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Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert M. Worley II, director of education service for the Veterans Benefit Administration, listens during a House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Nov. 15, 2018.

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert M. Worley II, director of education service for the Veterans Benefit Administration, listens during a House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Nov. 15, 2018. ( Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs official leading implementation of a major expansion to veterans’ education benefits will be reassigned to a regional office in Texas, the agency confirmed Thursday.

Robert Worley, director of education services at the VA, will leave Washington for Houston in January. He’ll take on the role of executive director for the Houston VA Regional Office. Charmain Bogue, the current deputy director of education services, will take his place.

The move comes amid problems with the GI Bill that have gained national attention.

Last year, Congress approved an expansion of the GI Bill and gave the VA until Aug. 1 to establish its 34 new provisions. Worley helped lead the implementation of 28 of those measures so far.

Problems arose when the VA went to implement one change to how veterans’ housing allowances are calculated. When the VA went to alter its information technology systems to account for the change, the systems failed.

The IT failures have led to incorrect and delayed housing stipends for thousands of student veterans this semester. Worley was called Thursday to testify before a House subcommittee about the issue.

Despite that, VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said Worley “chose to take this opportunity to lead in a challenging capacity after his years of service at VA central office.”

Worley has held his current position since 2012.

wentling.nikki@stripes.com Twitter: @nikkiwentling

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Nikki Wentling has worked for Stars and Stripes since 2016. She reports from Congress, the White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs and throughout the country about issues affecting veterans, service members and their families. Wentling, a graduate of the University of Kansas, previously worked at the Lawrence Journal-World and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans awarded Stars and Stripes the Meritorious Service Award in 2020 for Wentling’s reporting on homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, she was named by the nonprofit HillVets as one of the 100 most influential people in regard to veterans policymaking.

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