Recent statistics revealed that more military family members are making use of post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, but starting later this year servicemembers will see some changes. Beginning Aug. 1, soldiers who transfer their benefits to a spouse or child will have to serve an additional four years in the Armed Forces, according to Army News Service.

The changes will largely impact senior officials and retirement-age soldiers. They come as military officials look to increase recruitment and retention efforts. Under the current guidelines, senior officers and retirement-eligible troops can transfer their benefits with anywhere from zero to three years of additional service. The announcement came in a memo released earlier this month and experts expect it will give troops enough time to plan ahead.

"We want soldiers to be informed of the impact of this change in policy," Lt. Col. Mark Viney told the news source. "This is going to impact their decisions and their families, and whether or not they are going to have this money available to find their dependent's education."

The post-9/11 GI Bill is one of the most popular benefits troops receive. Under the bill, soldiers receive full tuition for public in-state universities, which can help put them on the fast track earning licenses, certification and degrees.