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Witness Testimony of Ronald F. Chamrin, Economic Commission, Assistant Director, American Legion

Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Subcommittee:

Thank you for this opportunity to present The American Legion’s views on Veterans’ Education Benefits.

The American Legion is proud of its history in helping to pass the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the GI Bill of Rights. The American Legion commends the Subcommittee for holding a hearing to discuss these very important and timely issues.

The need for major enhancements of the All-Volunteer Force Education Assistance Program, better known as the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)

The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) reported in its 2005 Demographics Report of the military that:  “Few (4.1 percent) enlisted members (active duty) have a Bachelor’s or higher degree, while most (94.1 percent) have a high school diploma and/or some college experience.  In the past 15 years, the percent of Active Duty members who have a Bachelor’s and/or an advanced degree has decreased for officers (from 89.6 percent in 1990, to 86.2 percent in 2005) but has increased for enlisted (from 2.5 percent in 1990, to 4.1 percent in 2005).”  They continue to report that only 7.9 percent of enlisted members of the Selected Reserve have an advanced education above a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Some 78 million baby boomers will begin to retire starting in 2010; within just 10 years, 47.3 million people will be over 65. (ILO Institute).  The National Association of Manufacturers forecasts a shortage of approximately 13 million to 15 million skilled workers by 2020. In addition, those entering the workforce have outdated or inadequate skills for many of the high-demand jobs.  In fact, around 60 percent of all new jobs in the 21st Century will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the existing workforce.  Competent, educated, and capable individuals must replace these people in order to assure the United States retains its competitive edge in the world.  Veterans are these people and have a remarkable chronicle of work and have proven their worth.  It is a good financial investment to better equip veterans and military members with a secondary education.  In turn, highly skilled veterans with advanced degrees can be emplaced in the workforce to ensure the county's competitive edge in the global market in the not so distant future.   

Accordingly, The American Legion supports passage of major enhancements to the current All-Volunteer Force Education Assistance Program, better known as the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB).  The current make up of the operational military force requires that adjustments be made to support all armed forces members.  The American Legion supports legislation that will allow members of the Reserve Components to earn credits for education while mobilized, just as active-duty troops do, and then use them after they leave military service.  One of the top priorities of any veterans’ education legislation is equity and portability of benefits.  However, it is clear that the current dollar value of benefits must be increased to meet the demands of today’s higher education fees.

In the 20 years since the MGIB went into effect on June 30, 1985, the nation’s security has changed radically from a fixed Cold War to a dynamic Global War on Terrorism.  In 1991, the Active-Duty Force (ADF) of the military stood at 2.1 million; today it stands at 1.4 million.  Between 1915 and 1990 the Reserve Force (RF) was involuntarily mobilized only nine times.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has reported that in the support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF):

  • 2.4 million deployment events;
  • 1.6 million servicemembers have been deployed;
  • 540,000 servicemembers have more than one deployment;
  • 443,000 National Guard and Reservists have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001, for an average of 18 months per mobilization;
  • Out of 540,000 servicemembers with more than one deployment, 103,909 are members of the Reserve Components ;
  • Stop-loss (a policy that prevents troops whose enlistment end date has arrived from leaving) has been imposed on over 50,000 troops.

The DOD considers two or more deployment events with overlapping participation dates a single deployment.  Breaks between deployments or “dwell times” of less than 21 days are considered to be a single deployment.  

There is now a continuum of service for military personnel, beginning with those who serve in the Reserve component only, extending through those in the Reserve components who are called to active-duty for a considerable period of time, and ending with those who enlist in the ADF and serve for a considerable period of time. 

As of August 31, 2007, 275,981 troops are deployed in support of OIF/OEF.  The October 10, 2007 report indicates that 90,822members of the Reserve Components are currently called to active duty.  The DOD states that “At any given time, services may mobilize some units and individuals while demobilizing others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.”

Despite this, both the MGIB-AD and the MGIB-SR fail to meet the actual cost of education in this country.  Reserve component members rarely served on active duty when the original educational benefits were created.  It is important that the increased in reliance on Reserve troops is met with an equitable increase in educational benefits. 

According to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 MGIB pay rates, troops who serve on active-duty three or more years can collect up to $1,101 a month for 36 months as full-time students totaling $39,636.   Active duty servicemembers currently have up to 10 years after their separation of service to utilize their MGIB benefits, while members of the Selected Reserve must forfeit ALL of the educational benefits they have earned once they do so.  It is an injustice that members of the Selected Reserve are unable to utilize these benefits after separation. 

