Jones Discusses Tuition Assistance Suspension

The Air Force’s decision this week to suspend military tuition assistance for the remainder of Fiscal 2013 will impact some 115,000 airmen taking 277,000 courses at 1,200 colleges and universities around the United States, Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services, told lawmakers on Wednesday. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel, Jones emphasized that service officials stopped the program just for this fiscal year. “We’re going to reevaluate it for Fiscal 2014 to decide how much we can offer,” he said. However, he admitted, “Realistically, we’re going to have to adjust the parameters of the program to lessen the budgetary impact on our Air Force.” The Air Force leadership announced the suspension on Tuesday, saying it was a necessary step due to the budget sequester. The change, which took effect on March 11, does not affect airmen currently enrolled in courses or those who were already approved for future courses, said service officials. (Jones’ prepared testimony)