With the military moving to a leaner, agile and more educated force, should it's top leaders be required to have a baccalaureate <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 8 y ago
Absolutely not. <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>
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.
I think if we are to make this a requirement, the Army has to allow them to take a year-18 months in order to do it, like they do Captains post command. Not all MOSs afford you the opportunity to leave the field to do college. As a young infantryman, I would do 3 week field problems. So I really didn't start college I til I was a SSG. With deployments back to back to back from 01-08, I had to put my degree on hold. I could not do college overseas at a small FOB or COP. I was finally able to complete my degree last year WHILE I was in the Sergeants Major Academy. I think some college is acceptable, but how much is up for debate, unless the Army puts in the mechanisms to allow this to happen.
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