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Mark C. Carroll

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by Mark C. Carroll   

Last edited: Friday, May 30, 2003
Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2003

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Want the GI Bill? You better sign up when you first join or regardless how unfair it is, you will never get this opportunity again.


Members are given a one-time option to enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill, when they first join the service. Congress would have to change the laws to allow personnel to enroll at any other time during their career.


The root of the one time enrollment portion of the MGIB is the investment period. The sooner service members sign up, the longer the investment period. Understanding that, If personnel can join the military, stay in 4 years, get out and use benefits, Why can’t sailors of 10 years sign-up and forfeit benefits until their 14 year mark?

Regardless of how strongly we recommend personnel to sign-up, some are not responsible or mature enough to make the right decision. They have had no training in long-term planning or career management yet they are expected to make a decision hundreds if not thousands of service members currently regret.

The program itself has evolved and changed dramatically since it’s inception in 1987. The benefits greatly exceed those that were offered originally. When some members declined enrollment it didn’t make sense give a large percentage of their pay for what was at the time a mediocre dividend.

These three reasons clearly illustrate the inequities of the enrollment procedures in the Montgomery GI Bill.

Certainly, there can be no doubt as to the value of allowing enrollment for those who previously declined. Clearly this is a fairly important step toward re-enforcing the importance of education to Service Members regardless of the branch of service.

Policies are meant to serve the customers, the profitability of the MGIB investment program and lack of use by enrolled members provide even greater justification to include ALL service members, regardless of their previous declination.

May be reprinted with attribution to Mark C. Carroll (c)2003


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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 5/10/2003
informative article
Reviewed by Beau Peterson 4/26/2003
It is indeed unfortunate that provisions of the bill do not allow the service members the opportunity to have education rights that are more flexible and forgiving. Over the years, the GI bill has helped millions of service members and former service members reintegrate back into our society, and has paid dividends many times over the initial investment. It's time to revisit this issue with our legislators. Make your voice your State Representatives today!
Reviewed by DK2 Gronlund 4/14/2003
I strongly agree with everything that you have written.

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