Important tuition assistance (TA) funding restored for soldiers

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

AUSA-supported legislation passes

An Association of the United States Army-supported amendment offered by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., to restore funding for the military’s tuition assistance (TA) program was adopted by the Senate March 21st part of the spending bill that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

New enrollment in tuition assistance (TA) for service members was abruptly cancelled by the Army as part of its efforts to manage severe budget cuts mandated by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Although the House version of the spending bill did not include a similar provision, the House adopted the Senate’s bill without change.

Therefore, TA will be restored after the legislation is signed by the president.

The amendment offered does not say how the cost would be covered, only that the Defense Department would have to restore funding.

In response to this announcement, AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., said, "The Association of the United States Army supported the amendment to restore TA funding and we thank the House and the Senate – and in particular Senator Hagan and Senator Inhofe – for restoring tuition assistance for our soldiers who wish to pursue educational courses to improve themselves – personally and professionally – during their off-duty time while in the service or as they transition to the civilian sector during troop cutbacks."

Adding, "Cutting tuition assistance for our soldiers – especially those who have been down range and in harm’s way – would have been a blow to the morale of our all-volunteer force, and would have had a dramatic negative impact on the Army’s recruiting and retention efforts."