By Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker, 2nd Marine Logistics Group
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (July 21, 2006) -- The Montgomery General Issue Bill has been in affect for more than 60 years now and there is a good reason for that … it provides free education!
“On June 22, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever produced by the United States government: The Service members’ Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights,” according to www.gibill.va.gov. “By the time the original GI Bill ended in July 1956, 7.8 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program and 2.4 million veterans had home loans backed by the VA. Today, the legacy of the original GI Bill lives on in the Montgomery GI Bill.”
The MGI Bill is available to any Marine who entered the active Marine Corps after June 30, 1985, and meets the eligibility requirements.
“You must have served three continuous years of active duty, unless you were discharged early for an issue beyond your actions or control,” according to Veterans Affairs Pamphlet 2004.
Meaning, as long as a Marine was not forced out of the Marine Corps due to negative actions he may have taken, such as receiving a bad conduct discharge, he is eligible for the entitlements.
The entitlements include receiving up to $1,034 per month for 36 total months of enrolled education in exchange for the 36 months of service.
A Marine can, however, use portions of his three-year entitlement while he is in the Corps.
Taking advantage of the 100 percent tuition assistance is always suggested, said Johanna Rose, an education technician at the Base Education Center.
“Many Marines use the MGI Bill in conjunction with tuition assistance to attend the schooling they want while they’re on active duty,” Rose said. “Students now have more opportunity than ever, with the upgrade in the entitlement.”
If Marines pay an additional $600 to the MGI Bill, they are eligible to receive an extra $150 per month when they enroll as a full-time student.
“The MGI Bill is a great program to get great financial aid to support your education when you get out of the Marine Corps,” said Rose.
For any Marine interested in paying the additional $600 and earning $150 more per month, contact your respective administration office and request the proper VA.22-1990 form.
For any questions regarding the Montgomery GI Bill, contact the Veterans Affairs Office.