Discharge day may mark the end of your military career, but it also means the beginning of your transition to civilian life.

For many veterans, the next step involves furthering their education, either by attending college or opting for on-the-job training or apprenticeships.

While many private companies offer programs geared toward helping transitioning veterans, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also provides a range of training and education opportunities, among them the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill.

What is the Montgomery GI Bill?

Formally known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, the Montgomery GI Bill is the original GI Bill. Somewhat similar to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, it provides financial assistance for active duty servicemembers and reservists so they can pay for college, vocational and technical training, licensing and certification programs, flight training, and more.

However, the Montgomery GI Bill does not provide an additional stipend for housing or school supplies.

Where do I begin the application process for VA education and training benefits?

According to the VA website, eligible individuals can begin the application process online, in person, at school, or by mail. Keep in mind that you may qualify for more than one education benefit, so a little research may be required to determine which one is the best fit. In addition, the following VA requirements apply to all applicants:

  • Copies of your discharge or separation papers (DD-214 or equivalent)
  • Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund, sometimes called a “kicker” (note: this is not required to apply for the GI Bill)
  • To qualify for a monthly housing allowance, you must attend school more than half time (e.g., seven out of 12 credit hours per term) and not currently be on active duty in the service

If you don’t have a copy of your DD214 or equivalent form to show proof of service and honorable discharge, you will need to order a copy before you apply for any VA-provided benefit. The fastest way to do this is to work with an expeditor like DD214Direct.com.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.

Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.