Posted on Jan 31, 2014
SSG CH-47 Helicopter Repairer
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I recently had a discussion with another NCO about attending college while on Active Duty. This other NCO stated that his unit(s) allowed him almost no time to attend college, his personal preference is traditional classroom, not online. He continued to state that the Army and senior enlisted/officers preach about getting a degree but do not allow time and are too demanding, running JR NCOs and lower enlisted until they are out of gas.

I on the other hand agree and disagree with his statements, the Army and senior enlisted/officers don't allow enough time to attend what would be considered full or part time classroom style classes. However, I know of a few people who were allowed by our commander to be released at 1600 to attend class at 1630, and did online classes as well. I believe it all on how you manage your time. Just like the civilian world would be, any average American that attends college these days has to have a job or they simply won't make it. I would also say that it doesn't get any better than TA while you're in the Military, who else get paid and goes to college completely free that would be considered an "average" American?

What are your views on obtaining a degree while serving?
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Responses: 26
LTC Paul Labrador
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I think, at least in part, why earning a college degree while in the enlisted ranks is held in high esteem is because it's HARD to do. Not from an academic standpoint, but from the time-management and determination standpoint. I know soldiers are busy and don't have a lot of free time. But if I see one charge ahead and make it happen, it makes that individual really stand out in my opinion.
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SSG(P) Counterintelligence (CI) Agent
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Edited >1 y ago
I disagree with the no time thing. I have a wife and two children, work 10 hour shifts, am active in my community and church, and still (in the recent past) found time to be a full-time college student, albeit online. If there was a school nearby that had classes that were pertinent to my degree, I'd find the time to fit it in. I'm not patting my own back, just using my experiences as an example. What I see in that problem is not that the military is not giving us enough time, rather this individual has not placed enough value and urgency on attaining a degree. One saying I heard that I can't remember who said it was "Investing in yourself is the only investment that always pays dividends."
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MSG Wally Carmichael
MSG Wally Carmichael
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Very well said SPC Moniz. Investing I ones self is the best investment.
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MSG Wally Carmichael
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All great and valid points. I want to take a different perspective.

It's also important to keep in mind, traditional education is NOT the end all and guarantee for a well paying and satisfying job when you separate/retire.

Education is very important, however, some of my peers, including myself have mentors who show us the ropes in vocations such as real estate investing, multi level marketing and many other endeavors. If you can't find a mentor in your desired field, find some books. Get educated outside the classroom from people doing what you love.

I got my entire BS on-line part time over the years. But I've been building a business, part time, over the last two years while still on active duty. When I retire in the next year I can continue building and stay home with my boys or I can take a GS position on my terms, and continue building my empire to will off to my boys.

I'm set, because I got the education I wanted as an entrepreneur in an industry I love. I already have my dream home in paradise, 5 min walk from the beach. I have one boy in college and two more who may follow in my entrepreneurial foot steps. It's been a tough road but very rewarding.

Remember, Henry Ford had just 3 months of formal education. . Thomas Edison had a 6th grade education. Yet, they were both very educated. It's all about what you want to do.

Decide Commit Succeed.
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