Billy is the son of a minimum wage family. His mother only knows the identity of his real father. The man he considers his father is only his stepfather by marriage. Neither one of his parents had attended college. His mother did not even finish high school; She received her GED when she was twenty-four years old and works two jobs: hotel maid by day and waitress at the local diner on the corner by night. His stepfather works as a garbage man four days a week and is a bouncer at a local bar on Friday and Saturday nights. The mother and three sisters raised Billy for 16 years, after she was divorced. Billy does not have the same father as his three sisters. He is considered by society to be a bastard. When Billy graduated high school, he did not have the money to attend college. His options were to get a full-time, minimum wage job at the local factory or to join the military. In to the Navy he went. Frank was born to a well-off family. His father was a corporate lawyer at IBM and his mother was a gynecologist. He was raised most of his life by house nurses, maids and butlers. When Frank graduated high school, he was accepted into Penn State. His parents paid for his college. Billy's four-year contract with the Navy ended last year. He separated and was eventually hired by a company in the downtown business district of his hometown. He was hired due to his military background, primarily due to the values that the Navy instills in its recruits. Billy works on the second floor. He spend most of his time doing lackey work and dealing with people anywhere between the mailroom on the 1st floor and his boss's office on the 5th floor.Frank graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor's of Business. He returned to his hometown and was immediately hired to a management position by a company in the downtown business district of his hometown. Frank is Billy's boss.Billy is full of honor, courage, and commitment. He has learned the importance of teamwork, the importance of respect and the importance of never giving up until you find a solution.Frank has learned many, many things about business while he attended college. But, he was not taught the essentials that everyone takes for granted, such as customer service, how to deal with your co-workers and subordinates, time management and to never give up until you find a solution to the problems in front of you. Billy can use what he learned in the military all day, everyday, weather at work or at home. What he learned gave him a better understanding of what it takes in life to succeed. It can and will make the rest of his life much easier.Billy gave four years of his precious time to serve and protect his nation. Now, he is in a different world and classified as someone who is a low-level worker because he does not have a college degree. He is still very close to the same level that he was at when he first joined the U.S. Navy four years ago.Any American citizen who serves at least four years in the military and decides to return to the civilian sector, after their contract is up, should have a full scholarship for four years to any college they are accepted in. They should have the option to obtain the required class books, stay in the college dormitory and to eat in the cafeteria at no cost. Of course, there should be rules, such, as they must keep their grade point average above a B minus, or better. Any person who accepts this offer from the United States government and fails out of the college due to their GPA, without a valid and approved explanation, will have to pay back cost of the failed class to the government and will have their contract cancelled.American citizens in the Military that wish to re-enlist should have the option to attend the respective force's military academy. While attending the academy, if the person's GPA drop below the required level, they will be released from the academy and returned to their command. Right now, a person released from the military goes back in time to the day right before they first joined. Only four years of military service to list on their resume, no college credits, no significant job references and no highly valued job experiences. Our country should be obliged to support these people that have wasted important years of their lives protecting our country's freedom instead of struggling through college, scrambling their way through the ocean of jobs and combating up the corporate ladder. Committees should be formed, regulations should be prepared, and laws should be passed allowing any person who served their time honorably in the military to go to college.S. A. Roehrig QM2COMNAVREG HI - N01K4USN - Pearl Harbor, HI
roehrig:Great idea and a very interesting point, basically a vastly expanded GI bill. I wonder if anyone has ever run the numbers on that, to see where the approximate cost would be. Three points to consider. First, don't be the last bitter guy standing around bemoaning the unfair state of the world (writing about the little brat going to Penn State and getting everything handed to him while the honest hardworking kid slaves away downstairs after serving his country honorably -- and actually, he did get something for his service...he got the job, low as it may be). I think that there is a good argument for your concept, but I don't think that correcting class inequity in society is it.Second, the "any college they want to" part may need to be amended...I believe that even NROTC scholarships are capped these days, but I'm not sure.Finally, getting a four-year degree for a four-year enlistment is a great deal, better than any education program existing in the Navy today. How about a longer enlistment, or a promise of service on the other end? I believe that most education programs (except TA) are 2 for 1, and some are 3 for 1 (an education specialist would know for sure, but I'm paying back 3 for 1 for my grad school).Does anyone know what the numbers would look like for this? Has the military considered expanding the college funding program?Thanks for the thoughts, roehrig.frog6
Actually, that is the essay that I just finished writing for my night english college class...I thought I would share it....I doubt that it would ever happen...Not really complaining about the difference...but I think that everyone should at least have a chance to make their own decision if they go up or down in their career... if you start at the bottom, you can't go down...Second, any college they get accepted into....Longer enlistment means the academy.... officers can make some good bucks.... and lead that to a masters degree.... Some people like the military...some don't...but, either way, you should get a something outa' it so you don't have to start out near square one if you decide to get out....Joe Blow the motor pool man doesn't get the same shake that the Intel man gets.... SRBs, Navy college fund... not fair....Joe Blow the motor pool man most likely works harder and sweats more the Mr. Intel...Kinda' sucks for him....
