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Does My Selected Reserve Service Count Toward The Six-Year Benefit Transfer Requirement?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, I have been on active duty since July 2009 and will be until January 2014. With under 6 years of active service, (to not include the 4 year “selected reserve period”) I was curious if I could transfer my wife my GI Bill now so she can use the benefits when I’m done with my active time and if she will receive the full BAH as I would. Also I can’t find a straight forward answer as far as if this selected reserve time is actually doing drill or just a call-back period. Thank you for any and all assistance.

A: I’m not sure what a “call-back period” is but if you are referring to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) then no, that time does not count as selected reserve time – only the time you were part of a unit in a drilling status.

So if you weren’t in a drilling unit, then you would only have four years of service in July. If you were in a drilling unit, then you would have eight years of service all toll and you would meet the six-years-of-Armed-Forces-service-after-September-10-2001 requirement.

If your Reserve time counts, then you meet two of the three service requirements mandatory to get a transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits approved – past service time, and currently serving. You still have to meet the future service requirement of having at least four years left on your enlistment at the time of your transfer request, which at this time you don’t have.

Assuming you would get a transfer request approved, your wife would get the Monthly Housing Allowance (not BAH – that is something entirely different) based on the zip code of her school and the number of credits she would be taking once you were out of the military. If she goes to school while you are still in the service, then she would not get the MHA.

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