WASHINGTON — Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, joined a group of her bipartisan colleagues urging Defense Secretary Mark Esper to restore education benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve.
The senators’ letter calls on Esper to reverse a 2014 Department of Defense decision that undermined National Guard and Reserve service members’ ability to receive the full education benefits.Currently, active duty service members who qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post-9/11 GI Bill are able to simultaneously use these benefits with Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA). In late 2014, the Department of Defense issued a policy that prohibits similar concurrent usage of the FTA program for members of the National Guard and Reserve under the Montgomery GI Bill.
The senators wrote to the Department of Defense to bring parity between active duty and Reserve component service members, ensuring they can utilize both their GI Bill benefits and FTA.
“Members of the National Guard and Reserve are crucial to keeping our country safe, and there should be no reason that these brave men and women are unable to receive the full education benefits that they have earned through their service,” Hassan said.
In addition to Hassan, the letter was signed by Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Robert Casey, D-Pa.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; James Risch, R-Idaho; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; and Michael Rounds, R-S.D.
The senators’ letter asking for the change can be read at ow.ly/vSAg50wv7jQ.