NEWS | June 18, 2019

Changes in GI Bill transfer benefits coming July 12

By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. – Provisions allowing Guard members to transfer some or all of their Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children are set to change in less than 30 days, limiting the timeframe Soldiers and Airmen can transfer those benefits.

“You have to have a minimum of six years [in service] in order to be eligible to transfer benefits, and after 16 years you’re no longer eligible,” said Don Sutton, GI Bill program manager with the Army National Guard, describing the changes set to go into effect July 12.

The six-years-of-service rule isn’t new, said Sutton.

“You’ve always had to have a minimum of six years of service in order to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits,” he said, adding the big change is the cutoff at 16 years of service.

“You’ll have a 10-year-window in which to transfer benefits,” he said, stressing that Guard members won’t lose the benefits after 16 years of service, just the ability to transfer them to their spouse, children or other dependents.

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill and the transfer of benefits are two entirely different and separate programs,” said Sutton. “Even though Soldiers may be ineligible to transfer benefits, they still have the Post-9/11 for their own use.”

For those interested in transferring their benefits, an additional four-year service obligation is still required.

“The [transfer of benefits] is a retention incentive,” said Sutton. “It’s designed to keep people in the service.”

Being able to transfer benefits to a dependent may have been perceived by some Service members as an entitlement, said Sutton, adding that was one of the reasons for the timeframe change.

“In law, transferring those benefits has always been designed as a retention incentive,” he said.

The exact number of Guard members who may be impacted by the change wasn’t available, said Sutton, adding that among those who could be affected are those who didn’t qualify for Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits until later in their career.

“We do have a small population of Soldiers who are over 16 years [of service] before they did their first deployment,” he said.

Some Guard members who may have earned the benefits early on, but didn’t have dependents until later in their careers, may also be affected.

“They joined at 18 and now they’re 15, 16 years in and they get married or have kids later on in life,” said Sutton, who urged Guard members who plan on transferring their benefits to do so as soon as they are eligible.

“If you wait, you’re potentially going to miss out,” he said.

Some Guard members may have been waiting to transfer the benefits until their children reach college age.

“There sometimes are some misconceptions that they have to wait until their kids are college age or that they’re high school seniors in order to do the transfer,” said Sutton, adding there is no age requirement to transfer Post-9/ 11 benefits to dependent children.

“As soon as a child is born and registered in DEERS [Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System], you can transfer,” he said.

After that transfer has been completed, Guard members can still make changes to how those benefits are divided between dependents or which dependent receives those benefits.

“Once the transfer is executed, and you’ve agreed to that service obligation, you can add dependents in, and you can move months around between dependents,” said Sutton. “It’s just that initial transfer has to be done before you hit 16 years of service.”

However, there is one group of Guard members who will not be affected by any of the changes: those who have received the Purple Heart since Sept. 11, 2001.

“The only rule around transferring benefits that applies [to those individuals] is you have to still be in the service to transfer them.”

Regardless of status, Sutton reiterated that Guard members are better off transferring those benefits sooner rather than later.

“Transfer as soon as you’re eligible,” he said. “Don’t miss the boat because you’ve been eligible for 10 years and you just didn’t do it.”

 

 

 

Your Career Starts Here

Utah National Guard Engineers Train at Dinosaur National Monument
By Sgt. 1st Class Richad Stowell | June 22, 2022
Soldiers from the 1457th participated in an annual training exercise they won't soon forget.Engineers from the 116th Engineer Company and support personnel for the Forward Support Company– about 125 Soldiers in all–...

An AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 1-211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, waits to be taxied on June 20, 2022, at Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hall)
Utah’s Apache Helicopters Arrive in Morocco
By Maj. Brent Mangum, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) | June 20, 2022
Approximately 60 Soldiers from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, landed at the Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco, June 20...

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, U.S. Navy Sailor and Soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army train together in a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force operations center as part of exercise African Lion 2022. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hall)
Utah National Guard Members Arrive in Morocco for African Lion 22
By Maj. Brent Mangum | June 17, 2022
Roughly 300 members of the Utah National Guard will participate in African Lion 2022, U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More...

