College After SOF: A Rant

College After SOF: A Rant

So here I am sitting in the office of my business department counselor, discussing my degree path and time to completion.

I started college courses full-time during the Fall of 2011. As it stands right now, I’m not able to graduate until Spring of 2015. Based on total credits transferred from the military and the classes I’ve already taken, I currently have a grand total of 141 credits completed. Only three of my military credit hours transferred to my bachelors degree.

I remembered why my blood pressure spikes every time I sit in the counselor’s office.

I brush aside the gnawing feeling that I’m wasting my time with what I equate to grinding my face on the pavement in order to prove that I am capable of grinding my face on pavement.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard the variation on the following phrase: “Just knock out the degree. Employers only want to see that you have the determination to make it through the college system.”

Right. Determination… blood pressure rising again.

I’ve heard of this ‘determination’ thing. That’s sort of like when you volunteer to jump out of planes, and physically destroy your body for extended periods of time in order to prove your worth and become a member of a small team? This sounds intriguing. I would love to hear more. Are there any brochures or pamphlets I could read?

Beat. Me. Running. I need to get my mind back to the counselors office. Need to focus.

So I have approximately 10 classes left that I need to take. She begins going through the list so I can determine which time slot and day would be the best to take.

She informs me that I will need to complete at least three credit hours of a foreign language.

I agree that taking a foreign language should be a requirement for any degree.  It’s an excellent tool to have in your toolbox, and learning how to learn another language is an even greater skill. Fortunately, I know all of this because I’ve been through language training

Now, for those who don’t know, all Special Forces soldiers are required to attend language and cultural training for their area of operations. I learned Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, while attending the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Classes began at 0900 and typically ran through 1630, minus lunch time. Classes were five times a day… Tagalog was a six month course. This comes out to roughly 845 hours of classroom time.

Apparently, my credits as transferred awarded me three credit hours for this training. Unfortunately, they were labeled as a “Military Undistributed Credit.” In other words, those credits didn’t mean a darn thing in the eyes of the school, particularly for waiving a language requirement.

My blood pressure starts approaching David Banner-like levels.

I ask the counselor (who is genuinely trying to help me out), “Is there any way I can have that language requirement waived?” I keep my well-developed mask of indifference affixed to my face in an attempt to avoid showing a glimpse of the general-purpose rage that is building inside me.

She explains that I’ll need to get a transcript or course description and plead my case to the business department chair. Ok – another hoop to jump through. I move on.

She then comes to the required course titled “International Communications.” The class description reads as follows: “This course examines international communication, global business etiquette, and it teaches cultural sensitivity and awareness based on the study of the interfaces of language, culture, and communication.”

She reads this out loud just for my information, not knowing that with each word, the cynical part of my brain is doing a serious ‘ROFL,’ while the analytical part of my brain is calculating which objects in my immediate vicinity would break into the most pieces the quickest.

I let out a little chuckle. As she looks at me inquisitively, I calmly attempt to explain the nuances of the Army Special Forces job in 30 words or less, and attempt to convince her that the description she just read is nearly a word for word regurgitation of one component of the job I held in the military. She responds with a vacant stare, which seems to say, ‘Ok, what do you want me to do about it?’

I know she’s just doing her job and trying to help me. I completely understand that the average civilian has neither the understanding nor the inclination to appreciate (in the literal sense) what certain military jobs entail. I get that. This knowledge didn’t make my blood pressure go down, though.

“Same thing. You’ll need to get a course description and plead your case. But I can tell you, this class is important and it’s only taught in the Fall semester,” she tells me flatly. “It’s less likely that you’ll be able to get this one waived.”

“Alright.” I breathe calmly, keeping the adrenaline from spiking. “What else is there?”

Market research… recruiting doesn’t count apparently.

A business writing class… ugh. My heart.

A creative writing class… ugh. My uterus.

Awesome. Whatever. I went into autopilot and agreed with whatever else needed to be done. I thank her for her time and advice on how to get out of the classes I know I’ve already taken.

