38 USC 3011 - Basic educational assistance entitlement for service on active duty

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, each individual
(1) who
(A) after June 30, 1985, first becomes a member of the Armed Forces or first enters on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces and
(i) who

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(I)  in the case of an individual whose obligated period of active duty is three years or more, serves at least three years of continuous active duty in the Armed Forces, or
(II)  in the case of an individual whose obligated period of active duty is less than three years, serves at least two years of continuous active duty in the Armed Forces; or
(ii) who serves in the Armed Forces and is discharged or released from active duty
(I)  for a service-connected disability, for a medical condition which preexisted such service on active duty and which the Secretary determines is not service connected, for hardship, or for a physical or mental condition that was not characterized as a disability and did not result from the individuals own willful misconduct but did interfere with the individuals performance of duty, as determined by the Secretary of each military department in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy;
(II)  for the convenience of the Government, if, in the case of an individual with an obligated period of service of two years, the individual completes not less than 20 months of continuous active duty under that period of obligated service, or, in the case of an individual with an obligated period of service of at least three years, the individual completes not less than 30 months of continuous active duty under that period of obligated service; or
(III)  involuntarily for the convenience of the Government as a result of a reduction in force, as determined by the Secretary of the military department concerned in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy;
(B) as of December 31, 1989, is eligible for educational assistance benefits under chapter 34 of this title and was on active duty at any time during the period beginning on October 19, 1984, and ending on July 1, 1985, continued on active duty without a break in service and
(i) after June 30, 1985, serves at least three years of continuous active duty in the Armed Forces; or
(ii) after June 30, 1985, is discharged or released from active duty
(I)  for a service-connected disability, for a medical condition which preexisted such service on active duty and which the Secretary determines is not service connected, for hardship, or for a physical or mental condition that was not characterized as a disability, as described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) of this paragraph;

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(II)  for the convenience of the Government, if the individual completed not less than 30 months of continuous active duty after that date; or
(III)  involuntarily for the convenience of the Government as a result of a reduction in force, as determined by the Secretary of the military department concerned in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy; or
(C) as of December 31, 1989, was eligible for educational assistance benefits under chapter 34 of this title and
(i) was not on active duty on October 19, 1984;
(ii) reenlists or reenters on a period of active duty after October 19, 1984; and
(iii) on or after July 1, 1985, either
(I) serves at least three years of continuous active duty in the Armed Forces; or
(II) is discharged or released from active duty (aa) for a service-connected disability, for a medical condition which preexisted such service on active duty and which the Secretary determines is not service connected, for hardship, or for a physical or mental condition that was not characterized as a disability, as described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) of this paragraph, (bb) for the convenience of the Government, if the individual completed not less than 30 months of continuous active duty after that date, or (cc) involuntarily for the convenience of the Government as a result of a reduction in force, as determined by the Secretary of the military department concerned in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense or by the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy;
(2) who completes the requirements of a secondary school diploma (or equivalency certificate), or successfully completes (or otherwise receives academic credit for) the equivalent of 12 semester hours in a program of education leading to a standard college degree, before applying for benefits under this section; and
(3) who, after completion of the service described in clause (1) of this subsection
(A) continues on active duty;
(B) is discharged from active duty with an honorable discharge;
(C) is released after service on active duty characterized by the Secretary concerned as honorable service and is placed on the retired list, is transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, or is placed on the temporary disability retired list; or
(D) is released from active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces after service on active duty characterized by the Secretary concerned as honorable service;

is entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter.