Good post. I agree with the fundamental idea that the United States should provide better post service educational benefits for its veterans. However, I think its impractical to grant every individual who reenlists a class seat at a service academy. Not everyone who is qualifed to reenlist is qualified to become an officer. I would agree that everyone who is permitted to reenlist should be allowed a chance to compete to be accepted in a commissioning program, but not guaranteed acceptance. I think that everyone who reenlists should be offered an opportunity to apply for BOOST or another similar program but the standards for acceptance in those program should not be lowered from present standards.The service academies exist to educate and commission officers into the armed forces. If every individual eligible for enlistment were granted enrollment in the service academies, that would be far too many candidates in a commissioning program for the needs of the service. In other words, it contributes to a problem discussed earlier on this board, bloated (unfortunately in more than one sense) officer staffing. We don't need that many officers.Secondly, academic aptitude. Not to sleight the many highly intelligent enlisted servicemen but, the curriculum at the service academies would eat most servicemembers alive in their first semester. I'm not speaking as an academy graduate but, I do have some personal experience in this area. I went to a public university on a four year NROTC scholarship. I was, to say the least, overconfident. I graduated pretty high in a large high school class and was nominated to two service academies. Nevertheless, I found out as a freshman just how little high school pedigree mattered at a good engineering school. My GPA was so low the first semester that I went right past ScoPro to a leave of absense to get my head screwed on straight. Fortunately, after paying for a semester of college out of my own pocket at a smaller local school, I was permitted to return and finished my degree on NROTC scholarship. America is and should always remain the land of opportunities but guaranteed acceptance to a college regardless of academic aptitude is not a good idea. Look what the thirst for government subsidized tuition has done to the academic standards of public and private colleges in this country. On more than one occasion when I was on recruiting duty, I have encountered an individual who held a bachelors degree (2.5 GPA transcripts to prove it) from a public college who could not meet the minimum criteria for enlistment on the ASVAB AFQT score much less for commissioning programs. Opportunity, yes! Quotas, no (unless it's for a block of reserved parking spaces for Veterans at all government offices buildings).Semper fidelis
I definitely hear what you are saying! And you definitely throw out some very good points to us.I think that everyone should be provided with the opportunity to go to college or the academy, if they want to stay in....I know that not everyone is fit to be an officer.... The weak would eventually be weeded out via tests and requirements. The strong survive and the weak are sent back. If you want it bad enough, you will survive. Moreover, those are the people that we need to be our commanders.Not everyone wants to be an officer, either. But, they should have the opportunity to become one if the want to and pass the entrance exams for it...Boost is a great idea too.... Maybe that is a better way to go for the military on this subject.Off the subject, a big problem I have seen while being the military is officers that are book smart, but lack common sense and couldn't lead their troops to get a drink of water.What I am getting at is that everyone that serves their country should have the opportunity to go to college. Weather or not they take that opportunity to take the classes and pass the test is completely up to them. I feel the GI Bill just does not cut it any longer. It was a good start, but now it needs more and more help.America needs to provide more support to personnel that gave up years of their life to support our country!
