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Being I’ve Used Both Montgomery GI Bills, Can I Use the Post 9/11 GI Bill Too?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have just completed my 20th year in the military on Jan 17, 2012. During my military career, I have used the Montgomery GI Bill 1606 and 1607. I am currently stationed in Afghanistan for a year and I want to know will I be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

A: The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) is Chapter 1607 for those who may not be familiar with it. It is the forerunner to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, so if you are authorized REAP, then you already have some Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation time already.

So your time in Afghanistan will add one year to that time. If your current deployment was the only Title 10 time you had, you would be at the 60% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier. But since you had prior time, you are most likely higher. It takes three years of deployed time to get to the 100% level. So add your deployments together for your total time. Each 6 months of time above your initial 6 months of eligibility bumps you up another 10%

However, you will also fall under the Rule of 48. If you are eligible for two or more GI Bills, you are capped at a combined maximum of 48 months. So depending on how much time you used under 1606 and 1607, subtract that from 36 and that is what you will have left under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

But, to get your additional 12 months to bring you up to your 48 months maximum, you would first have to exhaust one of your other GI Bills and then switch to the new one. My advice is to switch with what you have left and enjoy the higher payout of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

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