Hoeven, Shaheen Urge Air Force Secretary to Make Air Guard Tuition Assistance Program Permanent

Senators Worked to Establish, Fund Air Guard FTA Pilot Program

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) recently called on the Air Force to establish a permanent federal tuition assistance (FTA) program benefitting Air National Guard members, consistent with the program available to the Army National Guard. In a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, the senators highlighted the success of the Air Guard FTA pilot program and the role it plays in supporting the recruitment of individuals with the skills needed for today’s high-tech missions, like the Air Guard’s MQ-9 mission in Fargo. Hoeven and Shaheen:

  • Previously worked to establish and fund the pilot program, and ensure that North Dakota and New Hampshire Air Guardsmen had access to this important benefit.
  • Have secured a total of $18.8 million across fiscal years (FY) 2020-FY2023 to support the program.
  • Are now urging for the program to be made permanent and requesting that Kendall include $4 million in his FY2025 budget request for this effort.

“Our Armed Forces are defined by the caliber of men and women who answer the call to serve. This includes members of the Air National Guard, who not only serve invaluable roles in the communities across our states, but also perform missions critical to our national security alongside their active-duty counterparts,” wrote the senators. “Our Armed Forces seek to recruit the best and brightest young people to protect and defend our nation, and educational benefits are one of the most appealing ways to help attract, develop, and retain outstanding Airmen. Drill Status Guard members serving in the Army National Guard currently have access to a strong and successful Fed TA program, and given today’s recruiting and retention challenges across all service branches, it is imperative that the Air Force have a similar Fed TA program in place for DSG members of the ANG.”