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Can I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits with 6 1/2 Years of Service?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am interested in transferring my GI Bill benefits to my wife so she can finish her degree. I have 6 1/2 years in now and my current enlistment will bring me to 10 years. Can I transfer these benefits and if so who do I contact to do this? Thank you for any help you can provide.

A: You meet the necessary Post 9/11 GI Bill service requirement of at least six years, but if my calculations are correct, you only have 3 1/2 years left on your current enlistment. I believe you would have to extend for an additional six months to bring your additional time up to four years left.

The VA’s website states the 10-year requirement only applies, if you “have at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces (active duty and/or selected reserve) on the date of election, is precluded by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute from committing to 4 additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.”

So according to that policy, you would need to have 10 years of service now before you could access the transfer option. The date of election is the date you would make the transfer request. Once you extend so you have at least four years left on your enlistment, you should be good-to-go for the transfer option.

2 responses on “Can I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits with 6 1/2 Years of Service?

In addendum:

IAW AR 601-280, para 4-(a), “Individual extensions of enlistment are given in monthly increments, from 1 to a maximum of 23 months, for the minimum amount of time necessary to fulfill the authorized service requirement, (see Para 4-9b and 4-9m for exceptions).”

AR 601-280, para 4-8(c)states “Although authorized, subsequent extensions are discouraged. In no case will the combined total of all extensions of the same enlistment exceed 48 months. If an authorized extension, when combined with any prior extensions of the current enlistment contract, would exceed the 48-month limitation, commanders may request an exception to policy to permit reenlistment. Requests will be submitted to CG, HRC.”

If you don’t think you are going to stay in, I suggest applying for the TEB and then extending BEFORE you enter your reenlistment window.

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