By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.
The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a Guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for that Guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.
The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to become Pennsylvania residents.
The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).
The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the largest National Guard forces in the United States. As a matter of fact, more than 35,000 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard have been deployed since 9/11.
In 2018 alone, approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania National Guard personnel deployed throughout the world in support of multiple operations, including Operation Spartan Shield, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and missions in support of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Air Force Special Operations Command and NATO.