The Air Force Reserve is an integral and essential part of our country's presence in air and space. As a Federal force, the Air Force Reserve contributes daily to the Air Force mission and is actively involved in Air Force operations around the world. On any given day, it is not uncommon for thousands of Reservists to be on duty at locations throughout the world. About half of them directly support ongoing contingencies. The primary charge of the Air Force Reserve is readiness, providing the nation's leaders with Air Force Reserve units and people who are trained and ready for duty at a moment's notice.
If you've served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard you know all about the rewards and challenges of military life. But, you might not know about some of the special advantages available to you in the Air Force Reserve as a former active duty service man or woman.
Reservists interested in a college or trade school education may qualify for financial assistance through the Montgomery GI Bill. And because there are Air Force Reserve wings all over the country, chances are good that you'll be able to attend school and still easily fulfill your part-time Reserve commitment.
The Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve is an educational program that provides tuition a ssistance to members of the Selected Reserve. This includes those who serve in the Air Force Reserve. It is the first program that doesn't require a person to serve on active duty in the regular Armed Forces to qualify, and it is provided at no cost to the Reservist.
If you stay in the Selected Reserve, benefits generally end 10 years from the date you become eligible for the program. You may have longer if you couldn't train because of a service-related disability. Your eligibility generally ends when you leave the Selected Reserves.
The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you're in. If you're attending school, your payment is based on your training time. Your unit will give you a notice of Basic Eligibility (DD Form 2384 or 2384-1) when you become eligible. When you find an approved training program, fill out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits and send it to the VA regional office that serves your area.
The Community College of the Air Force After months of hands-on training, many Reservists find themselves with skills they want to further develop. The Community College of the Air Force, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, exists to support those aspirations. The Community College of the Air Force offers credit for job-related technical and academic courses; it's the only military school with the authority to grant Associate degrees.
Under the current Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance plan, each Reservist can purchase up to $250,000 of full time coverage for only $20.00 per month. Reservists can choose lesser amounts of coverage for lower premiums or decline coverage altogether. If life insurance is purchased, dependent children are provided $10,000 in coverage free of charge and up to $100,000 in coverage for the Reservist's spouse is also available at additional cost.
Other Reserve Benefits
- Base Exchange: Unlimited tax-free shopping privileges at Base facilities for Reservists and their eligible family members.
- Commissary: Shopping at the commissary can save a family 30 percent or more compared to shopping at civilian grocery stores. The signing of the 2004 Defense Authorization Act last fall, gave members of the Guard and Reserve, authorized family members, and "gray area" retirees (those under the age of 60) unlimited commissary shopping privileges. To shop in the commissary, Guard members or their immediate family members need a valid military ID card.
- Health Benefits: Full coverage for each Reservist during duty periods.
- Free Travel: Free travel anywhere in the United States including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico whenever space is available on military aircraft.
- Free Meals and Rooms: Reservists eat free at the base dining facility on their training weekends. Those Reservists out of commuting distance are provided free lodging Friday and Saturday nights during their training weekends.