Posted on Nov 23, 2013
SGM Matthew Quick
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Should_a_4-year_degree_be_a_requirement_for_selection_to_e-9__
With the military moving to a leaner, agile and more educated force, should it's top leaders be required to have a baccalaureate&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 15px; white-space: nowrap;">degree prior to selection or prior to promotion?</span>
Posted in these groups: Graduation_cap EducationCollege-crimson-01 College
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CSM Mike Maynard
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Absolutely not.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>While pursuing a degree does increase your critical thinking and communication skills, having a degree does not always equate into being a "better" E9 and is not a great predictor of E9 potential.</div><div><br></div><div>So many of our Soldiers are being steered toward colleges that transfer vast amounts of credit from Army experience to get them closer to getting a degree. That being the case, they are basically getting a degree for their Army experience.</div><div><br></div><div>But isn't the the point of going to college to introduce you to a different way of learning and different ideas?</div><div><br></div><div>So, for most that take advantage of all the "Army experience" credits, I would say your degree is worth less than those that earned their degree without the "Army experience" credits.</div>
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SGT(P) Team Leader
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>1 y
then should they give the board points back to the soldiers and not worry about civil ed? A soldier going to a training facility only can get points now if they max out civilian ed and military ed. So to get close to enough points to become an NCO. Once there still has to focus on some way to gather points to go to the next rank. So by the time that NCO is a E6 he/she should almost have a 4 year degree when they get ready for E7. So should it be I say yes because with the draw down of deployments and no changes in the point structure should be no excuse why in their off time , just as they tell lower enlisted, they cant do it. Unless they are surrounded by a bunch of dirt bag soldiers . Not meaning to step on anyones toes or degrade any one. Just saying if they can put it out to a soldier time management so should they fallow the same. Unless they redo points system again then why not. If HRC WOULd actually or a Senior NCO track a new soldier going to lets say NTC as a first duty station . Track that soldier and see how hard it is and what that soldier has to do to make the grade to become an NCO they would see PT and weapons wont cut it when their points stay at 600 .Without maxing civil ed military ed and other schools that new soldier wont have a chance. Not every MOS gets lucky to see 100, 200,or even 39. So yes an education wont hurt anyone or kill any one to get in order to make the next grade. It was said the Army wants to go to a smarter Army since the draw.down so they should have enough personal time to accomplish this task. I dont remember ever seeing it in the NCO creed to cut corners instead of fulfil responcibilities inherent in that role. Maybe i missed something. Anyway An NCO should be held to higher standards and show his soldiers it is possible not generate excuses for them when they cant make the points to become an NCO them selves. What would you tell your soldier if they asked what you did to become and NCO. Oh i complained alot and whined because they changed the standards to get to the next rank. Ya thats what I want to hear .So either have HRC change they points system again or Let those that cant cut the mustard stay where they are and watchan nco they mentored pass them because that soldier used his/her spare time wisely. Any questions? HOOOOAH lets get those degrees
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SGM Sergeant Major
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>1 y
Civilian education is very important! I find it hard to believe that "people can't find the time." I've worked the long hour jobs for the entirety of my career but instead of making excuses, I figured out a way. I've been only able to take one class at a time but after a while of staying with it, I was able to earn my degree. And, by the way, I have never neglected my duties in any way in order to make that happen. Education is very important, period. Don't make excuses. Decide to do it and figure it out. Part of being a leader is setting a good example for your Soldiers to emulate. I push civilian education a lot with my Soldiers. If you don't think that a college education is important then you need to relook your life. Remember, eventually the Army will be done with you and your Soldiers. If you are not prepared for life after the Army, and if you have not helped your Soldiers prepare themselves for life after the Army, then you've failed at a leader Make whatever excuses you want but that's all they are...BS excuses.
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LT Regional Practice Manager, Hwsl
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>1 y
Great approach SGM (Join to see) This is exactly what I did. I has taken years, but I am now only three classes away from my BA. I never thought I would be able to do it, but one class at a time, it may take forever, but it is definitely able to be done. Many of my classes were completed while deployed or at sea, around watches and missions. Your message is almost word for word what I tell my subordinates. There is no excuse these days to not gain a career.
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CW4 Information Services Technician
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4 y
I agree with you all. Take the time and knock it out...with our military lifestyle and hours that we work, it does take time. Mine took like 15 years, partially because I lost track, lost my way, partially because of all the deployments.

Now, should it be a requirement, no. One thing though, if they make it a requirement via the regulations for SGM, CMSgt, or Master Chief...they have to pay for it...and with the way budget cuts are around, downsizing, and all that, I doubt DoD will cut out a budget to pay 100% for E-9s to have a Bachelor degree. Also, if and when they make it a requirement, they have to provide the time for the E-8 (or lower ranks) to get it.
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CSM Usarak G3/5/7 Sgm
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Is our job in the military to train, fight and win wars or go to college? My issue as I stated before is that this requirement is not realistic for every job. Even with the draw down, I find it hard to believe everyone will be able to do this, and not by any fault of their own. I have my degree, because I nickel and dimed my classes for 10 years between deployments, field problems and schools. I finished in the SGM Academy. So I know how hard I worked to make it happen. I reported to USASMA at 17 years in. So I took 3 course per semester at the academy to finish before graduation. So I was in class until 2200 every night. It was rough. I think we are asking to set a precedent which is unrealistic. I commend those who got their degrees as a specialist because you were able to get special exception to leave the field to go to night school, but a young infantryman is, for the most part, not given permission to leave the field to go to school. I think as enlisted soldiers, we need to focus on being the best NCOs we can be. Be, know and do. I think it should be used as one of those discriminators, but making it mandatory will force individuals to focus on college and not their job which is training Americas sons and daughters the skills necessary to survive in combat.
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MSG(P) United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (Usasma) Student
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5 y
I completely agree SGM. Too many Soldiers get wrapped up about degrees. While it does prepare you for being a better civilian I question how well it prepared you for your current MOS/job.

