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HOUSTON (KIAH) — Are you in the service? Have you served and aren’t at this time? Are you part-time as a military service member and wondering if you qualify for benefits or veteran status? We found out some of the top questions people have asked about veterans in the past week but what is a veteran in the first place?

Who Qualifies As a Veteran?

During your time of service in any branch of the military, you were classified as either a full-time or part-time service member, depending on your job description, but that makes you a veteran. 

Generally, active duty service members are considered as full timers, while members of the Reserves and the National Guard are considered as part-timers. These members are considered veterans too!

Qualifying is an important factor in determining your veteran status. You veteran status also consequently, determines how much in benefits you are eligible to receive.

Active Duty Service Members: Veteran Status

Whether or not you were in combat or were injured during your service, any individual who was previously on active duty service in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and discharged for reasons other than dishonorable, are considered veterans. You can read the reference in Title 38 here.

If you plan on receiving benefits, here are the minimum requirements for how long you must have served on active duty:

  • 30 consecutive days of active duty service before being discharged due to a service connected disability, or
  • 90 days of active duty service on or after September 10, 2001, before being honorably discharged (for Post 9/11 GI Bill), or
  • Two years of active duty service before being honorably discharged (for Montgomery GI Bill- Active Duty)

Overall, as long as you were on active duty, served for the minimum required number of days, and not dishonorably discharged, you are considered a veteran and can therefore receive veteran benefits.

Only thing that could get tricky or even prevent you from qualifying in some cases – if you were a member of the National Guard, or Reserves in your respective service branch, things can get a bit trickier.