In 1940, the average GI was 26 years old and had one year of high school education. The GI Bill, enacted in 1944, opened college doors and admitted thousands of mature, responsible military servicemen and women to higher education.
Today, the VA home loan program and the GI Bill are still considered two of the most highly innovative military programs ever created, providing unmatched financial support for generations of combat veterans.
The original GI Bill literally transformed America, enabling an entire generation of military veterans, men and women, to attend college. Those initial GI Bill veterans became doctors, lawyers, engineers and valuable contributors to the shaping of modern America.
When in 1984 former Mississippi Congressman Gillespie V. Montgomery revamped the GI Bill, known as the "Montgomery GI Bill" ever since, he assured the living legacy of the GI Bill. The expanded Montgomery GI Bill of 1984 gave active duty military and veterans expanded educational financial support, as well as access to more education institutions and programs.
Under the Montgomery GI Bill, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard (as well as their Reserves and the National Guard) all provide financial education support for military members who join and serve a tour of duty. The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for college, business, technical or vocational courses, correspondence courses, apprenticeship/job training and flight training. MGIB benefits may be used while on active duty or after a fully honorable discharge from active duty.
Montgomery GI Bill benefit amounts are adjusted each year according to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Montgomery GI Bill education benefits are also tied to length of service; either active duty of three years or more, or two years of active duty. The Montgomery GI Bill also supports those serving in the Reserve or National Guard, both for part-time service and tour of active duty. To qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill, recruits must agree to contribute with an amount deducted from their military pay each month.
More recently, the Post 9-11 GI Bill further expanded educational support for veterans and their family members, allowing a GI Bill benefits transfer to spouses and military children. Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits are available for a longer time, and can be used for college and a variety of training programs and certifications, as well as books, supplies, and housing expenses of higher education.
Statistically, only a limited percentage of soldiers eventually use their GI Bill benefits. There are countless ways to use your GI Bill benefits, at a variety of educational institutions, colleges, training courses, and you can transfer GI Bill benefits to qualified family members.
The GI Bill is a military opportunity to gain a higher education that pays you back throughout your lifetime. But you don't have forever to use your GI Bill - just ample time after separation from the military depending on your years of service. Check in here, check out your benefits, and make sure you don't miss out.