|Earn a college degree while on active duty
According to Jeffery Colimon, chief of the Learning Integration Division at the Institute for NCO Professional
Development, NCOs need to not only make sure their new Soldiers are aware of the degree programs, but also
inspire them to take action early in their careers. They can do this by mentoring each Soldier and by pursuing their
own educational goals to provide an example, Colimon said.
“The real vision is that, by the time a Soldier reaches the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, they should be
working on an advanced degree,” Colimon said. “But you cannot get this advanced degree if you do not ‘build a
bench’ and start early.”
On average, active duty Soldiers take from 4 to 6 years to complete an associate’s degree, Colimon said.
However, NCOs who encourage new Soldiers to set educational goals for themselves and start on a degree plan
as soon as possible set those individuals up for success in their Army careers and in their retirement as well.
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Earn a College Degree while serving on Active Duty
Did you know it’s possible for an enlisted Soldier to earn a degree by the end of his or her first term of enlistment? The
framework is in place and the degree programs are available, but Army officials say Soldiers often don’t learn of the
opportunities until they have been in the Army for years.
The College of the American Soldier Enlisted Education Program is designed to enable junior enlisted Soldiers in
combat arms MOSs to earn an associate’s degree during their first term of enlistment. Excelsior College is one of
the institutions participating in the program and has conducted a faculty credit evaluation of SSD 1 and combat
arms MOSs at skill levels 10 and 20 to maximize the credit Soldiers can earn for their military training. As part of
the Enlisted Education Program, Excelsior also awards college credits for Basic Combat Training, Advanced
Individual Training and the Warrior Leader Course.
*According to the Excelsior College Center for Military Education, the school would award the same credits to those
with a 14G MOS as a 14J, since the 14G MOS has yet to be evaluated by the American Council on Education.
Need more promotion points? Get college credit and Promotion points for your Military Training and
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