GI Bill Kicker

The Army National Guard Montgomery GI Bill Kicker program encourages qualified applicants and Soldiers to enlist into critical military jobs and units. This program applies only to specific critical Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) and certain deployable units. The Kicker is an incentive, not an entitlement, so you’ll need to be qualified in order to receive the benefit.
 
The Kicker is paid in conjunction with a basic Montgomery GI Bill benefit, and eligibility can be established only if you’re eligible for the MGIB-SR, Chapter 1606, or MGIB-AD, Chapter 30, programs. When eligibility for the basic benefit expires, so does eligibility for the Kicker.


MGIB-SR KICKER CATEGORIES AND PAYMENT RATES

NPS, PS, current Guard Soldier and OWD:

  • Full-time: $200
  • 3/4-time: $150
  • 1/2-time: $100
  • Less than 1/2-time: $50


Commissioning Kicker (OCS, WOCS, ROTC and DC):

  • Full-time: $350
  • 3/4-time: $262
  • 1/2-time: $175
  • Less than 1/2-time: $88


PAYMENT RATES

  • Non-prior service: up to $200 per month (to a total maximum of $7,200)
  • Prior service: up to $200 per month (to a total maximum of $7,200)
  • Current National Guard Soldier: up to $200 per month (to a total maximum of $7,200)
  • Officer without degree: up to $200 per month (to a total maximum of $7,200)
  • Commissioning Kicker (OCS, WOCS, ROTC, DC): up to $350 per month (to a total maximum of $12,600)


Specific eligibility criteria for each category can be found below in the “Eligibility” section.

A maximum of 36 months of benefits can be collected under the Kicker program.

PRE-QUALIFICATION

  • You must be eligible to receive a basic Montgomery GI Bill benefit (MGIB-SR, Chapter 1606, or MGIB-AD, Chapter 30).
  • You must complete Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT). You may not receive the Kicker while on Active Duty.
  • Officer Candidate School (OCS) option: Soldiers must complete Officer Basic Course (OBC) in lieu of Advanced Individual Training (AIT).


ELIGIBILITY
In addition to the basic pre-qualification criteria, you’ll also need to meet the specific criteria for your Army National Guard Kicker category. Click on a category below:

Non-Prior Service (NPS) Applicants
A non-prior service (NPS) applicant is eligible for the National Guard MGIB Kicker if they meet the following requirements:

  • You must enlist for a minimum six-year term of service.
  • You must enlist for a critical skill vacancy in the grade of E-4 or below.
  • You must enlist into a qualifying vacancy position in an MTOE* or medical TDA** unit only.
  • You must have a minimum AFQT score of 50.
  • You must meet the Tier I educational requirements to be eligible.

*Modification Table of Organization and Equipment
**Table of Distribution and Allowances

Prior Service (PS) Applicants
A prior service (PS) applicant/Soldier is eligible for the National Guard MGIB Kicker if they meet the following requirements:

  • You must enlist for a minimum six-year term of service.
  • You must enlist or affiliate DMOSQ for a critical skill vacancy in the grade of E-5 or below.
  • You must enlist into a qualifying vacancy position in an MTOE unit only.
  • You must have a minimum AFQT score of 31.
  • You must meet the RE and SPD code requirements for affiliation.
  • You must contract to complete your original six-year obligation and remain in your contracted MOS if you are transferring from the U.S. Army Reserve to the National Guard without a break in service and have previously contracted for the Kicker in the Army Reserve.


Current Army National Guard Soldiers
A current Guard member is eligible for the National Guard MGIB Kicker as a stand-alone incentive if they meet the following requirements:

  • You must re-enlist or extend for a minimum six-year term of service.
  • You must re-enlist or extend DMOSQ as the primary position holder in the grade of E-5 or below. The MOS must match the authorized military grade and skill qualification in accordance with the position for which you are re-enlisting or extending.


A Soldier currently under a DESP extension in which the mobilization was canceled, and who, due to the cancellation, wishes to extend for the National Guard MGIB Kicker, may extend, provided the request to be removed from the DESP extension is approved and they meet the following requirements:

  • You must extend for a minimum six-year term of service.
  • You must meet all MGIB-SR Kicker requirements on the date of the DESP extension.


