6, 2011

It doesn’t. As long as you got an honorable discharge from your active duty deployment, your Post 9/11 GI bill is safe, but realize with two years of Title 10 service you will only be at the 80% tier and not at 100%. But that has to do with only serving two years instead of three and does not have anything to do with your OTH discharge.

posted by Ron Kness
9:38 am on March 10, 2011

thank you Ron. i actually called the toll free number for gi bill. and they told me the same. thanks again for the reply. this is my first time posting a question online and i like how fast you guys reply. thanks again

posted by dan
2:29 am on March 11, 2011

I am currently facing an “OTH” seperation for a failed drug test. I am using my Post 911 GI bill and am worried it is about to be taken from me. I am a reservist and served a year in Iraq then released with an “honnorable discharge” from active duty for my deployment. I have been in for 4 years altho my contract is for six so that means I am not fufilling my military obligation. I wish I could stay in the military because I really do enjoy it and I made a mistake that is basically killing me! Is there any hope that I will keep my GI bill? What about a VA home loan, am I eligible? I know im an idiot for putting myself in this circumstance but I have never been in any sort of trouble before and was looked at as a stellar soldier before last month. Please help with any answers or advise….. besides the just say no because I know I (excuse my french) F’ed up and will never touch the stuff again.

posted by Ellee
11:45 pm on August 5, 2011

Your GI Bill will not be “taken” from you, but payments most likely will be suspended once the OTH goes through. If you only screwed up once and you happen to hit a random drug test with it still in your system, don’t go to the casino expecting to win. If it wasn’t for bad luck, you wouldn’t have any at all.

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for drug users, even it is was just once. You knew the rules and you knew the potential consequences, but you still decided to roll the dice. Some of life’s lessons can hurt or be expensive. This one has the makings of being both.

posted by Ron Kness
7:27 pm on August 9, 2011

I am in the same situation as the above users. I havee an honorable period of service for a deployment to iraq. However I have received a general discharge from the guard once back on drilling status. Is my 9/11 safe or gone?

posted by Michael
8:31 pm on October 28, 2012

It should be safe as you were actually discharged from the Guard when you went on the deployment and then transferred back into the Guard when you got back.

posted by Ron Kness
12:24 pm on November 11, 2012
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