If you are looking to get an education, one of the methods available is through a program that was set up by Congress, where you spend a short time in the military, and receive a number of educational benefits. Its called the Two year Educational enlistment program, also called the Two-year Call to Service. This is a program where participants serve out a short time on active duty, normally 15 to 24 months including both boot camp, training, and active duty time, and then spend six or eight years in the reserves. Some people choose at the end of the active duty initial period to reenlist on active duty, but that is not a requirement for the program.
Many of the Armed Services are not thrilled with the two-year active duty enlistment element, and in some of the Five Armed services the opportunities or jobs available for this program are severely limited. Many of the services feel that it is not fair to the service to only serve 2 years active duty. However, this is a program that is currently offered in some form by all five services, and allows a person to access different benefits. Participants in this program receive ONE of these following benefits:
-Possible education allowance over three years up to $15,000 dollars
-OR A possible one-year education allowance of up to $9,000 dollars.
-Possible student loan repayment of up to $18,000 dollars.
-A bonus of $5,000 dollars after their initial Active duty service is up.
The ability for members of the Two year Call to service program to access the Montgomery GI Bill are in some ways limited, and what portions are accessible tend to be the Reserve GI bill provisions, but there are also other benefits from joining and participating in the two year call to service program. For one, participants are legally veterans, and will receive veteran’s preference in hiring and civil service exams. Or, they can participate, and while in the reserves finish their degree, and use their Active Duty time as credit toward pursuing a Commission as an Officer with one of the Armed Services. Or, they can simply take advantage of one of the offered program benefits. Either way, this is a Military Light version of serving your country, and getting your foot in the door in the military, and gaining educational benefits at the same time.
The Two-year call to service program is a good way to find out if you are interested in a military career, while earning educational funds for your education. It’s an excellent way to get your feet wet and try out the military without a lengthy 4, 6, or 8-year enlistment.