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Air Force Reserve: Benefits
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Benefits
Introduction

When you join the Air Force Reserve, you are entitled to a wide range of benefits similar to benefits you would receive if you were on Active Duty.

Get an education.

The Air Force Reserve constantly stresses education, and encourages Reservists to continue to learn throughout their lives. To help facilitate those ambitions, the Reserve offers a non-contributory GI Bill, and another program that pays as much as 100% Tuition Assistance, free credits at the Community College of the Air Force, and specialized technical training that leads to certifications and licenses. Bonuses and incentives are also available to those pursuing roles in critically needed areas.

The Post-9/11 GI-Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

As of August 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is effective for training. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay your tuition based upon the highest in-state tuition charged by a public educational institution in the state where the school is located. The amount of support that an individual may qualify for depends on where they live and what type of degree they are pursuing.

This Post 9-11 GI Bill will provide eligible individuals with the following:

  • Tuition and fees directly to the school not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition and fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school
  • An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000, paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals

The Post 9-11 GI Bill benefit is payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning (IHL). If you are enrolled exclusively in online training, you won't receive the housing allowance. If you are on active duty, you won't receive the housing allowance or books and supplies stipend.

Providing up to 36 months of education benefits, the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit is generally payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.

Loan Payment / Tuition Assistance (TA)

Tuition assistance is available to participating Reserve and IMA students for both distance learning and on-campus courses. It's offered each fiscal year (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30) as long as funding is available. In addition, enrollments may be stopped when funds are depleted during a fiscal year, and then resumed when additional/new funding is made available.

Although funding must be requested before the start of class, TA is paid on a reimbursable basis after a student successfully completes the course(s) for which TA was requested and approved. Successful course completion is defined as C or better.

Students who request TA must meet the following eligibility criteria before application for TA reimbursement can be made:
  1. Students must be actively participating (for pay and points) and be in good standing (does not have a UIF, not placed on a control roster, not pending or issued an Article 15, and/or not pending court martial) from the time the Airman applies for and completes the course(s).
  2. Enlisted students' retainability must extend beyond the course end date of the last course approved for TA, or the individual must extend or re-enlist.
  3. Commissioned officers must have a mandatory separation date of not less than 48 months of service commitment starting at the end of the last course completed. In addition, officers incur a four-year Reserve Service. Each time an officer applies for TA, he or she must sign a Contract for Air Force Selected Reserve Service Commitment.
  4. Students must provide a degree plan to ARPC/DPSVN no later than 9 semester hours. They'll no longer be eligible for tuition assistance until the plan is on file with DPSVN. Note: All courses submitted for TA approval must be on the degree plan.
  5. Student must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Airmen will receive 100% for undergraduate or graduate study up to $4,500 per fiscal year. Department of Defense imposes additional limits of no more than $250 per semester hour or $166.66 per quarter hour.

Tuition assistance is only available for courses leading to a degree at a level not already held by the Airman or higher. For example, Airmen who already possess a bachelor's degree cannot apply for an associate's or second bachelor's degree (education levels must be progressive and not equivalent). However, Airmen pursuing an associate degree from Community College of the Air Force in their primary controlled Air Force Specialty Code are authorized tuition assistance regardless of any other degrees held.

TA shall be provided only for courses offered by post-secondary institutions accredited by a national or regional accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. Certification or vocational courses are not funded. Students are responsible for paying all costs up front prior to attending an institution.

Low-cost health and dental insurance

The Air Force Reserve offers inexpensive health care insurance for Reservists and members of their immediate families. This can be a significant cost savings through TRICARE, a program offered to those on Active Duty as well.

Plan for the future

The military offers excellent retirement benefits, inexpensive life insurance, and a reserve health care plan. These benefits make it very easy to build security.

Earn a second paycheck

The Air Force Reserve offers quality part-time jobs with great benefits and competitive pay. If you're a full-time student, you'll have the time to study while you serve in the Reserve. If you have a job, you'll enjoy the extra income earned as a member of the Reserve.

Keep your rank

In most cases, you retain the rank earned in your previous branch of service when you join the Reserve.

Save through the Commissary and BX Privileges

Reservists are eligible to use military bases which offer tax free department store shopping and supermarket shopping at great savings, and there is the opportunity to rent recreational equipment at discounted rates.

Don't move

When you join the Air Force Reserve, you can continue to live at home and serve, or you can move and serve in the city of your choice.

Transfer directly from active duty

Continue serving your country while accruing years towards your retirement

Do the extraordinary

You'll go places and do things that are just not possible as a civilian. And you'll meet people and make lifelong friendships that are only possible through joining the Air Force Reserve.


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