Officer Candidates, Warrant Officer Candidates, ROTC Cadets, Direct Commission Officers and Officers Without a Degree

National Guard officer-producing programs include:

  • State Officer Candidate School (OCS)
  • Accelerated OCS
  • Federal OCS
  • Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS)
  • Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
  • Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP)
  • Direct Commission (DC) officers


All officer candidates, warrant officer candidates, ROTC cadets, SMP members and Direct Commission officers in any MTOE unit or deployable TDA unit may re-enlist/extend for the Kicker, as long as they hold an MOS and meet the following criteria:

  • Officer Candidate School (OCS): An enlisted Soldier with a six-year military obligation, and without a previous Kicker contract, who is in the OCS (09S) Program, is eligible to complete a Kicker addendum (NGB Form 5435, Annex K to DD Form 4 Montgomery GI Bill Kicker Incentive Addendum, the Army National Guard of the United States, August 8, 2008) upon completion of Phase I of OCS and through up to 90 days after being commissioned.
  • Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS): An enlisted Soldier with a six-year military obligation, and without a previous Kicker contract, who is enrolled in the Warrant Officer Candidate (09W) Program, is eligible to complete a Kicker addendum (NGB Form 5435) after being appointed on orders and through up to 90 days after being commissioned.
  • ROTC cadets: A Soldier enrolled in ROTC (09R) without a previous Kicker contract is eligible to complete a Kicker addendum (NGB Form 5435) with a six-year military obligation upon contracting in the ROTC Advanced Course* or SMP** through up to 90 days after being commissioned.

*DA Form 597 Army Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Non-Scholarship Cadet Contract, July 2005, and DA Form 597-3, Army Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship Cadet Contract, July 2005.
**NGB Form 594-1, Annex to DD Form 4/DA Form 4836 Army National Guard Simultaneous Membership Program Agreement, August 11, 2010.

  • Direct Commission (DC) officers: DC officers in the grade of O-1 to O-3, without a previous Kicker contract, are eligible to complete a Kicker addendum (NGB Form 5435) with a six-year military obligation within 90 days after being commissioned.
  • Officers without a degree: An officer without a degree (OWD) and without a previous Kicker contract is eligible to complete a Kicker addendum (NGB Form 5435) with a six-year military obligation for the $350 Kicker within 90 days after being commissioned. On or after the 91st day of commissioning, first or second lieutenants who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher are eligible for the $200 Kicker only.


NOTE: An officer who has not completed their Kicker six-year military obligation must complete an OSA (DA Form 5447-R, Officer Service Agreement Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program, August 2010) agreeing to serve in the National Guard for the remainder of their six-year obligation within 90 days after being commissioned.


INELIGIBILITY

You are ineligible for the National Guard MGIB Kicker if:

  • You are enlisting under the Active First Program, GED Plus Program or RFP.
  • You are enlisting as a glossary non-prior service (GNPS) applicant.
  • You are a Soldier in Military Technician status (including an indefinite technician and temporary technician on assignment for more than 189 days in any continuous 12-month period, even if deployed).
  • You are a Soldier who is within 365 days of your last discharge from the Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve, and are fully eligible for re-enlistment or extension.
  • You are an applicant or Soldier without an Honorable discharge or release at the conclusion of all prior periods of military service (exception authorized to Soldiers completing Initial Active Duty Training (IADT) with an Uncharacterized discharge).
  • You are a Soldier in AGR status. This includes AGR Soldiers in a TPU status while deployed.
  • You are a Soldier who is within 12 months of your scheduled ETS, or obligated service date, and who was eligible to extend for DESP but did not do so.
  • You failed to complete AIT (enlisted) or BOLC (officer).
  • You are receiving an ROTC Dedicated Army Guard Scholarship.


NOTE: National Guard Soldiers who complete the required six-year obligation, as stipulated in the Kicker contract, may transfer to any skill, unit or RC (other than IRR or ING) and retain eligibility for the Kicker.

Consult your state GI Bill manager for information regarding current rates, eligibility and status changes. For more information about GI Bill benefits—including which GI Bill is best for you—talk to your state education services officer (ESO). You can also find additional information at the VA's GI Bill website.