Friday, October 20, 2006

Reservists of the World, Unite! (But only on weekends) 
Two representatives have introduced a bill to significantly boost Montgomery GI Bill benefits for reserve component servicemen and women.

Although Reservists are being called to duty and mobilized for an average of 18 months, when they leave the Selected Reserves they do not receive the same educational benefits as the Active Duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that they serve alongside. Additionally, MGIB benefits for Reserve members have not kept up with the increases in the MGIB for Active Duty. The current MGIB-SR benefit is only 29 percent of the MGIB; historically the difference has been 47 percent.

“The contributions made by Guard and Reservists called to active duty is just as significant as those of our Active Duty military, and it is important that we provide the same benefits for their time in combat as those we provide for their Active Duty counterparts who serve in combat,” said Congressman Vic Snyder. “Nearly every unit in the Arkansas Guard and many Arkansans who serve in the Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve and Marine Reserve have been mobilized to support our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan at least once. It is time for Congress to seriously address the disparity in benefits between Active Duty and Reserve component members.”

The ringknockers hate the idea. The counterargument -- which only a regular mentality could come up with -- is that boosting reserve component benefits will cause active component troops to leave the active military to join the reserve components.

Oh, the horror. It's not like anyone is subsidizing our housing or day care or anything.

Splash, out


I've got a question not answered here...What did the three congresscritters put in the bill to fund this additional benefit? I'm all for benefits for reservists commensurate with their service, but only if funding provisions are made so these additional bennies don't end up cutting into what others already receive or, worse, cutting into O&M funds.

The additional medical benefits granted to reservists in the last year bought some congressmen good will with their uniformed constituents, but because they don't think about how these programs get paid for, the additional burden has furhter bent a system near the breaking point.
Why not have the Reservists pay in just like RA? Or even more, if that's what it takes. I would gladly have shelled out double ($2400, then) or forgone my cash $400-out-of-every-thousand-goes-right-back-to-the-fed bonuses for MGIB like active duty got.

Bottom line: it's isn't fair to have a benefit a reservist can't use because he's deployed.
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