The Pentagon recently announced the reinstatement of Tuition Assistance across the services. If you have been keeping up, the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines suspended TA as part of cuts in accordance with sequestration. Tuition Assistance is a vital resource for service members, however. It enhances the education and readiness of the force and helps thousands get the education that they need to progress and advance in their military careers. The uproar began within the ranks and landed on the Senate floor when Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Kay Hagen (D-NC.), sponsored an amendment blocking the attack on TA and forcing the Pentagon to find funds elsewhere in the budget to support the education assistance. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, but the language only applies to the Pentagon, meaning the Coast Guard doesn’t have to comply as part of the Department of Homeland Security.
TA cuts were going to be passed along to the VA with the suggestion that service members use the Post-9/11 GI Bill to advance their skills and gain promotion. However, this benefit is designed as a reintegration tool to assist in a veteran’s transition after service. Cutting into this benefit while in service only makes for a more difficult transition home when times are already tough.
Military officials are unsure at this time when enrollments in the TA program will resume, as decisions on where additional cuts will come from and what the budget bill requires are in the works. Representatives form the various branches insist however, that final decisions on the benefit will be made within the next few days and enrollments can continue. So if you thought about scrapping that education until transition, or considered using your GI Bill benefits instead, hold tight and keep checking in—Tuition Assistance is back thanks to some necessary push back. Stay linked in for more updates at NewGIBill.org or visit our calculator to learn more about how the various benefits work.