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Lawmakers want transition workshops to add GI Bill training

Apr. 25, 2013 - 12:01PM   |  
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Everyone attending military transition assistance workshops would have to attend specific briefings about how to get the most out of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under a bill passed Thursday by a House panel.

The Defense Department opposes the Servicemembers Choice in Transition Act because it would add to the transition classes and workshops that already take five to seven days. But lawmakers think the training is important.

Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., one of the sponsors of HR 631, said that with GI Bill benefits valued at almost $300,000 under some circumstances, and with 50 percent of Transition Assistance Program participants expressing interest in using the veterans’ education benefit, he believes requiring briefings on using the benefits is a way to ensure service members don’t waste them.

The $300,000 value for the Post-9/11 GI Bill cited by Runyan is the cost of attending the most expensive private university in the most expensive region of the country.

In response to Pentagon objections, the bill as approved by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s disability assistance panel removes an explicit order that TAP courses must be a total of five days with one day spent focusing on the GI Bill.

Adding a day of training on the GI Bill might force a reduction in the three days of training dedicated to an employment workshop, defense officials told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

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