The GI Bill has greatly improved over the last few years. While Military.com has highlighted these improvements to the Montgomery GI Bill in the following links, check out the latest updates to the more recent Post-9/11 GI Bill here:
The Buy-Up feature allows active duty servicemembers to get up to an extra $150 per month increase above the standard MGIB "pay rate." This could increase your total benefits by $5,400.
Note: The Air Force calls this program a GI Bill kicker.
Applying for Buy-up
To apply you must be an eligible servicemember and elect to contribute up to an additional $600 before you separate. This means you can contribute up to a total of $1,800 - your mandatory $1,200 payment when you sign up for MGIB benefits, plus $600. Active-duty members can contribute (to their military branch) in increments of $20 up to $600. You can use form DD-2366-1 to process your request.
Note: If you contribute to the buy-up program and then switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill you will lose your extra contributions.
Vietnam-era Veterans may convert their Vietnam-era GI Bill benefits to the MGIB Bill.
Veterans may be eligible if they:
- Entered active duty before January 1, 1977
- Served at least 1 day between October 19, 1984 and June 30, 1985 and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or June 30, 1987 if entered Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served four years) and
- Have entitlement left from Vietnam-Era GI Bill.