I agree that in some cases people leave the military after 3 or 4 years and step right back into where they were when they left. However, lots of people are able to get education, training and experience in the service that puts them light years ahead of where they were when they enlisted. The probability of getting out and stepping into a good job is higher for someone who had the good fortune to get technical training in a field that is relevant to the outside. In other words, electronics technicians are probably better off than gunners mates when it comes to looking for a job. I've seen other people do more than the minimum 3 or 4 years because that opens the door to more training since the service can get a longer return on their investment. For example, if they enlist for 4 years they get training as an operator; if they enlist for 6 they get training as both an operator and a maintainer, thus increasing their skill set. When they stay a little longer, they generally get to a higher pay grade where they are able to cultivate leadership and management skills. And if the only alternative is to return to a dead-end job, why not reenlist, work at becoming a senior NCO, a warrant or an LDO and retire into a second career with a solid skill set and probably at least an associates degree earned in the service?I don't disagree that a new GI Bill type arrangement wouldn't be great, but I think you paint too bleak a picture of what opportunities there are even without one.jtmitchjtmitch
jtmitch I like your post!I feel that in the Navy it is extremely hard for a person to work on college credits if they are stationed on a ship... I served on three ships in a row as a Navy Quartermaster (navigation) and had absolutely no time for college in-between work and standing watch.Now, I am on shore duty until Sep 02 and are taking 3-4 night classes per semester and one interim (2 week speed course) per semester, as available, at Hawaii Pacific University (on base) classes at PH, Schofield, Hickam, Barber's Point and etc....I am grateful that I can do this! Extremely grateful.... I will have an Associates in Computer Science and halfway to a Bachelors by the time I get out in 02. She is a full time student on a visa until I get clearance by the INS/government for Navy sponsorship. She will have a associates of arts by 02.I am engaged to be married on July 05 '00. My wife is more important to me than going on 6-month deployments. I was stationed in Japan for 5 years and have had numerous tours via Navy ship through Asia.I came in the Navy in '92, when they lower the retirement percent from 50% of base pay to 35%. In addition, due to my job, I will have to return to a ship after my shore duty. That is a fact.I am worried about returning to the civilian sector. New job, moving, money, car, etc… it is a big pain in the butt. I just kinda' wish that the military had a little more support for the people like me that have decided to call it quits with the military and move on to somewhere else.
roehrig --I agree that it is very tough for the sea intensive ratings (like QM) to work on college because you get so much sea duty. Sounds like you are busting your hump to take advantage of your opportunities while you are ashore and can do so. I'll bet this turns out to be a very good predictor of success once you leave the Navy; you're probably one of the folks who would do well inside or outside the Navy. Best of luck to you.jtmitch
I like to think and start big!Because I know deep inside that everything will eventually be beat to death and scaled down to what is deemed feasible by the committee(s) in control.
One thing that the military started was the SMART transcript.Colleges will give credits to Military personnel for their training, schools, and rate.I took care of all of my electives that way and received three credits for Calculus for my rate dealing with navigaton.I was extremely grateful to get that!
I definitely recommend to everyone that has an opportunity and the time to go to college on base, do it! One class...three classes per semester...who cares.... just go! If not for credit, for knowledge....Take something that you are interested in. The classes are more relaxed than the campus, more lenient for military personnel (due to understanding about duty, work, transfers, TAD and etc), tuition assistance and more.Tuition assistance is great. Pays 75% of you class. You have to pay the rest and for your books.You are never too young and never too old to go to college.Moreover, it is not as hard as you think, once you get use to going to school again. That is the hard part.
