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If I Get a Bad Discharge On My Second Reenlistment, Would I Lose My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I have been in the Indiana Army national Guard for 14 years with no breaks in service. Two re-enlistments. Numerous title 10 deployments adding up to 4 years and 2 months of active duty all resulting in “Honorable” DD214’s. I have never been in any trouble. I have now sustained an injury on my civilian job that prevents me from doing my military job (Infantry) and they are offering me a general under honorable discharge. I don’t want to reclass and I have 1 year and 5 months left on my 2nd reenlistment. I’m not able to take any part of a PT test due to my injury and since it is not service connected then they can discharge me. I am currently using my Post 9/11 GIBILL and have already received my “100% eligible” certificate of eligibility from the VA. Would accepting that discharge mean losing my VA education benefits since I have already have my certificate and several of those honorable deployment DD214’s? Thank you for your help.

A: Having retired from the National Guard as a Division Command Sergeant Major, I find it hard to believe your unit would give you a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge for something that was not your fault. I get the sense that something else is going on here that is not in your question.

If you have went through the proper steps, you should be on at least a temporary profile that exempts you from taking parts of the PT test or even the whole thing, so your unit could not discharge you for not taking the PT test for as long as that profile is valid.

As far as the reclassification, I’m not sure by your question if that is something your unit has offered you or just you thinking ahead. But if your unit has offered you a reclass, they are wrong. How can they possibly know if you would be able to do the job of your reclass or not until they know the final outcome of your injury? Every job in the military has certain physical profiles that must be met and if you are not healed yet, they would not know if you can meet those physical profiles of your reclassified job or not.

I’ve been through a lot of these same cases and there are some things not adding up. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and answer your question. No you would not lose your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility if you were to get discharged now with a General Under Honorable Conditions as you have at least one full enlistment under your belt that has ended with an Honorable Discharge.

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