The Department of Defense is reinstating a popular tuition assistance program that was eliminated in the sequestration budget cutting process.
USA Today reported earlier this month that hundreds of thousands of troops would lose tuition assistance for classes this year because of the mandatory, across the board, military spending cuts that took effect on March 1. As USA Today noted, the program “covers tuition costs for attending college classes during off hours or even online while on combat deployments.”
But facing backlash and protests from servicemembers, Congress included a measure in its plan to fund the government through September that compels military officials to reinstate the program.
“We will comply with the recently enacted legislation to provide tuition assistance to all service members across all the services,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said on Wednesday.
“Based on the legislation that just passed, tuition assistance is to be reinstated across the services,” said DOD spokesperson Mark Wright, in a statement Wednesday as reported by Foreign Policy. “DOD agrees with Congress that the tuition assistance program is very important, both to the department and our service members. Each service is responsible for funding and administering its tuition assistance program in accordance with the DOD tuition assistance policy. We are working with the services to develop a plan to comply with any legislation.”