I remember reading where one Soldier stated they were mad because they used the year in Korea to start and finish their degree. Of course everybody wondered when that Soldier actually had time to do their job with all of the college classes they were attending.
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SFC Christopher Perry
SFC Christopher Perry
>1 y
SGM Preusser,

I propose that while not necessarily our job, it is possible for us to do both. And you SGM stand as an example of this fact. Granted most of us accomplish it where and when we can, but we get it done.
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SGM Chief Paralegal Nco
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As an educator, a Reserve SGM, and someone who has an M.Ed. and a post-grade certificate in educational administration, I would say that definitely having a B.A. or B.S. should be required. By the time a Soldier makes E8/9 they have had long enough to earn a degree. I believe that a education not only makes you better prepared for new things but also helps one to experience new ways to learn and comprehend the broader world versus the narrow way of the military. And, it makes you more marketable once you decide to retire. Your Army experience may look nice once you retire but I know for a fact that companies are looking for civilian education, too.

Is it hard to get one? Yes. Does it take time and commitment? Absolutely. But, in today's world, it is absolutely critical to have an education beyond high school. And, I don't think colleges should grant credit for military experience. Go out and learn something that interests you beyond just the military. It will help you no matter what area you choose and which branch you serve in. If you want to get promoted, get a degree. It's not the 1960's anymore where a Soldier could get by with a high school diploma, GED or even no degree.

Just my two cents...

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SGM Matthew Quick
SGM Matthew Quick
5 y
Great points, SGM Anderson!
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PO2 Orlando Sims, MPA
PO2 Orlando Sims, MPA
5 y
Higher education is a tool in the tool-bag of leadership. In addition, a degree will provide a leader with the ability to expand their way of thinking. Furthermore, enlisted service member will have a great deal more employment opportunities after they decided to leave the service or retire.
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CSM Usarak G3/5/7 Sgm
CSM (Join to see)
5 y
I agree that it is important and it will help them out upon getting out of the military. The question was should it be a requirement for E9. I agree we should use our off duty time to get college. Again, let's be realistic. I grew up an Infantryman...My 1SG was not letting me come in from a 3 week field problem to go to college. You can not make a cookie cutter standard mixing MOSs for college. Not every Mos or branch will get equal time to do so. That is why 11Bs do not compete with paralegals for promotion. It cannot be equally implemented across the spectrum of the Army. Active and Reserve are also different. A reservist has more time without military commitment and a most stable work environment to be afforded the ability to do so. You must think outside your little box(MOS) and see what is feasible to all before we suggest this requirement.
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SGT(P) Team Leader
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>1 y
I understand that those that have been in awhile will hate change but is it not our job to say hoooah rgr and march on whether tou like it or not. I am a mechanic and not given the oppertunity to walk in and say i have 39 points give me my E5 I my self at 44 but a SPC am worki g on a Degree with no quams. I know when I get out it will only benefit me and my family. Not very many jobs hire to shoot move and communicate. This year is the lostest my points have been in the 4.5 years and thats was at 413 it has sat at 798 for the last 4 years. So other then passing pt and 300 and getting 40 out of 40 where will I get the rest of the points? well thats were got no choice but civil ed , a degree, military education and awards if you can get them. and being realistic SGM there is no way in haydies any new SPC in a mechanic mos that has points sit at 798 for as long as they do will ever see NCO with out going for a degree. Trust me my NCOS will vouch that I have done all ssd's but ssd5 and now theu took them back as far as points ok there goes 80 points a piece and then no points for board so there is about 100 and some gone lowered the max points for civil ed to 78 and only 5 certs. ACCP for E5 stops at 390 for a whopping 62 points so if you add up this up SGM with out the 78 for civil ed oh lets not forget 4.5 years at NTC SO no deployment points unlike those who have deployments because NTC never deploys. Now lets get the calculator and see where I sit. .........I got 488 hmmm not very close to 798 huh. Well guess mechanics other then certain mech MOS's will ever see 39 am i promotable yes will i see E5 before RCP well if enough E6 and E7 and a few E6 fail to meet their requirements of what this whols discussion is about .No offence ment to any SR NCO's just saying ,then I have a shot at my E5. Until then i can almost feel the threads touch my finger tips but will probabaly never until one cop out change MOS or rack up a bunch deployments one right after the other so I can have those points then I will. Not to disrespect anyones rank but one old guy to another I bust my ars to get as far as I. an with no arguments of why I have to shouldnt the rest
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