The military culture of American Army officers places a premium on education, and offers a range of education benefits for its officers to establish and maintain a skilled officer corps. In many instances, an officer’s way to promotion runs along a path of continuing education. In addition to military skills, higher degrees, languages, and a variety of civilian certifications are considered valuable to the Army, and officers are encouraged to pursue further education accordingly. With such an ethos it is unsurprising that Army officers have a range
Pursuing a Degree
Two programs offered by the US Army greatly contribute to the efforts of any serving officer pursuing a new college degree, such as a Master’s or PhD. One Army officer education benefit is tuition assistance, open to officers undertaking course work on a voluntary basis and on their own time. This education benefit covers all of the tuition costs of an Army officer up to $250 per credit hour, up to a maximum of $4,500 per year. Ergo, for the normal three-hour college course the Army will pay a maximum $750, and any additional costs must be borne by the officer.
Another Army officer education benefit is the DANTES Military Evaluation Program. This allows officers to convert Army training and experience into college credit, gaining a leg-up on a degree.
Another aid to continuing education through Army officer education benefits is the Concurrent Admissions Program (CONAP), a joint program between the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and over 1,800 colleges. The program is meant to help serving soldiers earn a Bachelor’s, and while most officers already have such a degree, the program can still prove useful to further education efforts.
The Army’s Own Schools
Part of the Army’s commitment to continuing education is its own network of schools, and many deserve to be considered higher educational institutions equaling any similar program in a civilian university. The Defense Language Institute enjoys an excellent reputation, as do the U.S. Army War College, the School of Advanced Military Studies and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
Loan Repayment and After Discharge
The U.S . Army offers to repay as much as $65,000 in student loans for anyone who enlists for at least three years of active duty. The Army also has a program for funding education after discharge. In exchange for $100 per month during the first year of active duty, officers may receive up to $81,756 after being discharged.
Many officers entering the service today will have student loan debt. The Army offers a program that repays up to $65,000 for those who enlist for at least three years.
Sources: soc.aascu.org/conap; http://www.military.com/Resources/Forms/DD_295.pdf; usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r621_5.pdf