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More GI Bill Benefits for Guard and Reservists

The GI Bill Parity Act Will Bring More Benefits to Members of the National Guard and Reserves

Good news for members of the National Guard and the Reserves. On Wednesday, January 12th, the Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2021 was passed in the House, 287-135. This was introduced by the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity with the Chair, Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA).

Why Is This  Important?

Over the last few years, the National Guard and Reserves have been used at higher than normal levels. They have been called up for COVID-19 issues, protests, national disasters, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the January 6th Insurrection, and more.

Even though they have been called up more often, they do not accrue the same GI Bill benefits as their active duty counterparts. This act would rectify that and make every day in uniform count toward GI Bill benefits. Allowing the National Guard and Reserves to be able to earn benefits from all time served, not just select time.

Supporters of the GI Bill Parity Act

The following organizations support this bill:

  • The American Legion
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Student Veterans of America
  • The National Guard Association of the U.S.
  • Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S.
  • Veterans Education Project
  • Reserve Officers Association

“National Guard and Reserve servicemembers have stepped up time and time again to serve our nation when we needed them—especially over the past two years—but right now, they don’t have equitable access to the GI Bill benefits they have earned. If these servicemembers can do their part day in and day out while holding down civilian jobs and squeezing in time to take care of their families, then the least we can do is ensure each day they spend in uniform counts towards their benefits,” said Chairman Takano, one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Currently, the National Guard on Title 32 orders won’t count towards GI Bill benefits unless they are in support of a presidentially declared national emergency. Title 10 orders do count.

“Members of the National Guard and Reserve Component have risked their lives on the front lines of this pandemic, administering aid and protecting the Capitol on a training status,” said Veterans Education Project (VEP) Legislative Director Donald Franklin. “These brave men and women are long overdue the benefits befitting their service.”

What’s Next?

This still needs to be passed by the Senate, then go on to be signed by the President. If this is able to go through, it will be able to help out a lot of National Guard and Reserve members earn the benefits that they deserve when they step up to help this country.

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.