A major incentive to join the National Guard has been eliminated as part of the federal government's automatic spending cuts.
The tuition assistance program has been suspended. The Secretary of the Army announced the decision last Friday. This affects all facets of the Army, including the Army Reserves and the National Guard.
Tuition assistance money was in addition to other programs set up by the Armed Forces to encourage soldiers to further their education. In 2011, 576 soldiers used $1.3 million in tuition assistance. And officials saw that number go up in 2012, with more than 1,500 using the program.
"The suspension was necessary, though given the significant budget execution challenges caused by combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration, the Army understands the impacts of the actions, and they'll definitely reevaluate the situation should the budget situation improve," said National Guard Captain Aaron Jenkins.
Other branches of the Armed Forces have also announced the suspension of tuition assistance, including the Air Force and Marines.