As I walk out of the office, I can’t help but think of all the other veterans who just got fed up with this sort of thing, only to walk away from school and never come back. There is a strong sense of despair that begins to take hold when you realize that what was once a major part of your life no longer has any tangible value, aside from the experience itself.

Here’s a message for our educators and employers in this country: You want to help our nations veterans? Maybe some of our training is actually more valuable than time spent in your classrooms. Maybe my entire military career, along with the 24 months I spent in training in addition to the seven years afterwards, should translate to more than 33 credit hours.

Here’s a direct message (from the heart) to the American Council on Education: Heck with you guys. Seriously. I don’t know if money is your motivation, or if you don’t think any military training is as strenuous as the college classroom, or if you simply don’t like the military. Whatever the case may be, your stuff is broken and it needs to be fixed. I really hope someone from ACE actually reads this.

For all the folks out there who believe that the purpose of college should be to prove to employers that you have the determination necessary to graduate: If the only purpose of college education is to prove that someone is capable of dedication, there are far cheaper methods that don’t take four years and thousands of dollars to accomplish that task. The Latin root of the word education is ‘duco’, which means to lead or guide — not jump through a hoop like a trained dolphin.

I’m not sure how to best conclude this post, so I’ll try to keep it simple. There is plenty of anger in the veteran community, though most of us don’t know why or where it is actually directed. Often, the anger is turned inwards or onto those whom we love the most. I’ve been searching for the source of this anger for a while now, and I know I’ve identified at least a few. This is one of those sources.

We’re thanked for our service. We’re looked up to for our accomplishments. We’re praised for our sacrifices. But deep down, what we’re looking for the most is to be valued for our experiences and abilities.

When it’s assumed that the blood, sweat, and time we’ve already spent in pursuit of a certain skill or knowledge is not on par with time spent by someone sitting in an air conditioned classroom learning the same skill, the implied lesson is that our blood and sweat is less valuable.

When we’re told that we just need to play the game to earn a piece of paper in order for employers to value our life experience, the implied lesson is that a piece of paper is more valuable than volunteering to miss out on the birth of our children, seeing our brothers killed in foreign lands, or having our bodies broken.

I recognize the value of a college education. I enjoy the process of learning immensely. But I also value life experience. Most importantly, I know without a doubt that life experience is infinitely more valuable than skills learned in the classroom. I only wish that certain civilians in positions of power believed this as well.

UPDATE: It turns out that the military has recently made available a new valuation system to recommend credits for military training. The Joint Service Transcript website is available here: I did a walk-through of using it on our Transition Heroes website.

This would’ve been nice to know a while ago and I hope it helps me a bit in regards to giving me more credit hours in college. That said, my time in the SFQC is valued at 28 credit hours. SERE school is worth a whopping one credit hour for “Survival Skills/Outdoor Pursuits.” Cynical mind doing a ‘ROFL’ again.

I personally value SERE school as worth an infinite amount of credit hours. I got more in that month than I could have possibly received from any classroom in a lifetime, but then again, what the hell do I know?

(Featured Image Courtesy: Wake Forest University)

Blake Miles
Blake Miles
Blake Miles is a former Army Special Forces soldier who spent time at 1st Special Forces Group and 20th Special Forces Group. He's currently doing any number of things, all angling towards world domination. Like what you read? Tips give us writers another way to support our lives and families!
MarioNieto 5pts

Blake, I feel your pain. I went through the same thing you did. I would definitely recommend trying a different school. Some schools are willing to grant more equivalency credit than others. The language one is a no brained. Your advisor seems like they were not helpful either. Most I have met did not impress me. I have found that it is easier to obtain a course catalog and the schools graduation requirements, and plan your education yourself. I highly recommend looking at a school like Central Michigan University. They offer a program where they evaluate your military training, professional experience, and life experiences and they grant you course credit for it. They offer a substantial amount of max credit if you can build a strong enough case for it. I wish I would have known they did that when I went to school for my Bachelors degree. Would have saved me time and money I spent on classes like "music history". CMU granted me 18hours of graduate credit for military training and classes. Look around, I think you can find a school which will be more willing to consider granting you credit for your training.

