ARLINGTON, Va. —
Manpower’s Plans and Policy Division released Marine Administrative Message 389-09 on June 29, listing eligibility criteria for the Post -9/11 GI Bill, which takes effect August 1.
The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, signed into law on June 30, 2008, by former President George W. Bush, expands education benefits to service members who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
The new program will include coverage of tuition and fees, an improved basic allowance for housing, a $1,000 stipend for books or the opportunity to transfer these benefits to a dependent. Also, service members will not have to pay into the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which was required to receive the Montgomery GI Bill. Individuals who paid the $1,200 for the MGIB are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and will receive their money back upon depletion of the 36 months of benefits.
Active duty or reserve service members who collectively served at least 90 days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, will be considered for determining the individual’s eligibility for the new benefits. Individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 consecutive days after Sept. 10, 2001, may also establish eligibility.
For service members who don’t have much active duty service after 9/11, the Montgomery GI Bill is still a viable option and possibly better suited for their needs. Individuals who wish to use the MGIB will have to request it when starting class.
To transfer their benefits to a family member, service members must have completed a minimum of six years by the date they elect to transfer their benefits. By doing so, service members are obligated to serve an additional four years. However, those who are eligible for retirement before Aug. 1, 2012, aren’t required to serve the full four years of additional service. For example, service members who are eligible for retirement after Aug. 1, 2009, and before Aug. 1, 2010, are only required to serve one year of additional service.
The individuals who are eligible for retirement on Aug. 1 aren’t required to serve any additional time in the armed forces. Although active duty service members who separate, retire, transfer to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve or who are discharged on or prior to Aug. 1 are not illegible to transfer their benefits.
The procedures for requesting the transferability of educational benefits and the roles and responsibilities of individual Marines and Marine units will be released in future messages.