Wrong on the GI Bill


The article “GI flight training bill signed into law” states that for the first time GIs can get flight training paid for by the government.

In January 1955, after discharge from the army, the GI Bill paid for my commercial, instrument and multi-engine ratings.

NORM PAULSEN, via e-mail


  1. enrique says

    Iam a korean era vet, and I got my flight training with the flight training bill, back in 1970. I got my commercial, instrument, and flight instructor ratings, all paid by the GI bill. enrique

  2. Rudy H. says

    …and then there was the GI Bill version of the 1970’s that picked up your flight training ratilngs AFTER you paid your way to receive Private Pilot……

  3. R Miller says

    Mr.Paulsen’s comment is correct. It may be picking nits, but this Post 9/11 Bill is NOT “…the first time, Congress has recognized and affirmed the value of non-degree educational programs, such as flight training.” Indeed, the FIRST time was PRE-Montgomery GI Bill (post WWII). I trained under the Viet Nam Era GI Bill, which paid 90%, have a pocket full of ratings and been flying for over 40 years, 37 as a Flight Instructor, thanks to the forethought of the 1940’s Congress.

  4. The Doc says

    Dear GAN:

    Like Norm Paulson, I will point out “the glaring inaccuracy” of Ms. Melissa Rudinger’s statement (article below). (Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) The G.I. Bill (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat. 284m) was in fact enacted to assist WWII veterans, then later Korean and Vietnam veterans, who missed out on their personal education, while away fighting this nations wars.

    It is very obvious that Ms. Rudinger’s knowledge of “things aviation”, goes sadly wanting. Clearly, she has not been engaged in the “world of aviation” for any significant period of time. All through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s aviation was “hugely stimulated” by the G.I. Bill. I remember it well. General Aviation, more specifically flight schools and aircraft sales, flourished because of the G.I. Bill. That was “the Hey-day” of Aviation. More pilots were made and more aircraft sold than at any other time in our nation’s history. Truly, the most effective way to spend the taxpayers funds, while stimulating this nations economy, as the funds were spent and re-spent, over and over again, creating the greatest economy in the history of this nation and the world! The G.I. Bill was killed by Jimmy Carter in the late 70’s, as “too expensive”. How many people know that the United States government was completely bankrupt when Carter left office, because of the creation of monstrous entitlement Social Welfare Programs, Environmental laws and Airline deregulation that destroyed thousands of businesses and cost this nation 10,000,000 high paying aviation jobs? I was there and recorded it all for posterity!

    When Ronald Reagan entered the Presidency in January 1981, this nation was not only bankrupt, but the Carter Administration and the Democrats who controlled Congress, had run up over 900 Billion in new debt (in today’s dollars that would be $4 trillion dollars of debt), with no way to pay for it! In other words: They didn’t fund the programs they passed into law!

    Well, the G.I. Bill that Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress passed in the “Lame Duck” Congress, as highlighted below, is nothing more than “the revived G.I. Bill” Carter killed long ago. This is a hoax on the aviation industry, the G.I.’s it’s supposed to assist and a massive deceit of the public as well, because they didn’t fund it, just as the Democrats have done so many times before and just as I have pointed out at the end of the “Carter years”, with the billions in “social welfare” legislation! All this “slight of hand” is not new! It has been done by Democrats many, many times throughout the history of our country. I know that some “diehard Democrats” who read this will say, this is “Republican politics as usual”, but it is merely fact that most who vote for Democrats have decided to overlook! Furthermore, I am not a Republican, just an individual deeply involved in aviation for over 50 years, who dislikes liars, thieves and fraud!

    Make no mistake of it, Obama and the Democrats wanted to look magnanimous and gain support for their beleaguered party, after getting “kicked in the teeth” in the November election. In my view, funding will never occur for this Bill and Obama wants to blame Republican’s. Consider this: There will be a great deal of difficulty in “just funding” the FAA budget, so what chance does this new Bill have? Obama and the Democrats have created $4 trillion dollars in “New Social Welfare debt” in just 2 years (this is more money than has been spent by the United States government in it’s 230 year history, in total!), with no way to pay for it! So, how can anyone justify “creating more debt” to fund a “G.I. Bill”? This is nothing more than a “rejuvenated Shell Game” and the American public is about to be the focus of “another hoax”!

    GI flight training bill signed into law
    Janice Wood | News | January 10, 2011

    President Barack Obama last week signed into law a bill that expands educational funding opportunities for active duty servicemen and women, for the first time including flight training in eligible programs.

    Both Houses of Congress passed the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010” during the busy lame duck session of the 111th Congress. President Obama signed it into law on Jan. 4.

    “This bill is a big step forward for both active duty members of the armed services and for veterans,” said Melissa Rudinger, senior vice president of government affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). “For the first time, Congress has recognized and affirmed the value of non-degree educational programs, such as flight training.”

    The new law authorizes up to $10,000 an academic year for flight training (many who are eligible will receive somewhat less than that, AOPA officials note).

    But the work to make the program a reality is not yet complete. “The bill President Obama signed is an authorization bill,” said Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. “Authorization bills grant federal agencies permission to spend money, but don’t actually give them the money to spend. Congress has to pass an appropriation bill to do that.

    “At a time when Congress is focused on cutting expenses and reducing the federal deficit, securing the appropriation may prove challenging,” she noted. “As the appropriation process moves forward, AOPA will remind Congress of the strong support for the original bill and urge members to find a way to fund the program.”

  5. Doug Hensely says

    The post 9/11 GI bill is different than the Montgomery GI bill which Mr. Paulsen probably used to pay for his flight training.

    When I returned from Iraq, I wanted to get my CFI / CFII (Helicopter). I had hoped that the Post 9/11 GI bill would help me. I looked into it and flight training was not part of the program. So I decided to go to Graduate School instead with that benefit.

    Bottom line: The Post 9/11 GI bill was broken, now it is fixed.


    Doug H.

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