Posted on Nov 15, 2013
CSM Mike Maynard
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">FYI and How Will This Affect You?</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">In the next few days, the Army will announce some new policies effective 1
January 2014. Those include the following: Soldiers cannot use TA until after
successful completing their first year in the Army after graduation from AIT.
They are restricted to 16SHs/year and Soldiers cannot use TA for a second,
higher-level degree until completion of 10 years’ time in service.<br></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><o:p></o:p></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Soldiers will continue to receive $250/SH and current policy limits
Soldiers to 130 SHs for completion of a bachelor's degree and 39 SHs for a master’s
degree. Soldiers cannot be funded for a second equivalent degree, i.e., no
second bachelor's or master's degree. All courses must be part of an approved
degree plan. TA cannot be used for first professional degrees, e.g., PhD,MD,
JD. <o:p></o:p></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">In addition to DA adverse action flags, the Army will continue the policy to
not allow TA for Soldiers who are flagged for APFT/Height/Weight.<o:p></o:p></p>
Posted in these groups: Tuition1 Tuition assistanceGraduation cap Education
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Responses: 7
SGT(P) Prime Power Production Specialist
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This seems a little weak to me.  I am currently enrolled in 12SHs for this semester, and planned on repeating that to stay within the $4500 annual allotment. 

At 16Shs/yr it will take a hair under 4 years to complete a 2 year degree.  Civilian education is a requirement to get promoted and I feel this will stem personnel from pushing themselves to succeed.  Much of my time while not deployed is woefully mismanaged, and I have more than ample free time to complete 12Hrs/Semester, with no issues at all. 

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CSM Mike Maynard
CSM Mike Maynard
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Please state the regulation/message that states "Civilian Education is a requirement to get promoted".

Granted, Civilian Education is worth promotion points and may help you accumulate more points than someone else who does not pursue civilian education, but it is not a requirement - at any level.

Additionally, the Army is not saying you cannot take more than 16SH per year, they are only saying they are not going to grant TA for over 16SH per year.

Feel free to take as much college as you want - use the GI Bill if you'd like.

Additionally, 12SHs in a semester is quite ambitious - I can only imagine that the significant amount of personal time you are devoting toward civilian education may, in part, be better spent increasing your military knowledge/skills, preparing training/classes, studying military history and mentoring junior Soldiers.
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1SG Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
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I like most of the changes being made.  The 10 year mark makes sense to the Army because it would seem that most people would be thinking of staying in for the long haul.  This would make the money spent on TA worth it o to Army as the would reap the rewards of having  more educated leaders in the ranks.
I agree with the flagged Soldiers not being able to use TA.  Once they meet the standard, the Army would go back to picking up the bill.
The only part I disagree with is the 16 SH/yr cap.  I have no labs in my degree plan so my class are 3SH each.  I will only be able to complete 5 classes/year under the new plan.  The old plan was $4500 or 6 x 3SH classes. 

If we lose one class per year and the other 5 are still 100% covered, it's a loss I would definitely concede to.

Just my 2 cents.

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SSG Sensor Manager
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In that case you could utilize your GI bill to cover to rest. You also have the opportunity to receive the Pell grant by completing your FAFSA, many states also offer grants for soldiers. 
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SPC Matthew Birkinbine
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I get that soldiers on the overweight program have little time, as it is, due to getting more exercise; but I feel that the policy over not allowing flagged soldiers TA is outdated. I've missed out on probably many a good class because of my struggles with my run, and most recently, weight.
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SFC Fire Support Specialist
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SGT Birkinbine, If a person meets the standard then they aren't flagged. If a person has an "exorbitant amount of muscle" then they need to meet the minimum standard set. If you struggle with a weight issue then take the steps needed to overcome that struggle, see a nutritionist, learn good eating habits. If you struggle with running, take steps to improve. If we relax one standard to accommodate Soldiers who fail to meet it, then we must relax all standards. Is this good for the good order and discipline of the Soldier? For the Unit? For the Army? No, it is not. Standards are in place to give Soldiers a goal to reach for and Leaders a guide to fair and equitable treatment of the men and women in their charge. To lower the standard would not help anyone or any unit in maintaining readiness. If you struggle to meet the standard, then you must work harder to achieve it not ask that it be lowered. Such a request would imply a lack of initiative, a lack of motivation, and quite frankly, a lack of self-respect. There are indeed individuals that have legitimate medical reasons for being unable to meet or exceed. I understand this, as does every other Leader in the military. However, there is no excuse, in my opinion, for a Soldier who is healthy, fit, and fully capable of meeting a standard, not to do so. So the bottom line is: until they change and whether we like or not, these are the standards set. As Soldiers, it is our job to meet them, as Leaders, it is our job to enforce them and support the chain of command and the Army in their decisions. Simply SFC Day’s opinion mind, but, I believe that opinion is in keeping with Army standards. 

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SGT Chris Birkinbine
SGT Chris Birkinbine
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In order to attend classes via TA, or with your own money, you need the support of your command structure. If you do not have that support, it is all but impossible. I've known people who have tried and failed because they were not excused to meet timelines, or make classes like those on an official program utilizing TA are.

One of the major differences here I think, is that you see being allowed to attend classes and improve your self intellectually as a privilege someone has to earn. I see it as a guarded right that should be afforded to all citizens ESPECIALLY those who have volunteered to defend their country.

I get your argument about standards I really do. I am not saying that everyone should be allowed to have their schooling paid for if they are not making standards, what I was trying to say (and apparently failed) is that there are too many variables case to case to make an across the board regulation. Not everyone who is fat is lazy. Not everyone who can't make their push up scores is not trying. 

I believe that this decision should be left to the immediate supervisor and the commanding officer who have a far better understanding of the type of character the person in question has. That's all.
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SSG Sensor Manager
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SGT Birkbine no one is prohibited from going to school. You may just not be able to go on the Army' dime. The bottom line is many soldiers feel as though they are entitled to everything under the sun. Our TA program is probably the best out of all the services, but as stated earlier it is a privilege not a right. People who are over weight due to muscle still manage to pass tape so your argument really isn't valid. As far as needed command approval to attend school using your own money or VA benefits that's not very true. The only time you would need that is if you want to physically attend class, there are so many options for online schooling, or classes that don't start until 1800 or later. You have to be willing to make some sacrifices to achieve your goals. As the CSM said the Army is not prohibited you from going to school simply not paying for it. 
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SGT Chris Birkinbine
SGT Chris Birkinbine
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I think we will just have to agree to disagree. Some of your arguments are stating current regulation. My point is I disagree with current regulation.

I'm also very aware of all the opportunities out there for education. I am also aware weather people want to admit it or not, that the quality of the majority of online schools is not to snuff, and even ones that are, are still viewed as substandard by a lot of employers, but that is an entirely different conversation.

I also didn't say you needed your command approval to attend class on your own dime, I said you needed your command SUPPORT. There is a very big difference. Without your supervisor and command support it is incredibly difficult to do many things successfully on your own time.

I really do get what you are saying. I just think the decision should be made by an individuals commander, not by an Army or Military wide regulation. Why do you think that is a bad thing?
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