Do I Still Qualify for Both the Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill?
Q: Hello, I have a question about the Montgomery and Post 9/11 Bill. I have over 9 years of military service. I had no break in service but I have re-enlisted with my Battalion 3 times. All three times I re-enlisted I received certificates stating honorable discharge even though I never actually discharged from the Army. Now at 9 years, I will be receiving a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge, am I still eligible for either the Montgomery or Post 9/11 Bill? I have been told that if you receive at least one honorable discharge from the Army I will qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill, does that mean I have to clear the Army and receive a DD214 or does each honorable discharge and re-enlistment I have received count? I hope this is not confusing. I just need a straight forward answer and it seems impossible to get on this matter.
A: You do not have to have a DD 214 to prove your honorable terms of service. With each reenlistment you were given a DD 256 Honorable Discharge Certificate and a DD Form 4 reenlistment form. Either (or both) are acceptable forms of proof that you have at least one term of service that ended in a Honorable Discharge.
To prevent denial of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you need to send in a copy of either your DD 256 or DD 4 along with your VA Form 22-1990 when you apply for education benefits. Once your 22-1990 is approved, you will get back your Certificate of Eligibility that you will need when enrolling in school as a GI Bill student.
By having the Post 9/11 GI Bill, with over three years of Honorable service, you have 36 months of education benefits at the 100% level that you might as well use. You earned it from your honorable service; now is the time to start using it. Keep in mind you have up to 15 years from your date of discharge to use up those benefits. After that, they will expire.