Alabama Republican Congress Barry Moore on Wednesday introduced legislation to expand National Guard eligibility for the G.I. Bill with support from both Rep. Mike Bost, R-Illinois, and Rep. Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina.
“As a former member of the Alabama National Guard, I am well aware of the inequity surrounding benefits provided to servicemembers compared to those on active duty,” Moore said. “For months, members of the National Guard have selflessly served our nation by responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the U.S. Capitol, and defending our southern border; these heroes deployed on federal orders have earned GI Bill benefits. We are incredibly grateful for our servicemen and women, and my legislation helps secure these vital benefits by removing the bureaucratic hurdles the members of our National Guard encounter.”
Currently, members of the National Guard serving under Title 32 must be responding to a national emergency declared by the president of the United States to receive creditable service for Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Consequently, this requirement has led to multiple instances of the Department of Defense initially not being able to provide benefits to members of the National Guard. Examples of this includes service at the U.S. Capitol and southern border.
Moore’s office said that by removing the national emergency declaration requisite, this legislation would ensure all members of the National Guard serving under federal active-duty orders are eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, which helps service members pay for education or job training.
On Jan. 27, Maj. Gen. Eric Little, director of manpower and personnel for the National Guard Bureau, said that troops participating in the ongoing Washington security mission will accrue time needed for Post 9/11 GI Bill payouts after members of Congress requested clarification on the troops’ status from the Pentagon.
Moore is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity for the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Moore is serving in his first term in Congress representing Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District and is a veteran and a former state legislator.