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With 42 Months of Active Duty National Guard Time, Am I Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Good afternoon, I’m having issues getting a straight answer regarding what my eligibility percentage is for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Based on training and deployments listed below, I have accumulated 40 months and 63 days of active duty time as a member of the National Guard:
• Basic & AIT – 6 months; 14 days
• Iraq Deployment – 11 months; 23 days
• Special Forces Qualification Course – 15 months; 10 days
• OEF Deployment – 8 months; 16 days.
Shouldn’t all of these “active-duty” times be considered? It’s very, very misleading if not… I really appreciate your help!

A: I understand your frustration, however the bottom line is no, not all of your active duty time counts toward Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility. Right now as a National Guardsman, only your Iraq and OEF deployments would count toward GI Bill eligibility; so with 19 months of eligible time, you are at the 70% tier level.

According to the rules for Reservists and National Guardsman, only Title 10 time in support of a contingency operation, count toward Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
Still at 70%, you are much better off than many Guardsman. If you have at least six years of service, currently serving and have at least four years left on your enlistment, you can make a transfer of benefits to your spouse of dependent children. Just keep in mind they inherit the same 70% tier percentage.

When you use your Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay up to 70% of your tuition and fees to attend a public school or up to 70% of $19,198.31 per year to attend a private school.

In addition, you would also get the same tier percentage of the housing allowance and book stipend. So all-in-all, you have a pretty cool benefit that you can use or possibly pass on. Keep in mind another one-year deployment would bring you up to the 90% tier level.

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