A gun crew from Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery, Utah National Guard, lines up their M109 Paladin for day of live fire during Western Strike 22, June 11, 2022, at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. William Cowley)
Making a Move: Logistics and the Success of an Exercise
By Sgt. James Bunn | June 14, 2022
Whether moving across the country or making a tactical river crossing, a good logistics plan is the crucial difference between success and failure. Military operations have always hinged upon the movement of troops, weapon...

Gun crews from 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery Regiment, 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah Army National Guard, begin preparing their equipment for a day of fire missions as part of Western Strike 22 at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, June 11, 2022. Western Strike is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th FAB, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Alejandro Lucero)
Lightning Strikes: Summoning America’s Thunder
By Sgt. Alejandro Lucero | June 14, 2022
Units from the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, rocked the Idaho landscape in a barrage of awe-inspiring firepower. Soldiers from California, Iowa, North Carolina, and Utah assembled near Boise, Idaho at...

Forward observers await UH-60 helicopters for transport to new observation areas for training on marking artillery targets during Western Strike 22, June 9, 2022. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the Utah National Guard’s 65th Field Artillery Brigade, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ariel J. Solomon)
North Carolina National Guard forward observers provide fire support to National Guard units from four different states at Western Strike 22
By Cdt. Joshua Matthews | June 14, 2022
Fire support teams from 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard provided fire support to National Guard units from four different states during Western Strike 22 throughout the month...

U.S. Army Cpl. Spencer Fayles with Utah’s 144th Area Support Medical Company, receives a certificate of participation during the Region VII Best Warrior Competition award ceremony on the island of Guam, May 26, 2022. This annual competition featured the best noncommissioned officer and Soldier from eight different states and territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Testing competitors’ skills and knowledge and pushing them to their limits, the competition graded each participant in key areas such as basic Soldier skills, marksmanship under stress, land-navigation, and physical fitness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack)
Two Utah Soldiers awaken "Warrior Spirit" at Region VII Best Warrior Competition
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | June 4, 2022
A Soldier’s transformation into a warrior is difficult to describe. Hand-picked by leadership, proving themselves with every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, and every labored breath; Soldiers who compete naturally don the...

Brig. Gen. Frank Gräfe, the defense attaché from the Federation of Germany to the United States, (left) and Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Boyack, Commander of the Utah Air National Guard & Assistant Adjutant General-Air, (right) pose using the iconic “thumbs up” that Gail Halvorsen was known for on May 20th at the Provo City Cemetary. The Utah Air National Guard was in attendance to show support and honor the heroic efforts of Gail Halvorsen. (Utah Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Nicholas Perez)
Honoring a war hero who delivered hope
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez | May 31, 2022
Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen, known as the “Candy Bomber”, was honored by top leadership from the Utah Air National Guard, Utah National Guard, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany with the laying of two...

The Utah National Guard FEMA Region VIII Homeland Response Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Collapsed Structure Venue Site which included a demonstration and static display of capabilities May 10, 2022 at Camp Williams, Utah. The CSVS is one of only three military owned Urban Search and Rescue training venues west of the Rocky Mountains. This CSVS will allow both military search and extract and civilian search and rescue teams the opportunity to train together and build those necessary partnerships needed in an “all hazards” response. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
Camp Williams adds a Premiere Search and Extraction Training Site to Benefit the Homeland Response Force, State, Region, and Nation.
By Lt. Col. Robert Ramage Warden | May 11, 2022
The Utah National Guard has a new training site for the Region VIII Homeland Response Force’s search and extraction team, as well as partner civilian urban search and rescue teams. Lt. Col. Erick R. Wiedmeier, commander of...

Members of the Combined Veterans Honor Guard joined members from the Utah National Guard Honor Guard in conducting military funeral honors for the remains of Cpl. David Milano April 29, 2022 in Ogden, Utah. Milano went missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, during the Korean War. After 71 years, his remains have been repatriated to the United States and have been laid to rest on U.S. soil. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
A Family's Faith: Chosin Soldier Comes Home
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | May 3, 2022
Often referred to as “the Forgotten War,” the Korean War’s significance tends to be overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. Even in that light, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Korean War service members are...