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GI Benefits for Individual Ready Reserve

In 1944, the U.S. Congress passed the Serviceman's Readjustment Act (Public Law 78-346) as a measure to help veterans returning from World War II to get re-acclimated into civilian society. This law is generally known as the "G.I. Bill of Rights." Among the listed purposes of the G.I. Bill are making military service more attractive and restoring educational and vocational opportunities to young people who gave them up to serve their country.

The G.I. Bill was originally intended for only military personnel on full-time active duty. However, over the last couple of decades, Congress has amended it and passed other laws, to accommodate the growing numbers of military personnel on part-time reserve duty.

The Individual Ready Reserve

In addition to the reserve components (the Army Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Navy Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Coast Guard Reserve, the Army National Guard of the United States and the Air National Guard of the United States), each reserve component has within it three reserve elements known as the Ready Reserve, the Standby Reserve and the Retired Reserve.

The Ready Reserve is further divided into the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). The IRR basically consists of any unpaid veteran who is not in the Standby Reserve, the Retired Reserve or the Selected Reserve who still possesses service uniforms and military identification.

IRR are not traditionally eligible for any G.I. Bill benefits, which are reserved for the Select Reserve. However, as a result of 9/11, the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 designates all IRR eligible who serve 90 consecutive days of active duty as a part of the Global War on Terror.

For more information on how this is broken down, see Chapter 1005 (Elements of Reserve Components) of Title 10 (Armed Forces) of the United States Code.

Montgomery G.I. Bill--Selected Reserve Program (MGIB-SR)

The Montgomery G.I. Bill--Selected Reserve Program (MGIB-SR) is codified as Title 10 U.S.C. §§ 16131-16137. It offers the following benefits:

Veterans who enter an undergraduate degree program receive $251 per month for full time study, $188 per month for three-quarters time study, and $125 per month for half time study.

Veterans who enter a 120-hour or more apprenticeship or on-the-job training program receive $188.25 per month for the first six months of the program, $138.05 per month for the second six months of the program, and $87.85 per month for each additional month.

Veterans who enter a correspondence course receive "an amount equal to 55 percent of the established charge which the institution requires nonveterans to pay for the course."

Veterans who enter a flight training course receive "an amount equal to 60 percent of the established charges for tuition and fees which similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the same flight course."

Veterans who are enrolled undergraduate students receive up to $100 per month to pay for any needed tutorial services.

Veterans who wish to take the SAT, the LSAT, the GRE, the GMAT, the CLEP or any AP exam receive up to $2000 to cover a preparatory course and the cost of the exam.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is codified as Title 10 U.S.C. §§ 16161-16166. It offers to cover up to 80 percent of an educational or vocational program that a veteran enters, including the costs of licensing and certification tests for up to 36 months.

To be eligible, the veteran must have a high school diploma or GED and must have completed the equivalent of 12 semester hours.

Health Profession Stipend Program

The Health Profession Stipend Program is codified as Title 10 U.S.C. §§ 16201-16204. If a veteran is enrolled in a medical, dental, nursing or any other health professional program and signs an agreement to accept appointment to a regular reserve component upon completion all necessary training, the veteran will receive a $15,000 annual stipend while in the program.

Education Loan Repayment Program

The Education Loan Repayment Program is codified as Title 10 U.S.C. §§ 16301-16303. Any veteran who has incurred any approved federally-backed educational with receive either 15 percent of the amount of the loan or $500, which ever amount is greater.

If the veteran is a graduate of a medical, dental, nursing, or any other health professional program, the veteran will receive up to $60,000.

If the veteran is a graduate of any religious training program and agrees to serve as a chaplain, the veteran will receive up to $20,000.


Kwami K. Kwami is the founder of Imagine-A-Nation Edutainment Media which produced PHAT LIP! YouthTalk Radio, the first internationally syndicated youth-oriented radio talk show. He is the author of "The Tables Have Turned: A Street Guide to Guerrilla Lawfare" and director of Do-It-Yourself LAW (Lay Advocacy Workgroups).