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As a ROTC Graduate, What Can My Niece Do to Qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have a niece that’s an ROTC graduate at Tuskegee. She will be commissioned next month and she wants to know what she has to do qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill? Her plans are to be a reserve officer and continue her education.

A: The first thing she has to do to qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill is go on active duty to pay back her service obligation of four years, if she was on a four-year ROTC scholarship program. If she was not on a ROTC scholarship, then she only has to serve three years.

During that obligation time, she would not be acquiring Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility. That wouldn’t start until the beginning of either her fourth or fifth year. Then it takes an additional three years to get to the 100% eligibility tier. So she is looking at either seven or eight years to get to the top of the Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility scale, but her total commitment is for eight years anyway when she enlists. However, if she is going right into the Reserves, she would not be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill regardless, unless she deploys on a Title 10 order for at least 90-days in support of a contingency operation after her ROTC obligation is satisfied.

But if she deploys before serving out her obligation, then that time would not count either as Post 9/11 GI Bill time. If having the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that important to her, then the best thing she can do at this time is to go on active duty. Otherwise being in the Reserves, the best she will get is the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve which pays a paltry $356 per month to go to school on top of her monthly drill pay.

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