What is the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill?
The Montgomery Reserve GI Bill was enacted to permit eligible Service personnel to further their education or useful vocational training. However, those who aren’t familiar with this particular legislation may be curious about what it entails.
There are caveats and restrictions, of which all individuals interested in applying for its benefits should be aware. The particular requirements and stipulations of the program are outlined in the article below, along with historical background and points of importance.
The Who, the What, and the When
Also known by its official title, the Montgomery GI Selected Reserve Bill (MGIB-SR), this is part of the more general package known as the GI Bill, which provides benefits specifically to military reserve personnel.
Because this category of service is distinct from general enlistment or commissioned and non-commissioned officer standing, the legislation’s delineated provisions are vital. They ensure that each will receive the benefits to which their type and duration of service entitle them under the umbrella of the broader law.
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, MGIB-SR offers assistance to eligible individuals in all branches of the military reserve forces—including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, and the Air National Guard.
The program is intended to compensate or pay for training or education, whether in a vocational capacity or through an accredited academic institution.
Caveats and Requirements
There are certain stipulations that must be satisfied by an individual to receive the benefits of the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill. First and most crucially, they must belong to a branch of the military as an active reserve.
This particular benefit ceases when they leave their reserve unit. Recall to active duty is one exception, which entitles individuals to coverage equivalent to the duration of the mobilization plus four months. The VA stipulates that if an individual is part of a unit deactivated between 2007 and 2014, or separation occurs through no fault of the personnel, they retain eligibility for a term of 14 years.
Service personnel must sign a six-year contract, dated after 1985, with the reserve branch of their choosing. Officers must serve an additional six years. They must also complete the IADT—their initial active duty training—and possess a high school diploma or its equivalent before completion. The VA is clear on this point that the compensation may not be applied to a GED or remedial education.
Good standing is vital during the six-year contract period. Discharge due to disability not caused by personal misbehavior will not impact the application of benefits. However, disorderly conduct, dishonorable discharge, and other adverse marks constitute ample rationale for denial of this benefit.
The GI Bill was enacted to provide an avenue for returning military personnel to civilian life. Following the Second World War, there were many GI’s who had left home as teenagers. Now, they were in their mid- or late-20s but had no craft or business skills with which to earn a living following their separation from the military.
However, to ensure that individuals who voluntarily served as reservists in the nation’s standing army would also maintain a beneficial role in the culture, additional and related legislation was necessary. Hence, the Reserve Montgomery GI Bill or MGIB-SR was passed.