"Some people like the military...some don't...but, either way, you should get a something outa' it so you don't have to start out near square one if you decide to get out....Joe Blow the motor pool man doesn't get the same shake that the Intel man gets.... SRBs, Navy college fund... not fair....Joe Blow the motor pool man most likely works harder and sweats more the Mr. Intel..."Speaking as a Logistics/Motor Transport Officer, a little over 40% of my Marines are currently enrolled in some form of off duty education. The Corps pays 70% of their tuition and a mixture of scholarships and personal sacrifices make up for the rest. My MT Shop Chief will be submitting a package for OCS this Fall.My Utility Chief will likely submit a package for augmentation to WO soon.Should they choose to leave the service they will take with them rewards commensurate with the effort they put in to obtaining them."but I think that everyone should at least have a chance to make their own decision if they go up or down in their career...They already do.Standabove
Joe Blow the motor pool man doesn't get the same shake that the Intel man gets.... SRBs, Navy college fund... not fair....Joe Blow the motor pool man most likely works harder and sweats more the Mr. Intel..."Mr. Blow in the motor pool has a different skill set than Mr. Intel. In the Army, Mr. Blow has the opportunity to reclassify if a) Uncle Sugar needs mor intel guys at that point and b) he's qualified. I'm an intel guy and we work as hard as Mr. Blow, just on different projects. We can't get where we need to be without our mechs, loggies, and even our Air Farce bretheren. They don't know where or if it's safe without us. We're all important.JMHO,Andy
Committees should be formed, regulations should be prepared, and laws should be passed allowing any person who served their time honorably in the military to go to college.The US military provides tremendous opportunity including several routes to a college education. Options include (1) subsidised college courses at night while on active duty, (2) ROTC and military academy scholarships and (3) money for full or part time college after serving. Those who serve honorably CAN go to college. Minor changes in current programs might be in order, but the reality is no where near as bad as you imply.
Hve you ever tired to earned a college education while underway on a ship and not stationed on shore???Near impossible!
Hve you ever tired to earned a college education while underway on a ship and not stationed on shore???No, but I took two courses (Calculus I and Analytic Geometry) via correspondence from the University of Oklahoma while deployed in Korea. I carried the books in my tankers roll, did the homework when I found a spare minute and took the midterm and final exams when I returned to my duty station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.I also earned an Associates Degree in Technology (64 semester hours) going to school at night while on active duty. It can be done and thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines do it every year.I stand by my point: if you want a college education then the opportunity is there for you.
Prometheus wrote: Hve you ever tired to earned a college education while underway on a ship and not stationed on shore???No, but I took two courses (Calculus I and Analytic Geometry) via correspondence from the University of Oklahoma while deployed in Korea. I carried the books in my tankers roll, did the homework when I found a spare minute and took the midterm and final exams when I returned to my duty station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.I also earned an Associates Degree in Technology (64 semester hours) going to school at night while on active duty. It can be done and thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines do it every year.I stand by my point: if you want a college education then the opportunity is there for youRemember though, that there is a difference between getting a college education and going to college. Anecdotal experience shows me that spending four or five years at a school with the time and freedom to explore new ideas and experiences makes someone vastly different in outlook than coblling together a bunch of classes and credits to add up to BA or BS.
Remember though, that there is a difference between getting a college education and going to college. Anecdotal experience shows me that spending four or five years at a school with the time and freedom to explore new ideas and experiences makes someone vastly different in outlook than coblling together a bunch of classes and credits to add up to BA or BS.Maybe so, but the issue at hand is whether the US military offers sufficient education opportunities. The original post called for the taxpayers to give everyone who served four years in the military a full ride (tuition, living expenses, etc.) for four years of higher education at any school who would admit them. I am making two points. (1) The military offers several paths to a college education (though most that enlist do not take advantage of the opportunities) and (3) a full and free ride is an excessive benefit."[G]oing to college" is not the right path for everyone. Many of us prefer to get on with life at 18 and educate ourselves along the way. I do not feel like I missed out on much by "coblling (sic) together a bunch of classes and credits to add up to BA or BS". As a mater of fact, I bet my Associates in Technology, BA in Mathematics (with a minor in Computer Science) and MS in Operations Research stack up well against anyone else with a similar education obtained by "going to college". (Funny, I thought I was going to college when I got them?) Yet I managed to get my degrees while on active duty in the US Army.Your remark on how "vastly different" two groups of college educated individuals are based on the route they took to gain their education does not even merit discussion.By the way, I find both the time and freedom to explore new ideas and experiences all the time without taking four or five years off from work. Don't you?
