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Does My Active Duty Time Spent on Deployment Not Count Toward Post 9/11 GI Bill Eligibility?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I am a reservist. When I signed my contract, I was given the MGIB, MGIB kicker, and the SLRP. Later, I was activated for a nine-month tour. My DD214 says, “Enlisted under loan repayment program, years of commitment, 6. I heard that time cannot be spent on both SLRP and Post 9/11 GI Bill. Does this mean the active duty time spent on deployment does not make me eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill? – Joel

A: In the Reserves, the loan repayment program works differently than it does on active duty. On active duty, you already have to have loans eligible for repayment at the time you enlist to qualify for the loan repayment program. And you incur a three-year obligation right away in which during those first three years, you do not acquire GI Bill eligibility. But in the Reserves, you can get the loan repayment program, but not use it right away until you have loans that are ready to pay back during your six-year enlistment.

What the information on your DD214 means is that you enlisted under the loan repayment program and for 6 years – two separate items.
What you heard is true for those on active duty, but that is not the case in the Selected Reserve- you can have both. As far as your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility, your nine-month tour would put you at the 50% tier.

The other difference between active duty and the Selected Reserves in regard to the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefits option. Active duty personnel can’t transfer benefits unless they are at the 100% tier. Selected Reservists can transfer with less than 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility provided they meet the requirement of having served for six years, currently serving and have at least four years left on their enlistment at the time of transfer. However, the benefit transfer recipient inherits the same percentage as the sponsor making the transfer.

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