humingbird31 5pts

@MarioNieto Hi Mario,

You need to read the rest of the comments and especially what Blake has written.  He's basically almost done with his education.  Your advice, however, is helpful to others.  :)

LeviRodgers 5pts

Very Unprofessional Comment. How can we ever get the respect we deserve when the advocates of said respect are communicating the arguments in this manner.. Poor Choice. GBF should take a look at this and make some decisions about what they publicly release on their behalf.

I certainly agree with the intent... however the manner in which the message was delivered will get us no where.

humingbird31 5pts

@LeviRodgers  How did you gain your officer status? West Point? ROTC? West Point?

You're the first officer, to the best of my knowledge, to comment on this point. Or rather you're the first person who has felt the need to state he is an officer. I grew up with officers in my family yet chose to go enlisted out of graduate school so I could do research in one of the best labs in the world for my field.  MISTAKE.

I was treated like a child simply on the basis of my rank when they brought in an infantry first sergeant.  And I had a MASTER'S DEGREE. I was FULLY competent to do what my bosses were doing yet I was treated like a PAIR OF HANDS by the officers above me.  

It goes both ways, SIR.

humingbird31 5pts

@LeviRodgers  How did you gain your officer status? West Point? ROTC? West Point?

You're the first officer, to the best of my knowledge, to comment on this post. Or rather you're the first person who has felt the need to state he is an officer. I grew up with officers in my family yet chose to go enlisted out of graduate school so I could do research in one of the best labs in the world for my field.  MISTAKE.

I was treated like a child simply on the basis of my rank by those civilians and officers above me.  When I took the job I was led to believe I would be doing research and would be published.  I had spent 3 YEARS of my life getting an MA and 4 years getting a BA.  In addition I had taught at a small college.

So being treated on the basis of my ability to do my job? That was not true, especially for one civilian who was threatened by my abilities.  It got even worse they brought in an infantry first sergeant.  And I had a MASTER'S DEGREE. I was FULLY competent to do what my bosses were doing yet I was treated like a PAIR OF HANDS by the officers above me. There was ONE exception and I consider him a mentor, almost a Father.  He was prior enlisted.  He treated me like a human being with a mind.  

It goes both ways, SIR.

humingbird31 5pts

@LeviRodgers  On whose comment are you commenting?For what does GBF stand (I'm not strong on my acronyms) ?

LeviRodgers 5pts

Sorry... Typing in a hurry... ( Burnt Thumbs and iphones don't mix...LOL) I am talking about the article. Green Beret Foundation. Author of article is the Director of GBF Communications... One would take his words as representive of the regiment.... Our Regiment in whole makes change and helps people as this gentleman is trying to do, however I feel that this was written in a non professional manner.

I personally have experienced a lot of what Blake is talking about, however I have effected change through showing the world through my actions and helping people... I think his message is solid however the manner in which it is being delivered is not one that I wish to be associated with the Special Forces Regiment. Especially when we are trying to get people to believe in us and take our training serious for the use of college credits.

I admire what he is trying to do... I also share the same efforts, however I do so by different means. I just think that a more well written argument without the F-Bombs could have more potential to take those in our ranks more serious.

Just the opinion of a very seasoned Combat Wounded and Retired Green Beret Officer.

( I had the same exact challenges and personally left school as I was tired of them... however I have been trying to fix this issue for a long time... coming from a random military guy doesn't bother me... but coming from someone that holds a Director Level Position of a Non Profit that I Heavily Support and Was suported by... I think it could of been written better... That is all. I am sure that Mr. Blake is an excellent Employee of the GBF and is a damn good Green Beret... Just when writing in a public forum and posting your relationship with our Regiment in that manner.... ( Which is a freedom that anyone has) I would just advise for less F-Bombs if we would like to affect more positve change and how people view us and the training.,,,)

Upon exiting the Army, I realized how much Special Forces Veterans can offer the world, and I am sure that he and I share the same passion...

