Many service members and veterans who qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits now can no longer transfer them to family members at will. The Pentagon announced July 12 that only those with fewer than 16 years of active-duty or selected reserve service could transfer their GI Bill benefits.
The change takes effect next July 12 — one year to the day it was announced.
The requirement that a service member serve in uniform for at least six years before he or she could transfer the benefit remains unchanged.
Stephanie Miller, the Defense Department’s director of accessions, said the change was made as a retention incentive.
“After a thorough review of the policy, we saw a need to focus on retention in a time of increased growth of the armed forces. This change continues to allow career service members that earned this benefit to share it with their family members while they continue to serve,” Miller said.
Enlisteds and officers who are forced to resign from the military because of force-shaping issues would be allowed to transfer their education benefits to family members even if they fall short of their service requirement — as long as their termination of service takes place “through no fault of their own,” the Defense Department stated.
For example, officers who leave because they were passed over for promotion twice and enlisteds who fail to meet minimum retention standards still would be able to transfer their benefits.
The change applies to all who serve in the four armed services, the Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Corps.