National Call to Service

The National Call to Service Incentive program is a Department of Defense program that is administered by the VA and requires a participant to perform a period of national service to be eligible for benefits. 

Eligibility Requirements for Incentives
There is a three-tiered service requirement to qualify for incentives under that National Call to Service program:

  • First, after completion of initial entry training, individuals must serve on active duty in a military occupational specialty designated by the Secretary of Defense for a period of 15 months.
  • After this, and without a break in service, these individuals must serve either an additional period of active duty as determined by the Secretary of Defense, or a period of 24 months in an active status in the Selected Reserve.
  • After completion of this period of service, and also without a break in service, the remaining period of obligated service specified in the agreement will be served as follows
    • On active duty in the armed forces
    • In the selected Reserve
    • In the Individual Ready Reserve
    • In Americorps, or another domestic national service program jointly designated by the Secretary of Defense and the head of such a program
Any combination of the service referred to above may also be approved by the Secretary of the military department concerned pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense and specified in the agreement.

Choice of Incentives
Individuals who participate in this new program have a choice of incentives as follows:

  • Cash bonus of $5,000
  • Repayment of a qualifying student loan not to exceed $18,000
  • Entitlement to allowance equal to the 3-year monthly Chapter 30 rate for 12 months
  • Entitlement to allowance equal to fifty percent of the less than 3-year monthly Chapter 30 rate for 36 months

 National Call to Service participants who elect to receive an educational assistance incentive are not entitled to additional assistance under Chapter 1606 or Chapter 30 unless the participant completes the service requirements necessary to establish eligibility. 

An individual who receives benefits under the National Call to Service program who also establishes eligibility under Chapter 1606 or Chapter 30 will have entitlement under Chapter 1606 or Chapter 30 reduced by the amounts paid under the National Call to Service program.