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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 10, 2023

Don’t miss these updates to the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program

By Reidus Stokes, Personnel Services Division (PSD)

The opt-out timeline for the Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program has been extended. Starting Jan. 5, new recruits, candidates at the officer candidate school (OCS), and direct commission members entering the Coast Guard have a 90-day window following 180 days after the date each member entered initial training to opt out of the MGIB program. The previous two-week requirement has been rescinded. 

This change is new for those who access into the service on or after Jan. 5. It is also recommended that commands include this change in any onboarding paperwork and checklists they have at the unit level. 

Eligible active duty uniformed service members are automatically enrolled for educational assistance under the MGIB program. Eligible members will have their pay reduced by $1,200 dollars ($100 a month for 12 consecutive months) unless they opt out of such benefits in writing, except as otherwise provided under specific authority, such as transition benefit programs.

To enroll or disenroll, members must use the DD Form 2366, “Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 (MGIB),” to document uniformed service member enrollment and disenrollment.

Effective Jan. 5, pay reductions will begin on the date that is 270 days after members enter initial training. Enrolled members who elect either not to use the benefit or who do not qualify for the benefit may not recover the amount previously reduced from their pay.

Moving forward, eligible members will be counseled on the MGIB program at least once within 270 days of entering active duty. Service members must be given the opportunity to disenroll from the MGIB program during the 90-day period beginning on the day that marks 180 days after their entry into initial training. 

This does not change eligibility requirements for Chapter 33 Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education Benefits. 

If you have any questions, please contact Reidus Stokes, phone number (202) 795-6643.