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Will I Have to Extend My Enlistment Another Four Years If I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Children?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Ron – I reach my 18th year of active service in August 2012. I plan to retire at 20 years of service in the summer of 2014. I would like to transfer some of my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to my children. In doing so, will I be required to extend an additional 4 years from point I make the transfer election? Or, will I be able to make the transfer and still have the option to retire at 20 without any additional service obligation. Thanks for any additional insight.

A: To use the Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer-of-Benefits Option, you have to have served for at least six years (which you have), be currently serving at the time of your transfer request (which you are) and agree to serve for an additional four years, UNLESS you will reach “retirement eligible” status (20 years of service or more) under your current enlistment. So if you will hit your 20 years under your current contract, you should be able to make a transfer request and get it approved without having to extend.

However, if your current contract does not take you out to at least 20 years, then you would have to extend for enough time (probably two years) to get you to at least 20 years. Even if you would have to extend, it would still be worth it financially to be able to pass your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your children.

If you decide to make a transfer request, now would not be too early to start the process. Once your transfer is approved, then each child has to go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990e to get their Certificates of Eligibility which each will need when enrolling in school.

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