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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34087
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I received my AGCM medal, but am only being counted for 2

Customer Question

I received my AGCM medal, but am only being counted for 2 1/3 years of Honorable service. Because of this I am only getting 80% post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, but I am applying for a correction of military records. Does an AGCM alone, since by definition it designates "3 years of honorable and faithful service", give me a legitimate reason to have my benefits upgraded to 100%?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question...GI bill has nothing to do with a GCM...they are totally separate.

The question is how many years/months did you serve?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you sir. I served almost 5 years, 2/2010 to 11/2014. I ask this because my period of honorable service is only being counted until the day I re-enlisted, which was 3/2012. I at no point knew when I re-enlisted that this would come back to screw me later on. I spent another full year at my first unit after that re-enlistment date, and was at my second unit for more than a year before unfortunately getting in trouble. So, this entire second period of service is under a general discharge, which is very tough to accept. So as you can see I am looking for a way to prove that I served 3 years of honorable service, which is the required time for 100% post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. And the way I see it, the AGCM is literally exactly that by definition, and I certainly did receive one. Hopefully that explains my question better. I also received an ARCOM from my first unit, which probably doesn't matter but maybe could be used to further proof that I completed a full 3-year service term, regardless of my re-enlistment date. Thank you for any help, I can submit my DD 214 if necessary.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Sorry for the delay

And thank you for the additional information.

That I understand

What is happening here is the VA has very specific rules in determining benefits.

As you may know, for GI Bill, you must have a full honorable discharge (general will not count)

Since you second enlistment was characterized as general, you can not use that period of service to obtain the GI Bill. You must rely on your first enlistment...and that first enlistment ended when you reenlisted. However many years/months? That is what you would use to determine GI Bill.

The ARCOM is not going to help...the VA must pay you GI Bill benefits based on the period of your initial contract (so the day you started bootcamp until the day you reenlisted). But they will not consider any of the additional service. This is what the federal law provides.

All other benefits will use the entire period of service (so the day you entered bootcamp until you received the general discharge)

I am sorry to be the one to bear bad news.

Again, sorry for the delay

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have actually read about similar cases where a GCM did help to get the benefits to 100%. There has to be a way to get above this. The GCM directly contradicts the service time that I am being counted for. What would it take to get my DD 214 changed to show this? I have submitted a case to the board of military records but there is no telling how long that will take and I have so little faith in them. There is a major difference between 80% and 100%, it will cost me tens of thousands in extra money at the school I am looking at because of the yellow ribbon program. Would an attorney be able to look into this further and get into the details? I believe I have a case and I cannot give up hope. Thank you and do not worry about taking time to respond, I will gladly wait.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

The issue is not the is charachterization of service.

The VA bases benefits for enlisted members on the "enlistment"

If you perform honorably during the enlistment period? You get benefits for that period.

IF not, then not.

You can appeal the decision...but the rules are clear...the VA can not give you the GI bill for the second enlistment (since you received a general discharge for that enlistment). So you are limited to benefits from the first enlistment

I understand you believe you have a case...great. You can appeal. But if you are asking what will likely happen? That is what I have explained

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