ANNVILLE, Pa., April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), talked about the importance of Governor Tom Wolf's proposed PA GI Bill, or Military Family Education Program (MFEP), during the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations' (PNGAS) higher education meeting. The program would be the first of its kind in the nation if passed by the PA General Assembly.
The proposed PA GI bill would enable members of the Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) to earn college benefits for their spouse and children by re-enlisting for an additional six-year term of service in the PA National Guard. The benefits would need to be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
Gov. Wolf announced plans for the PA GI Bill with Gen. Carrelli and legislators at PA National Guard headquarters at Fort Indiantown Gap in February.
"We appreciate the support from all of you here today representing higher education, as we work to make this bill a reality for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families," said Carrelli at this morning's event. "Our families serve and sacrifice right alongside of our guardsmen and providing this educational opportunity for our families is one way to show them how grateful Pennsylvania is for their personal sacrifice."
Carrelli said that in addition to supporting military family members, this program would also improve PNG retention and strengthen its readiness.
"The PNG is comprised of highly trained soldiers and airmen who are experts in their specialty areas and are frequently called for federal or state duty. It's critical to Pennsylvania and the nation that we retain these talented men and women," said Carrelli. "This is a great re-enlistment incentive for these service members who are not only protecting commonwealth and country, but also want to secure a bright future for their family."
The education benefit would be available to PNG members and existing service members transferring into the PNG who completed their initial military term and commit to an additional six years of PNG service. The program will provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).
Currently, PNG members are eligible for the Education Assistance Program with their initial service obligation of six years that provides them a non-transferable educational benefit.
PNGAS is the only organization solely dedicated to fighting for the Pennsylvania National Guard and its nearly 20,000 members. PNGAS activities are designed to ensure the PA National Guard is fully manned, equipped, and trained to perform its missions as well as improving the benefits of all members and veterans of the PA National Guard and their families.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joan Nissley, 717-861-8720
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs