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With an Other Than Honorable Discharge, Does This Still Mean I Don’t Qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Q: I have received an other-than-honorable discharge for drug abuse which is entirely false, but dealing with it none-the-less. I have served 7 years and have never reenlisted so technically I am still on my first term. Does this still mean I don’t qualify even though I paid my money and served over 6 years honorably?

A: Yep, that is what it means. If this had been your second enlistment and your first one had ended honorably, then you would be eligible to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill benefits, but being this is still your first enlistment, you will not. How long you served and whether you paid your money into the GI Bill or not has no bearing on you being able to use your GI Bill if you have an other-than-honorable discharge.

However, it sounds like you think the reason for you getting the discharge may not be right. If so, and you have the documentation to prove your case, fight it. You can start by submitting DD form 293 to your service branch Discharge Review Board. It can take up to a year to hear back with their decision and there are no guarantees, but it is an avenue of appeal if you feel you have been wronged.

If their decision comes back disapproved, you can appeal it one step higher by filling out DD Form 149 to the Military Corrections Board of your service branch. If they disapprove your request, then that is the end of the line.

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