The Department of Defense (DoD) recently issued a policy change that impacts all Uniformed Service members considering the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB). As background, the Post 9/11 GI Bill was created to be a transition/adjustment benefit offered to Service members during a time of conflict. The TEB feature of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to dependents was enacted to serve as a recruiting and retention incentive.
Still in effect:
Six years of military service: The rule remains, a service member must have accumulated at least six years active service to be eligible to TEB.
Changes effective now:
The four-year obligation must be strictly enforced: The new requirement makes the Services strictly enforce this clause if the member has pending separation or medical retention actions. Mandatory retirement or transfer from active status date, a pending commissioned officer retention board, High Year Tenure (HYT), not being medically qualified for retention, or, any other impending action or personnel policy that places a member on probation for retention or otherwise calls into question the member’s eligibility to complete 4 years of obligated service as of the date of their request to transfer education benefits will disqualify the member.
Ten year service exception removed: Previously a member with at least ten years of active service could transfer the benefit without an additional four year obligation – now all members must demonstrate their availability and obligate to four more years of active service.
After 11 July 2019 (one year from effective date of Change 1 to DODI 1341.13):
Eligibility expires at 16 years of active service: One year after the effective date of the change (12 July 2019), members with more than 16 years of active service will no longer be eligible to TEB. This does not impact service members who have already transferred education benefits nor does it impact the benefits themselves.
The entire DOD Instruction is available on the PSC Portal page and GI Bill Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will be updated with all of this information. Most questions can be answered in the FAQ section of the Personnel Service Center, Personnel Service Division Field Support: http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/PSD/fs/Post-911-GI-Bill/