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Coast Guard weighs reinstating TA

Mar. 22, 2013 - 09:21AM   |  
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Coast Guard leaders are still considering whether to reinstate tuition assistance.

Although Congress has compelled the other services to bring the benefit back, the Coast Guard was not included in the legislative action.

Now it’s up to the Coast Guard leaders to make a determination to bring back the popular tuition aid.

“It’s not something they’ve completely ruled out,” Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Paul Rhynard said Thursday evening. “It’s something they’re definitely going to look at.”

The service’s TA program falls under the purview of Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, assistant commandant for human resources. Rhynard confirmed the admiral was looking at the Coast Guard’s options.

When news broke that Congress had forced the services to reinstate the benefit, many members of the Coast Guard assumed they, too, would have TA. But the amendment affected only the defense budget. The Coast Guard falls under homeland security.

A petition appeared on the White House’s “We the People” website on Thursday calling for Coasties to get the benefit back. It is titled “Reinstate military tuition assistance for the Coast Guard & protect it from any and all future cuts” and has nearly 800 signatures. It would need to reach 100,000 by April 20 to force White House consideration.

The Coast Guard announced it was suspending TA on March 9. At that time, the Coast Guard had spent more than $11 million in the TA program for the current year. It has averaged spending about $20 million a year for the last three years, according a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

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