Members of today's Selected Reserve are so busy training and deploying that they have little time to actually use their MGIB benefits.  Their ability to use the benefits while serving is curtailed because of repeated deployments and denied entirely once they finish their service.  This is unfair treatment for servicemembers who have seen more combat than most MGIB-eligible veterans prior to OIF/OEF. 

A January 2007 study by the National Organization of Research, Chicago, shows just how unpredictable Reserve service can be:

‘An illustrative example of this complexity is the experience of the respondent whose public identifier is 8224. He reported exiting the military in week 45 of 1998. He was then employed every week from week 46 in 1998 to week 13 of 2000.  He returned to the military from week 14 of 2000 to week 29, and returned to employment from week 30 of 2000 to week 50. He returned to the military in week 51 of 2000, and stayed until week 12 of 2001. He was employed from weeks 13 to 44 for 2001, and then was out of the labor force from week 45 to week 48 of 2001. This was followed by a spell of unemployment from week 49 of 2001 to week 40 of 2002. The respondent was then out of the labor force for 10 weeks, and then was employed from week 52 of 2002 to week 49 of 2004.’

Reserve and Guard personnel can earn percentages of the full-time active-duty rate depending on length of their mobilization.  If they are mobilized for 18 months, the current average length of deployment since 2001, and then go to school full-time they can only receive up to a maximum of $23,760 (FY 2008 rates) using their Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) benefits.  However, they can collect only if they remain in a Guard or Reserve unit.  If they go into the inactive Reserve (Individual Ready Reserve) or complete their service contract, they are no longer eligible for education benefits.

Under current law, members of the Reserve component face many challenges in using the MGIB-SR benefits.  Since September 11, 2001, the utilizations of the Reserve Components to augment the Active Duty Force (ADF) present complications for those members of the Guard and Reserves enrolled in college programs.  The uncertainty associated with unit activations, lengthy activations, individual deactivations, and multiple unit activations makes utilization of educational benefits extremely difficult.  Decisions such as whether to enroll for a semester, long-range planning for required courses, or whether to finish a semester are among the challenges confronted by these servicemembers.  Problems affecting these servicemembers include accrued student loan debt, falling behind peers in studies, and limbo status due solely to military indecision regarding military schools, annual training, and mobilizations.

Cpl. David Tedford Holt, a Tennessee enlisted Reservist currently on active duty states:

“With the high operational tempo of my unit, and with that many of our Soldiers are deployed for more than eighteen months during their initial six-year contract with the United States Army Reserve, it has become virtually impossible to support a family, develop as a Soldier and member of the Army Reserve, and obtain a four-year degree using the G.I. Bill benefits that are lost the moment the Soldier leaves the Army Reserve.  While many Soldiers enter the Army Reserve without families or financial obligations and are thus able to attend school full-time when not in military training, the Global War on Terrorism has stirred the patriotism of more and more men and women who are choosing to take a leave of absence from their jobs and families in order to serve.  These important Soldiers and leaders are far less able to take advantage of the G.I. Bill benefits that are offered to them during the term of their enlistment, and many do not even consider using them, because they would be forced to pay for the latter portion of their education on their own, while returning to their jobs and familial obligations.”

An officer that works closely with Cpl. Holt, but asked to remain anonymous stated that, “he had no idea that enlisted soldiers lose their GI Bill benefits when they leave the Reserves.”  He continued to state, “I wonder how many officers actually know the reality of the situation?  I bet that they don’t and in turn are harming their subordinate enlisted soldiers.”

With the increased number of activations of the Reserve Component since September 11, 2001, these same Reservists, who are attending colleges and universities around the country, are discovering that their actual graduation date may be extended well past their initial anticipated graduation date.  The College Board, an association composed of more than 5,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations, states that the average public university student now takes 6.2 years to finish. They also report that tuition and fees represent only a fraction of the total cost of attending college.  The overall cost (tuition, fees, room, board, books, and other expenses) of a typical public college is about $16,400 a year.  (College Board)  Due to the increase in the overall costs to attend college, The American Legion recommends that the dollar amount of the entitlement should be indexed to the average cost of college education including tuition, fees, textbooks and other supplies for commuter students at an accredited university, college or trade school for which they qualify and that the educational cost index should be reviewed and adjusted annually.

