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If I Didn’t Use the Transfer Benefit, I Still Have to Do the Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I revoked my GI Bill transfer to my kids — why do I still have an active duty service commitment on my records? I signed up online to transfer my benefits to my kids. I understood I could revoke or modify the transfer at any time, and if I did not serve the additional 4 years I could not transfer the benefits. I later revoked the transfer online, but I am being told I can’t get out of the Air Force until Jan 2014. Is that right?

Yes it is right. When you extended for four years, to have the privilege of exercising the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit transfer option, you signed a contract committing to serve those four years – a binding contract by both parties. The Air Force upheld its portion by opening up the transfer option process to you.

The fact that you transferred, and then later rescinded those benefits, has nothing to do with whether those benefits were used or not. You contracted for the option to transfer, not the option to transfer and use. All the Air Force had to do was set up the transfer option so you could use it, which they did. Even if you had never requested a transfer, you still have the four-year obligation for them setting up the transfer option for you to use.

It sounds like you had a change-of-heart after extending for the four years and now you were going to try to get out of it by rescinding the transferred benefits. This may have been a hard way to learn, but a contract is something that should not be entered into lightly as they are binding by both parties, regardless if it for reenlisting, buying a car or buying a house.

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