Sens. Moran, Tester Introduce Legislation to Expand GI Bill Benefits for Guardsmen and Reservists

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – the ranking member and chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – recently introduced legislation to expand GI Bill benefits to select National Guard and Reserve duty statuses.

The Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Assistance Parity (GRAD) Act would permit additional federal active duty service performed by guardsmen and reservists under certain duty statuses, to count towards their GI Bill eligibility.

“In recent years, the National Guard and Reserve component have been called on to serve on behalf of the federal government,” said Sen. Moran. “Over the last year, we saw thousands of guardsmen and reservists serve their country while responding to the COVID pandemic, domestic unrest and the crisis at the southern border, yet these times in federal service do not currently count towards their GI Bill benefits. This legislation would make certain that guardsmen and reservists who are performing the same services as active duty servicemembers are eligible for the same GI Bill benefits.”

“Members of the National Guard and Reserve deserve GI benefits that reflect their increased services to our nation,” said Sen. Tester. “These brave men and women continue to answer the call of duty, now more than ever, but their benefits aren’t keeping pace. Our bipartisan bill will begin to right this wrong by ensuring all federally activated members receive the education benefits they are owed.”

“After all the hard work and sacrifice we’ve seen from our National Guard in the post 9-11 era, it’s past time that we give equal accrual of Post 9-11 G.I. Bill benefits,” said retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, president of the National Guard Association of the U.S. “Most Americans would be shocked that often times the men and women of the National Guard don’t earn educational benefits simply because of the type of military orders they are deployed on. This legislation fixes that and we applaud it. Thank you to Senators Jerry Moran and Jon Tester on their continued steadfast support of the National Guard and Reserves. ”

State active duty orders or inactive duty training would not count towards GI Bill eligibility.

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