Department of Defense Reserve Attrition Rates

The DOD numbers of the Selected Reserve Enlisted Attrition report released by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD Public Affairs) contains the number of losses of the Selected Reserves per year since 1991.  The FY 2006 losses were 151,878 (18.4 percent attrition).  The American Legion has estimated previously these numbers to be 100,000 per year, of those, 50 percent are veterans who have obtained REAP benefits. 

A closer look at the figures reveals that the total number of enlisted servicemembers who have departed the Reserve Components since 2002 is 850,750, or an average of 141,792 per year.  443,276 members of the Reserve Components have deployed in support of OIF/OEF as of August 31, 2007.  We can safely assume that the significant majority (95 percent) of these Reservists served honorably on active duty for at least 90 days, thereby earning them REAP benefits (Chapter 1607) in addition to their MGIB-Selected Reserve (SR Chapter/1606 benefits).

Therefore, deducing that out of the 850,750 members of the Reserve Components who have departed the military since 2002, we conservatively estimate that at least 407,474 veterans have lost earned education benefits.  Or, at least 50 percent of the force has lost earned education benefits that could have been used to increase their earning potential.   Noting that our figures are of National Guard and Reserve servicemembers that were deployed in support of OIF/OEF, there are additional Reservists that were called to active duty to CONUS (Continental United States) or deployed to other regions of the world.  Hence, our conservative estimate of ~400,000 veterans losing earned benefits is more likely than not, much greater. 

The DOD reported that their attrition rates are actually equal and/or lower in their Reserve Components since the Global War on Terrorism began.  Retorts from the DOD in opposition of extending the delimiting date for fear of harming retention are hard to explain given their recent recruitment and retention rates.

The Department of Defense announced that it met or exceeded their Active Duty recruiting and retention goals for FY 2007. 

Active Duty Recruiting Fiscal Year 2007. All Services met or exceeded their recruiting goals for FY 2007. 

Annual – End of Fiscal Year 2007

Accessions

Goal

Percent

Army

80,407

80,000

101

Navy

37,361

37,000

101

Marine Corps

35,603

35,576

100

Air Force

27,801

27,801

100

“Active Duty Retention. Retention remains extremely strong in the active force with all Services having met or exceeded their aggregate year-to-date targets. The Marine Corps surpassed its overall aggregate reenlistment mission (110 percent) allowing them to exceed their FY07 targeted end strength by a comfortable margin. Air Force final information is pending.”

“Reserve Forces Accessions Fiscal Year 2007. Four of the six Reserve Components met or exceeded their accession goals for FY 2007.  They are still at very high rates of recruitment.”

Annual – End of Fiscal Year 2007

Quantity – YTD

Accessions

Goal

Percent

Army National Guard

66,652

70,000

95

Army Reserve

35,734

35,505

101

Navy Reserve

10,627

10,602

100

Marine Corps Reserve

7,959

7,256

110

Air National Guard

9,975

10,690

93

Air Force Reserve

7,110

6,834

104

“Reserve Retention.  Losses in all Reserve Components are within acceptable limits. We expect September 2007 to continue at the current trend. (Note: This indicator lags by one month)”

Respectfully, and with support of the aforementioned data, The American Legion opposes the DOD position that extending the delimiting date and allowing members of the Reserve Components to use their benefits after service would harm retention.  Honorably serving veterans have been placed in a financial disadvantage when trying to look for alternative ways to pay for college.  The American Legion strongly supports measures that create portability of benefits.  These measures must also be retroactive to protect those veterans who have already lost REAP and MGIB-SR benefits, and must occur immediately. 