(b) 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the basic pay of any individual described in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section who does not make an election under subsection (c)(1) of this section shall be reduced by $100 for each of the first 12 months that such individual is entitled to such pay.
(2) In the case of an individual covered by paragraph (1) who is a member of the Selected Reserve, the Secretary of Defense shall collect from the individual an amount equal to $1,200 not later than one year after completion by the individual of the two years of service on active duty providing the basis for such entitlement. The Secretary of Defense may collect such amount through reductions in basic pay in accordance with paragraph (1) or through such other method as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
(3) Any amount by which the basic pay of an individual is reduced under this subsection shall revert to the Treasury and shall not, for purposes of any Federal law, be considered to have been received by or to be within the control of such individual.
(c) 
(1) An individual described in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section may make an election not to receive educational assistance under this chapter. Any such election shall be made at the time the individual initially enters on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces. Any individual who makes such an election is not entitled to educational assistance under this chapter.
(2) An individual who after December 31, 1976, receives a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces upon graduation from the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, or the Coast Guard Academy is not eligible for educational assistance under this section.
(3) An individual who after December 31, 1976, receives a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces upon completion of a program of educational assistance under section 2107 of title 10 is not eligible for educational assistance under this section if the individual enters on active duty
(A) before October 1, 1996; or
(B) after September 30, 1996, and while participating in such program received more than $3,400 for each year of such participation.
(d) 
(1) For purposes of this chapter, any period of service described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection shall not be considered a part of an obligated period of active duty on which an individuals entitlement to assistance under this section is based.
(2) The period of service referred to in paragraph (1) is any period terminated because of a defective enlistment and induction based on
(A) the individuals being a minor for purposes of service in the Armed Forces;
(B) an erroneous enlistment or induction; or
(C) a defective enlistment agreement.
(3) The period of service referred to in paragraph (1) is also any period of service on active duty which an individual in the Selected Reserve was ordered to perform under section 12301, 12302, 12304, 12306, or 12307 of title 10 for a period of less than 2 years.
(e) 
(1) Any individual eligible for educational assistance under this section who does not make an election under subsection (c)(1) may contribute amounts for purposes of receiving an increased amount of basic educational assistance as provided for under section 3015 (g) of this title. Such contributions shall be in addition to any reductions in the basic pay of such individual under subsection (b).
(2) An individual covered by paragraph (1) may make the contributions authorized by that paragraph at any time while on active duty, but not more frequently than monthly.
(3) The total amount of the contributions made by an individual under paragraph (1) may not exceed $600. Such contributions shall be made in multiples of $20.
(4) Contributions under this subsection shall be made to the Secretary of the military department concerned. That Secretary shall deposit any amounts received as contributions under this subsection into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
(f) 
(1) For the purposes of this chapter, a member referred to in paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection who serves the periods of active duty referred to in that paragraph shall be deemed to have served a continuous period of active duty the length of which is the aggregate length of the periods of active duty referred to in that paragraph.
(2) This subsection applies to a member who
(A) after a period of continuous active duty of not more than 12 months, is discharged or released from active duty under subclause (I) or (III) of subsection (a)(1)(A)(ii) of this section; and
(B) after such discharge or release, reenlists or re-enters on a period of active duty.
(3) This subsection applies to a member who after a period of continuous active duty as an enlisted member or warrant officer, and following successful completion of officer training school, is discharged in order to accept, without a break in service, a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces for a period of active duty.
(g) Notwithstanding section 3002 (6)(A) of this title, a period during which an individual is assigned full time by the Armed Forces to a civilian institution for a course of education as described in such section 3002 (6)(A) shall not be considered a break in service or a break in a continuous period of active duty of the individual for the purposes of this chapter.
(h) 
(1) Notwithstanding section 3002 (6)(B) of this title, a member referred to in paragraph (2) of this subsection who serves the periods of active duty referred to in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of that paragraph shall be deemed to have served a continuous period of active duty whose length is the aggregate length of the periods of active duty referred to in such subparagraphs.
(2) This subsection applies to a member who
(A) during the obligated period of active duty on which entitlement to assistance under this section is based, commences pursuit of a course of education
(i) at a service academy; or
(ii) at a post-secondary school for the purpose of preparation for enrollment at a service academy;
(B) fails to complete the course of education; and
(C) re-enters on a period of active duty.
(i) The Secretary concerned shall inform any member of the Armed Forces who has not completed that members obligated period of active duty (as described in subsection (a)(1)(A)) and who indicates the intent to be discharged or released from such duty for the convenience of the Government of the minimum active duty requirements for entitlement to educational assistance benefits under this chapter. Such information shall be provided to the member in a timely manner.