AR20140000044

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 8 April 2014

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20140000044

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests correction of her record to show she is eligible for participation in the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) based upon the terms of her enlistment.

2. The applicant states she was informed that she would be receiving student loan repayment from the military when she joined. Her records do not show that her contract included the SLRP. She was under the impression that once she submitted all of her paperwork to her recruiter everything would be taken care of.
She was informed the student loans would be paid for by the military and that there was nothing left for her to do. She states her military records are unjust because she was promised to have her student loans paid back and now she finds out there was never anything in her contract that states this.

3. The applicant provides correspondence exchanged between her, a United States Senator, and a representative of the U.S. Department of Education.

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant’s records show she enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Delayed Entry Program (DEP) on 22December 2009 with a projected active duty date of 14April 2010.

2. Paragraph c, part B (Agreements), of the applicant’s DD Form 4/1 (Enlistment/Reenlistment Document Armed Forces of the United States) states, “The agreements in this section and attached annex(es) are all the promises made to me by the Government. ANYTHING ELSE ANYONE HAS PROMISED ME IS NOT VALID AND WILL NOT BE HONORED” (emphasis in the original).

3. On 13April 2010, she was discharged from the DEP for the purpose of immediate enlistment in the Regular Army for a period of 4 years.

4. Her DD Form 4 (Enlistment/Reenlistment Document Armed Forces of the United States) and DD Form 1966 (Record of Military Processing – Armed Forces of the United States) show that she enlisted under the U.S. Army Training Enlistment Program which assured her that she would receive training in military occupational specialty (MOS) 92A (Automated Logistical Specialist).

5. The applicant’s enlistment contract is void of any indication that participation in the SLRP was included in the terms of her enlistment.

6. On 13January 2014, an advisory opinion was obtained from Chief, Incentives and Budget Branch, Enlisted Accessions Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, Washington, DC. The advisory official recommended disapproval and stated that based on Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) incentives message, dated 1December 2009 (which was the message in effect upon the applicant entering the DEP), the SLRP was open to any applicant enlisting in any MOS in incentive levels 1-2. MOS 92A did not have an enlistment incentive when the applicant contracted and as a result, the applicant was not eligible to receive student loan repayment as an enlistment option.

7. The applicant was provided a copy of this advisory opinion and she did not respond.

8. The applicant provides three letters:

a. In a letter that she sent to a U.S. Senator, dated 7 September 2013, she requested his assistance with gaining eligibility for the SLRP. She attested that her recruiter informed her that she was 100 percent qualified to receive this benefit and was assured that her student loans would be paid. She informed the Senator that this situation was hindering her ability to grow in her profession because in order to go higher in the rank structure she needed a security clearance, which she is unable to attain because her student loans are in default and her income tax check was garnished by the Department of Education.

b. On 23 October 2013, the Director, Applicant Products and Customer Service Division, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, responded to an inquiry from the U.S. Senator on the applicant’s behalf. The Director informed the Senator that the applicant was concerned that she did not receive the assistance she expected from the SLRP and noted that her loans are now in default. She also advised the Senator that the Department of Defense (DOD) has jurisdiction over DOD SLRP, not the Department of Education, and suggested that the applicant contact an appropriate official at her base for more information. The Director mentioned that the borrower must continue to make payments on the loan until he or she has been notified that the deferment or forbearance has been processed. Otherwise, default may occur because he or she missed payments. The consequences of default are severe. The borrower is no longer eligible for deferment. Loan holders may accelerate a defaulted loan so that the entire loan balance becomes due in a single payment. When a borrower defaults, credit bureaus are notified and the borrower’s credit rating will suffer. In addition, the borrower’s federal income tax refunds and other federal payments may be offset and applied to the loan. The Director also provided the Senator with a fact sheet that discusses loan consolidation and rehabilitation and explains the provisions of the Department’s loan programs and the consequences.

c. On 30October 2013, the Senator forwarded the correspondence he received from the Department of Education.

9. The SLRP provides for the repayment by the Government of a designated portion of any outstanding student loan(s) secured after 1 October 1975. The loan amount to be repaid is 15% of the original balance of the loan plus accrued interest not paid by the Department of Education, or $500.00 plus the accrued interest not paid by the Department of the Education, whichever is greater. To be eligible for the SLRP incentive, a person must contractually obligate himself or herself to serve satisfactorily, must serve in the military for the full term of the contractual agreement, and must further obligate himself or herself to continue to serve in the same component and the same MOS unless excused for the convenience of the Government. Any qualifying loan which is at least 1 year old may then be paid in accordance with the terms of this educational enlistment incentive.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. The applicant’s contentions were carefully considered and determined to lack merit.

2. The applicant’s enlistment contract is void of any indication that she enlisted for the SLRP and she has failed to provide any evidence to the contrary.

3. At the time of the applicant’s enlistment for MOS 92A, that particular MOS was not eligible for any incentives; therefore she was not eligible for participation in the SLRP.

4. In view of the foregoing, there is no basis for granting the applicant’s requested relief.

BOARD VOTE:

________ ________ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

____X___ ____X___ ___X__ _ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined that the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

_______ _ X ______ ___
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000044

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000044

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