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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 19, 2024

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Program new requirement

By Reidus Stokes, Personnel Services Division (PSD)

The opt-out timeline for the Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program has been extended. 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 The previous two-week requirement has been rescinded.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 effective for those who joined the service on or after Jan. 5, 2023 through the Training Center Cape May, OCS and direct commission accession points.  

Commands are responsible for briefing new Coast Guard active duty, OCS and direct commission members within the mandatory 90-day MGIB window. Supervisors must contact the member if they are away from the unit at a training center, temporary duty, or on leave and ensure the member is properly briefed along with completing the DD Form 2366. It is also recommended that commands include this requirement in any onboarding paperwork and checklists they have at the unit level.  

New Coast Guard Active Duty enlisted, OCS and direct commission members must use DD Form 2366 to certify they are properly briefed by unit personnel. These new members must be counseled on the MGIB program at least once within 270 days of entering active duty. The requirement to opt out of the program during a 90-day period beginning on the day that is 180 days after the date on which the individual initially enters training.

To continue enrollment, or disenroll, members must use the DD Form 2366, Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984, to document uniformed service member enrollment and disenrollment. 
Eligible active duty uniformed servicemembers 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. 

This does not impact eligibility requirements for Chapter 33 Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education Benefits.  
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Reidus Stokes, (202) 795-6643.