Recommendations For The Enhancement Of Veteran Education Benefits

  1. The American Legion recommends that activated Reservists get one month of benefits, at the active-duty rate, for each month of mobilization up to 36 months and there should be no delimiting date for use of the benefits from the last date of Active or Reserve service. 
  2. The American Legion recommends that Congress move Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) from title 10, USC, to title 38, USC, and that VA have administrative authority for both the MGIB and the MGIB-SR.  We recommend that the annual appropriations for the MGIB and the MGIB-SR become one annual appropriation within the VA. 
  3.  The American Legion supports the termination of the current military payroll contribution ($1200) required for enrollment in MGIB.
  4. The American Legion supports eliminating the ten-year delimiting period for veterans to use Montgomery GI Bill educational benefits and supports legislation that would allow all Reservists and National Guard members to use their MGIB-SR benefits for up to ten years after separation. 
  5. The American Legion supports an MGIB-SR participant reimbursement rate adjusted for time spent on Federalization activation, State activation, and normal service for a period not to exceed 36 months.
  6. The American Legion recommends that the dollar amount of the entitlement should be indexed to the average cost of college education including tuition, fees, textbooks and other supplies for commuter students at an accredited university, college or trade school for which they qualify and that the educational cost index should be reviewed and adjusted annually.
  7. The American Legion supports a monthly tax-free subsistence allowance indexed for inflation as part of the educational assistance package.
  8. The American Legion believes that if a veteran enrolled in the MGIB program acquired educational loans prior to enlisting in the Armed Forces, MGIB benefits may be used to repay existing educational loans.
  9. The American Legion supports that enrollment in the MGIB shall be automatic upon enlistment.  However, benefits will not be awarded unless eligibility criteria have been met. If a veteran enrolled in the MGIB becomes eligible for training and rehabilitation under Chapter 31 of title 38, USC, .  the veteran shall not receive less educational benefits than otherwise eligible to receive under MGIB.
  10. The American Legion supports that any veteran with six years of service will be qualified to transfer education entitlements upon re-enlistment for four years and to amend title 38, USC, to restore the reimbursement rate for correspondence and distance learning training to 90 percent of tuition.
  11. The American Legion supports the transfer of Montgomery GI Bill benefits from veterans to their immediate family members if the veteran elects to do so.

Accelerated Payments for MGIB

The American Legion supports granting veterans the option to request an accelerated payment of all monthly educational benefits upon meeting the criteria for eligibility for MGIB financial payments.  The selection of courses veterans undergo remain exclusively the decision of the individual veteran, and all earned veterans’ education benefits should be made available to veterans in support of their endeavors.  Accelerated education payments allow veterans to achieve education goals in the manner that they decide. 

The American Legion supports the expansion of Public Law 107-103 to include but not limited be to:

  1. Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA, or Chapter 35) 
  2. Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP, or Chapter 32)
  3. Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP, or Chapter 1607) options for some veterans.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Administration of Benefits

The American Legion commends the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Education Service and Director Keith Wilson for constantly increasing the capacity, lowering the processing time, increasing accuracy, introducing a web-based service, and helping veterans receive their education benefits.  As The American Legion advocates for increased veteran education benefits, this division must always be supported to ensure the best assistance possible. 

State Approving Agencies are instrumental in the education process. The American Legion fully supports all efforts to maintain and enhance veterans’ education benefits and recommends that State Approving Agencies remain funded at $19 million in FY 2008.

SELECTED LEGISLATION

HR 1102, “Total Force Educational Assistance Enhancement Act and Integration Act of 2007” (The Total Force GI Bill)

The American Legion supports the Total Force GI Bill.  This bill solves many problems, most significantly the inequities of benefits of the members of the Reserve Components as compared to their full time active duty counterparts.  Servicemembers called to active service perform duties at an equal rate to their full time counterparts and should be treated as such.  One major selling point of this proposal is the portability of education benefits; this legislation will allow Reservists to earn credits for education while mobilized, just as active-duty troops do, and then use them after they leave military service. 

The Total Force MGIB plan calls on Congress to combine statutory authority for both MGIB-AD and MGIB-SR programs under the VA (Chapter 30 of Title 38, USC).  This would mean moving MGIB-SR and REAP programs from the DOD (Chapters 1606 and 1607 of Title 10, USC) and shifting oversight responsibility to VA. 

Funding the program through appropriations to the VA for a veteran-specific benefit would also be beneficial. 

The plan also calls for simplifying MGIB benefit levels and features into three tiers. 

Tier One would be MGIB-AD.  Benefits for full time students are currently $1101 a month for 36 months of college or qualified vocational training. 

Tier Two would be MGIB-SR for drilling members who enlist for six years.  For years, Congress adjusted the MGIB-SR in lock step with MGIB-AD, staying at 47 percent of active duty rates.  Since 1999, the Committees on Armed Services and Defense officials have failed to adjust the rates.  As a result, the current MGIB-SR benefit for full time students is $317 a month, or just 29 percent of MGIB-AD.  Those who enlist or re-enlist in the Selected Reserve for 6 years are eligible for 36 months of benefits at a pro-rated amount of the active duty rate (currently 29 percent).  Increases in these benefits would be codified so that any time Congress raises the active duty rate, Chapter 1606 benefits would go up by the same percentage increase.  Eligibility for benefits would be forfeited once they separate from service.

