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Gov. Whitmer Announces Support for Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program Benefit to Transfer to Spouses
June 25, 2021
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced her support for legislation that would allow for the transfer of Michigan National Guard Tuition Assistance Program (MINGSTAP) benefits to the spouses of eligible service members while at the 2021 Memorial Pass in Review Ceremony at Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center. This significant policy change will extend financial assistance to thousands of eligible spouses and support their efforts to earn a tuition-free degree or professional certificate.
"The nearly 11,000 members of the Michigan National Guard repeatedly step up to serve our state admirably through times of crisis and we want to ensure that they, along with their spouses, have access to the state-funded tuition assistance benefits they have earned," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "Our National Guard members are critical to our state's success, and we want them to be equipped with the degrees or training that will support their futures and help them get good-paying, high-skill jobs."
"Since the program's inception, over 6,000 guard members have utilized MINGSTAP to pursue academic degrees and equip themselves with additional skills," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). "Extending this benefit to spouses will provide increased financial support to our members and their families who have sacrificed on behalf of our state and country."
While MINGSTAP helps individuals and families pursue their education dreams, it will also help build a strong economy that requires a talented and modern workforce to compete for the jobs of the future.
"Today's announcement by the Governor sends a clear message to the spouses of MING service members that this state supports and understands the significant sacrifice and impact military service has on the entire family," said Lisa Cole, spouse of MING Staff Sgt. Timothy Cole, who are residents of Clio. "This new transferability of benefits will make Michigan a leader in supporting its service members and their spouses."
Legislation needs to be passed and signed into law to allow for this transfer of benefits. The Governor and DMVA have partnered with state Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit) on this initiative and will be working with him and his legislative colleagues to move this bill in short order so that this new benefit transfer can occur.
MINGSTAP is a state-funded tuition assistance program that pays for the tuition costs and eligible fees of Michigan National Guard service members. The program pays full tuition and fees per academic year at any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school or trade school located in Michigan. For more detailed information, please visit www.michigan.gov/mingstap.
The Memorial Pass in Review Ceremony is a time-honored tradition of the Michigan National Guard during which accomplishments of the previous calendar year are acknowledged, outstanding performers are recognized and deceased and fallen members of the Michigan National Guard are honored. Governor Whitmer reviewed the formation of troops as their commander-in-chief along with U.S. Army Major General Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.