Doolittle co-sponsors bill to help reservists get Montgomery GI Bill benefits
Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Roseville, recently co-sponsored H.R. 3882, the Fair Benefits for Guard and Reservists Act. The legislation corrects an inequity in the current law which is preventing members of the National Guard and Reserves from receiving full Montgomery GI Bill benefits.
This situation was highlighted earlier this year when members of the 1/34th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the Army National Guard returned from a 22-month mobilization and 16-month deployment in Iraq. Under current law, members of the National Guard and Reserves become eligible for full MGIB after receiving written deployment orders for 730 days (two years) of service and after serving for 20 months on Active Duty. However, as over 1,000 members of the 1/34th BCT found out, they were not eligible for full MGIB benefits because their written orders were for 729, 725, or 718 days, according to a Doolittle press statement.
“Members of the National Guard and Reserves who receive their orders at essentially the same time, train and work together, and come home together should have the same benefit opportunities. In this case, the intent of the law is being blocked by its strict language, and H.R. 3882 will correct this error,” Representative Doolittle stated in a press statement.
H.R. 3882 replaces the strict two year requirement with broader language that the deployment orders be for less than three years.
Doolittle’s district includes the Lake Tahoe portion of El Dorado County.