Tier Three would be MGIB benefits for activated Reservists, but with changes to the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) that Congress enacted in 2004.  REAP can provide extra earned MGIB benefits to Reservists mobilized for 90 days or more since September 11, 2001.  Payments are 40, 60 or 80 percent of MGIB-AD, depending on length of activation.  As with MGIB-SR, REAP provides 36 months of benefits, but they end if the Reservist leaves military service.

Under Total Force MGIB, activated Reservists would be in receipt of REAP benefits at a rate (40, 60 and 80 percent of the active duty payment rate) corresponding to their length of mobilization up to 36 months.  Members would have up to 10 years to use active duty or activated Reserve benefits (tiers one and three) from the last date of separation from the Ready Reserve.  A Reservist could also use any remaining MGIB-SR benefits (tier two), but only while in drill status or for up to 10 years after separation if the separation is for disability or qualification for retirement.

A memorandum from the DOD, Office of Special Counsel (OSC)  (May 22, 2007) to the Chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Veterans Affairs Committees attempts to dissuade Congress from passing the Total Force GI Bill.  We strongly disagree.  The American Legion disagrees with the OSC finding that changing the REAP benefit calculation would be detrimental to Reservists. 

The American Legion agrees with the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education/DOD / VA Working Group on the Total Force GI Bill proposal recommendation and assertion that the Total Force GI Bill would benefit veterans and aid the Armed Forces in retention and recruitment needs. 

The American Legion supports the Total Force GI Bill Enactment of this legislation will greatly benefit veterans.

HR 2702, “The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007”

The American Legion has concerns regarding the eligibility requirement of this proposed legislation.  We fully support the intent of this bill to provide additional educational benefits for full time active duty servicemembers and those individuals who are ordered to active duty as members of Reserve Components of the Armed Forces.  The bill will also aid in the recruitment and retention of members of the Armed Forces, and provide enhanced educational benefits more in line with today’s needs.  Efforts to ensure veterans are afforded education benefits that would include payment of tuition, books and fees as well as a $1000 a month stipend are supported by The American Legion. 

The American Legion is concerned for those veterans that complete their tours honorably, do not serve an aggregate of 2 years, and do not meet the other requirements of eligibility.  These veterans have served their country honorably yet are excluded from earned benefits.  The eligibility requirement as proposed by HR 2702 requires a servicemember to serve an aggregate of at least two years of honorable active duty service in the Armed Forces after September 10, 2001.  The bill also contains clauses for eligibility for other measures, service-connected disabilities, pre-existing medical conditions, hardship, and a physical or mental condition that was not characterized as a disability and did not result from the individual’s own willful misconduct. 

The American Legion fully recognizes that there are almost one hundred thousand members of the Reserve Components that have served multiple tours and exceed the 2-year minimum requirement, but we express that we cannot exempt benefits for those veterans that served side by side with full time active duty members at any time.  The first rotations for OIF had servicemembers deployed for an average of 15-20 months. 

The current DOD policy states: “DOD will construct the maximum mobilization timeframe to one year and the policy objective for involuntary mobilization of Guard/ Reserve units is a one-year mobilized to five-year demobilized ratio.”  If these policies hold true many members of the Reserve Components would not be eligible to receive benefits under HR 2702 yet they have honorably served their country in the Armed Forces. 

Equity would remedy this situation.  The American Legion recommends a month for month benefit at the full time rate proposed in the legislation for those veterans that have served less than 2 years but also allow them to use their benefits after completion of a service contract.  If a servicemember does serve an aggregate of 2 years, due to multiple deployments, extensions, or enlistment in the Active Duty Force, then they would be in receipt of the full 36 months of benefits as proposed in HR 2702.

The American Legion supports the idea that all veterans be treated equally regardless of their Reserve/National Guard status in such that an individual who was called to duty and served honorably should not have to remain in the Selected Reserve to use their earned benefits.  As the distinction between the active and Reserve forces continues to fade, the difference between the active and Reserve forces of the MGIB should disappear accordingly.  Benefits should remain commensurate with sacrifice and service. 

The American Legion agrees with the concept of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007, which is designed to provide educational benefits for eligible servicemembers while incorporating the new security realities of this current open-ended Global War on Terrorism but reiterate, the Total Force military operation structure requires equitable benefits for time served.

HR 1330, “Extend Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Time Limit,”

This bill would extend the conditional time limit for the use of basic educational assistance by members of the Selected Reserve and members of the Reserve Components supporting contingency operations and certain other operations to 14 years after the date on which the person first becomes entitled to such assistance (current law) or ten years after the date on which the person is separated from the Selected Reserve or Reserve component. 

The American Legion supports this bill. 

