One of the best ways to access a lot of the educational benefits that are available to Military members is through the Two-year enlistment program, also referred to as the National Call to service. It is a program that Congress insisted that all five services offer, starting back in October 2003. It is a program where a person enlisted for a short period, usually fifteen months, which begins after job training and basic training. This total period is usually twenty-four months total for active duty service.
Those that enlist in this program then serve out another six years in the active and inactive reserves, or enlist in another active duty obligation. But either way, the initial obligation time is short, and there are times that the Servicemember then can take part in the Montgomery GI bill, and other educational benefits available to military Servicemembers.
Many of the services were not thrilled with the two-year concept. The U.S. Army in particular only offered it in limited fashion in only ten of the total forty one recruitment battalions that the U.S. Army maintain. But they did carry the program, and there is a lot of push on the part of Congress for them to expand the program Army wide in the future.
Recruits and candidates that sign up for the Two Year National Call to Service receive one of the following two types of enlistment bonuses:
-A five thousand dollar bonus after their active duty enlistment is up.
-Repayment toward student loans in an amount up to eighteen thousand dollars.
-An education allowance of roughly nine thousand dollars, for one year.
-An educational allowance of about fifteen thousand dollars over three years.
National Call to service participants are not able to assistance under the MGIB unless they sign up for an additional time of active duty, or extend their active duty reserve time. But there are still many reasons to participate. Members of the National Call to service program can receive veteran’s preference as veterans in civilian hiring. After serving a short time, they can finish their college program and use their initial time of service in pursuing a commission once they have a four-year degree. Or, they can simply access the balance of the type of enlistment bonus that they choose.
The two-year National call to service program is a popular one with Congress, but is less popular among the five uniformed armed services. The effective start date of the program was in 2003, but in several cases the program has not been expanded to the full potential that
Congress originally intended.