Remember though, that there is a difference between getting a college education and going to college. Anecdotal experience shows me that spending four or five years at a school with the time and freedom to explore new ideas and experiences makes someone vastly different in outlook than coblling together a bunch of classes and credits to add up to BA or BS.-------------------Hmm, you're right, there is a difference between getting an education and going to college, but it's not the one you may think...I'll go your "anecdotal evidence" one better, and throw out some empirical observations...Youth is definitely wasted on the young, and I can confidently say that my college years (18-22) were nowhere near what I could have made out of them. I would estimate that approximately 97% of my schoolmates were in the same boat (pardon the pun), and the remaining 3% were the really annoying folks who were 38 going on 19 and nobody liked them anyway (unfortunately, they've made their first million by the time they actually were 38, but that's another subject). I would also opine (having recently talked with some old platoon mates who went to a four-year university through EEAP or Seaman-to-Admiral) that a 24 or 25 year old finding him or herself back in the wacky undergraduate environment would not be guaranteed any mind-expanding experiences...well, at least not any academic or social ones.For me, being back in grad school (in the evenings) during this brief shore duty stop has been a great experience, and I believe I can use it to make some observations about undergrad part-time programs as well. Students in the part-time programs are there because they really want to be there, they have a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds (as opposed to undergrad full-time, where senior year in high school seems to be terrifyingly similar across the country). The levels of discussion and interaction are far above that of a full-time program of youngsters learning how to be away from home for the first time. So while a full-time undergrad stint is certainly possible, I agree with prometheuss that often you'll find yourself with a richer academic experience by "cobbling together" those degrees. Of course, time management is the key -- and having completed four pre-requisite courses by correspondence at my last command (usually on transoceanic flights on the way to exercises), I know that it's difficult to balance the academic with the professional sides of your career. But everything is possible, if you want it badly enough.Best of luckfrog6P.S. God help us if the only way that we can explore new ideas and experiences is to sentence ourselves to four or five years back at school...does that mean that the only true "free thinkers and forward visionaries" are those "professional students" (the 38 year olds who have been working on their PhDs in early Germanic literature for 8 years now)?
You are right, John (Frog6)!One is never too old to cobble together yet another degree!I dropped out of school as a Junior in high school to join the Army in 1964. When my civilian class mates graduated, I already had my GED and was taking college courses at the University of Maryland extension overseas!And still I continue. Damn, those poeple handing me the degrees keep getting younger all the time!GrumpySSG, US Army (Disabled/Retired)http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Village/7958/picture/degree.jpg
"He is still very close to the same level that he was at when he first joined the U.S. Navy four years ago."This holds true for officers as well. When i left active duty in the late 80's, most businesses wanted to put me in the same category as a recent college graduate, even though I had 10 years of service. This may have been due in part to the significant reductions in "middle management" that was taking place throughout commercial industry, but was also part of the mindset that discounts non-specific experience. That is, if you haven't done "X" before, we are not going to hire you to do "X" or to manage "X". Only recently have some firms, particularly younger, more entrepreneurial companies, and start-ups, have come to realize the value of a military background. The ability to take care of one's subordinates translates into getting the most out of them. Technical whiz kids have not proven very adept at this, by and large, and a more mature leadership style is often needed to bring that high pressure, tight deadline project to a successful close on time and within budget.Just some thoughts. . .TomKaigun Chusa
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