HR 2385, “The 21st Century Bill of Rights Act of 2007”

Section 2

The American Legion objects to the “deployed overseas” requirement for eligibility of this program.  We also object to the limitation that this program would be unavailable to those veterans seeking a graduate level degree.

The American Legion supports the provisions that would allow for a transfer of the number of remaining months of education benefits (Title 38, USC, Chapter 30, and Title 10, USC, Chapters 1606 and 1607 to this new proposed Chapter 33 in Title 38, USC.) 

HR 1211, “The Resuming Education After Defense Service Act of 2007”

This bill makes eligible for basic educational assistance under the MGIB a member of the Selected Reserve who (among other qualifications), during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2008, serves on active duty in the Armed Forces for one or more periods aggregating not less than two years.  It also entitles such individuals to one month of educational assistance for each month served on active duty and makes the amount of such assistance equivalent to that provided for active-duty personnel who have served a minimum of two years of active duty.  However, it does require the basic pay of qualifying members to be reduced by $100 for each of first the 12 months of such active duty service.

The American Legion supports the aggregatory requirement however; any ending date of qualification should be removed.  Furthermore, The American Legion opposes any reduction in pay to enroll in a veteran education benefit. 

HR 112, “G.I. Advanced Education in Science and Technology Act” 

This bill seeks to amend Title 38, USC, to provide for the payment of stipends to veterans who pursue doctoral degrees in science and technology.   This bill would allow for members of the armed services and veterans to receive enhanced educational benefits more in line with today's needs.   

The American Legion supports this provision, however, we feel that a monthly tax-free subsistence allowance indexed for inflation must be part of all educational assistance packages.

CONCLUSION

Historically, The American Legion has encouraged the development of essential benefits to help attract and retain servicemembers into the Armed Services, as well as to assist them in making the best possible transition back to the civilian community.  The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the “GI Bill of Rights” is a historic piece of legislation, authored by Harry W. Colmery, Past National Commander of The American Legion, that enabled millions of veterans to purchase their first homes, attend college, obtain vocational training, and start private businesses. 

The legislation discussed today aims to better serve veterans and ultimately assists them in financial stability.  The American Legion commends the Subcommittee for addressing these important issues.  We appreciate the opportunity to present this statement for the record and to continue our proud history of advocating for increased educational benefits to members of the Armed Forces.

FORCE MANPOWER IN SUPPORT OF OPERATIONS IRAQI AND ENDURING FREEDOM AS OF AUGUST 31, 2007

 

Total Deployment Events

Number of Members with Only One Deployment[1]

Number of Members with More Than One Deployment[2]

Total Number of Members Ever Deployed

Number of Members Currently Deployed

Army Active Duty

715,122

304,329

174,805

479,134

131,643

Army National Guard

226,318

161,078

29,619

190,697

24,203

Army Reserve

134,923

87,558

20,961

108,519

13,230

Army Total[3]

1,076,363

552,965

225,385

778,350

169,076

Navy Active Duty

406,812

177,142

94,898

272,040

37,606

Navy Reserve

37,158

20,521

5,821

26,342

3,699

Navy Total[4]

443,970

197,663

100,719

298,382

41,305

Air Force Active Duty

389,275

132,534

95,979

228,513

25,384

Air National Guard

113,543

28,795

28,203

56,998

2,981

Air Force Reserve

81,171

16,272

16,046

32,318

1,856

Air Force Total[5]

583,989

177,601

140,228

317,829

30,221

Marine Corps Active Duty

261,597

103,123

70,295

173,418

32,564

Marine Corps Reserve

31,903

25,143

3,259

28,402

2,557

Marine Corps Total[6]

293,500

128,266

73,554

201,820

35,121

DoD Active Duty Total

1,772,806

717,128

435,977

1,153,105

227,197

DoD National Guard Total

339,861

189,873

57,822

247,695

27,184

DoD Reserve Total

285,155

149,494

46,087

195,581

21,342

DoD Total

2,397,822

1,056,495

539,886

1,596,381

275,723

Coast Guard Active Duty

3,412

2,425

411

2,836

257

Coast Guard Reserve

230

206

9

215

1

Coast Guard Total[7]

3,642

2,631

420

3,051

258

Active Duty Total

1,776,218

719,553

436,388

1,155,941

227,454

National Guard Total

339,861

189,873

57,822

247,695

27,184

Reserve Total

285,385

149,700

46,096

195,796

21,343

Total

2,401,464

1,059,126

540,306

1,599,432