The Office of the Secretary of Defense released a change to the Transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits. This major change will implement new eligibility requirements in order to transfer benefits to qualifying dependents.
Effective July 12, eligibility to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits will be limited to service members with at least six years, but not more than 16 years, of total creditable service. The Army concurred with this change on March 20, 2017. The intent of the change is to align policy with 38 USC 3319, “to promote recruitment and retention in the uniformed services.”
Implementation guidance and a written force training and education plan should be issued shortly from OSD to the Army. Under this new policy, service members must be eligible to be retained for four years from the date of election and not be precluded, prior to approval, by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute.
Currently, there are only 35,101 (or 9 percent of) active duty service and/or selected reserves, and National Guard service members with 16 or more years of service who have eligible dependents and have not transferred their benefits. These service members would be affected by this policy.
However, once the policy is communicated to the services, these members have a year to affect a transfer of benefits, therefore, officials believe this policy will have minimal impact to the force. Over 362,000 (or 91 percent of) active duty service and/or selected reserves, and National Guard Service members with 16 or more years of service have either transferred their benefits or do not have eligible dependents.
For more information on the transfer of benefits, contact the Truman Education Center at 573.596.0172.