Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability Service Commitment Changes

Starting August 1, service members who elect to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to an eligible family member will be required to serve an additional four years, without regard to their time in service.

When the law was enacted in 2009, service members close to retirement had a service obligation between zero and three years. This new change will affect service members who are eligible for retirement. Going forward, all service members will be required to fulfill a four year service obligation.

The National Military Family Association encourages families to discuss transferability options prior to retirement. A service member may elect to transfer one month of the benefit to each eligible family member only when the service member is on active duty. Once a service member retires, the service member may change the number of months transferred to each person or retract benefits, but the service member cannot add family members.

To apply to transfer the benefit , service members should first contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish eligibility and then submit a transferability application through the Transferability of Educational Benefits website

A service member is eligible to transfer benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill if the service member meets one or more of the following programs start date requirements: 

  1. You are a member of the Armed Forces (active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted) and were in the service on 1 August 2009 or joined after that date. 
  2. You are a Uniformed Service member of the Public Health Service (PHS) and were in the service on 1 August 2011 or joined after that date. 
  3. You are a Uniformed Service member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and were in the service on 1 September 2011 or joined after that date.

If you meet one of the above program start date requirements, you must also meet one or more of the following requirements: 

  1. You have at least six years of service in the Uniformed Services on the date you elect to transfer the Post-9/11 GI Bill program and agree to serve an additional four years in the Uniformed Services from that date. 
  2. You have at least ten cumulative years of service in the Uniformed Services (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of election, are precluded by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute from committing to four additional years and agree to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.

It is important to know that in some cases, if a service member has transferred the benefit and voluntarily leaves the Service, he or she may be required to pay back those benefits. However, if the service member is involuntarily separated, he or she may be permitted to waive this requirement. Service members who have transferred their benefit are encouraged to review their service commitment before leaving the Service, otherwise they may be stuck with a hefty bill.

To learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill, visit their website.

(Sources:  and


  Print Print


Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.

Please leave this field empty


Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?

Facebook Icon 2013

Twitter Icon 2013

Flickr Icon 2013