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Can I Really Get Drill Pay, a Kicker and Student Loan Repayment?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Looking to join the Army Reserves. I was offered the basic drill pay, GI Bill ($329 month) kicker (was told to be $350). My question is if I can combine these with the $40,000 SLRP (I own about $22,000). I was told yes, but to make sure?

A: In the Reserves, you can get both the Montgomery GI Bill- Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) and Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) for the same six-year enlistment period. Before you sign up for SLRP, make sure your loans qualify for repayment. Eligible loans include:

  • Auxiliary Loan Assistance for Students (ALAS);
  • Stafford Student Loan, formerly know as the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL);
  • Parents Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Must be incurred for the use of the individual contracting for the program (not others such as relatives);
  • Consolidated Loan Program. Only covers the member’s education expenses;
  • Federally Insured Student Loans (FISL);
  • Perkins Loan, formerly known as the National Direct Student Loan (NDSL);
  • Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)

If you have anything other than these, they may not qualify for repayment. Also ask about the $40,000 figure you were given. I know the figure changes periodically, but from what I’m seeing now, the Army Reserve SLRP is paying up to $20,000.

My advice is to get everything you are promised in writing. If your recruiter can’t put it in writing, then it probably isn’t true. Also, drill pay went up as of October 1st. It is now $337 per month.

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