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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Post 9-11 G.I. Bill allows transfer of education benefits to family members

By 1st Lt. Caleb D. Eames | | July 23, 2009

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Beginning Aug. 1, 2009, the post 9-11 G.I. Bill becomes effective for members of the Marine Corps, and one of the new changes allows transfer of educational benefits to family members.

“This is a change that military members with families have heard that might be coming, but is has not been a reality until now,” said 2nd Lt. Sarah Ray, adjutant, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.  “With this new option, Marines, sailors, and other military members can elect to give their unused educational benefits to their dependents.”

According to Marine Administrative Message 421/09, the new transferability option is a recruiting and retention tool.  The transferability option must be selected while the service member is still in the Armed Forces.

In order to qualify for the transfer option, service members who have served at least six years in the military must agree to an additional service commitment of four years. 

Those who have served 10 years and who are restricted from committing to four additional years must agree to the maximum amount of time permitted.  

And if the service member is at or near retirement, there are also ways that they can take advantage of the transfer option, but under special stipulations detailed in MarAdmin 421/09.

“I would be able use these new benefits for my wife because I already have my education,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Elliot Martin, adjutant chief, Marine Corps Logistics Command. 

“Right now I have 29 years of service, and I’m seriously considering staying in until 32 years because this is too good of a deal to pass up.  Two more years in my situation flies by really fast.”

The G.I. Bill not only allows money for educational credits, but also for costs such as housing while enrolled in school, classroom materials, and other education-related expenses.

“The G.I. Bill allows for the amount of tuition and fees charged, not to exceed the most expensive state public institution of higher education, to be allotted to military service members who are enrolled in a college program,” said Dana Wallace, education services officer, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany.  “Now with the new changes, that money can be used for wives, children, whatever family member needs the education.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Servicemembers Readjustment Act, commonly known as the G.I. Bill, was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944.

It allowed the millions of troops returning from World War II to receive up to $500 per school year in free education.


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