Florida Guard Team,
It’s been a great week for the men and women of the Florida National Guard! We hosted another successful Florida National Guard Day at our state’s capitol early this week. While there, our elected leaders demonstrated their continued outstanding support for our men and women by passing the “Florida GI Bill” that contains numerous benefits for Florida Guardsmen and veterans. The bill includes additional provisions for licensing, extra funding for various education costs, veteran hiring preference and out-of-state tuition waiver for veterans who reside in Florida. I encourage our Guardsmen to take advantage of these benefits as soon as they become available in July.
However, we don’t need to wait until July to get started. Educational Dollars for Duty (EDD) tuition money is available right now for all Florida National Guard Soldiers and Airmen in “good standing” that reside in the State of FL – regardless of status. Unlike Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA), EDD pays the entire semester hour rate for tuition at all accredited learning institutions with “brick and mortar” locations in Florida. EDD can be used in conjunction with FTA and covers more than just undergraduate degrees. Technical certificates and graduate degrees are also covered under EDD. More information and applications may be found at the following websites: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FloridaNationalGuard or http://dma.myflorida.com/floridas-tuition-assistance-program/.
One final benefit that can put money into your pocket is a new provision that allows reimbursement to any Florida Air or Army National Guardsman for classes taken from July 2011 through now. If you paid “out of pocket” for classes meeting the eligibility criteria, we may OWE YOU MONEY. Just provide the documentation for 2012 or 2013 EDD reimbursements to our POCs: Mr. Andy Rusnak (firstname.lastname@example.org; 904-823-0351; MAJ Butler Strain: email@example.com; 904-823-0330). Help us get the word out!
Thank you for who you are and what you do. I wish you and your families a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Emmett R. Titshaw Jr.
The Adjutant General of Florida