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With Ten Years on Active Duty and Now a Reservist, Do I Also Qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have served 10 years of active duty and before I got out I converted my GI Bill to the Post 9/11. I have only 4 months left of benefits. In the meantime, I have been a member of the Reserves (almost 4 years of drilling once a month) and I am about to reenlist as a reservist again for 4 more years. Since I am pursuing my Masters, do I qualify for MGIB SR Chapter 1606? Will I need to reenlist for 6 years?

A: Whether you are pursuing a master’s degree or not has nothing to do with your Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve GI Bill (MGIB-SR). However one of the main requirements for MGIB-SR eligibility is a six-year enlistment.

If you are looking at getting the MGIB-SR, there are a couple of things you should know. First, because you have already used 32 of your initial 36 months of GI Bill entitlement, the most additional entitlement you can get now is an additional 12 months. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, the maximum combined number of months is 48.

Also, the payment rate for the MGIB-SR is the worst of all the GI Bills. Right now it is paying up to $362 per month. Of course, you would also have your drill pay and Federal Tuition Assistance, but expect to have some healthy out-of-pockets costs being you are in a master’s degree program. Their tuition rates are
always considerably more expensive.

My suggestion is to first burn up the 4 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits you have left and then start using your 12 months of MGIB-SR if you choose to go that route.

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