I would however advise that when trying to convey change as a SOF Memeber or Veteran, the SOF Imperatives (Guidelines to every SOF Member) that have made me a lot of money in the business world and have given me the foundation for my successes outside the military, are the same rules that made me and every Green Beret out there what we were in the Army and have carried on today....... Apply those guidelines to every mission in life and success can be acchieved. Mr. Blake... Feel free to contact me, I would be glad to assist you and the GBF in this effort... The GBF will know how to contact me if you don't already. God Bless and Best of luck...! Off to bed...!

SOF Imperatives

#1: Understand the Operational Environment

#2. Recognize the political implications

#3. Facilitate Interagency Activities

#4. Engage the threat Discriminately

#5. Consider the Long Term Effects

#6. Ensure Legitimacy and Credibility of Special Operations

#7. Anticipate and Control Psychological Effects

#8. Apply Capabilities Idirectly

#9. Develop Multiple Options

#10. Ensure Long Term Sustainment

#11. Provide Sfficient Intelligence

#12. Balance Security and Synchronization

Blake Miles
Blake Miles 5pts

@LeviRodgers This was from me personally. Certainly not a public release from Green Beret Foundation.

I volunteer with the Green Beret Foundation. If you think my post was out of line, feel free to send up a complaint. But again, this was not written in my capacity with the Green Beret Foundation and not meant to represent the Green Beret Foundation.

Figanootz 5pts

I understand what you went through somewhat. I had similar issues getting my Bachelors degree trying to transfer credits from one school to another (Algebra is Algebra right) as well as translating military training to school credits. One thing I did was gather up College catalogs and military training course description and armed with those I was able to show that my educated and training matched their catalog descriptions of the classes they offered. It took some doing, but I was able to convince them that Algebra and Calculus are the same wherever you go and I was able to also get credit for speech, and science. No matter what, colleges are exist to make money first, and educate second. That is their motivation and why they are so reluctant to give out credit. The military has a part in this as well. All military training needs to be accredited and, if applicable, licensed. We should not have to pay a college in order to prove what we have already learned from experience.

humingbird31 5pts

@Figanootz  I disagree about colleges existing to make money. I'd say the 'for profit' schools like U of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University and Regis exist to make money.  I'd say State Schools exist to make money, but the private colleges (such as oh, Oberlin and Coe) and Universities (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) do not.  Their endowments and alumni support are such that they don't need to do that.  They tend to give more financial aid.  They are more concerned with keeping your good will so that as alumni (Alumna, Alumnae, Alumnus) you will give them money.  

I could be wrong here, but my Father went to Harvard.  He gets requests for money all the time.  Harvard is skilled at asking for money.  They keep track of the classes you take, or at least they did when he attended.  When his professors retired, he received a letter stating something to the tune of "Professor X is retiring.  He is setting up a fund.  Would you like to give money in his name?"

I attended Oberlin.  I love that school. I have very fond memories of my time there.  Only seniors were allowed to have cars, but it simply wasn't an issue.  I was too busy to leave campus and if I had wanted to do so, there were shuttles to go to various concerts in Cleveland.If I were in a position to give them money, I would. 

I also attended Kent State University as a graduate student.  I was treated like sh*t by not only the administration but also some of the professors in my department.  When I graduated I left thinking I would never get a letter of recommendation from any of them.  25 years later, I wrote my advisor.  She never wrote back. 

Sorry.  Obviously I have an axe to grind.  I want, however, to make my point: private institutions that are not for profit do not exist to make money and therefore are much kinder to non-traditional students.

Figanootz 5pts

@jumpingbum @Figanootz  "private institutions that are not for profit do not exist" You got that part right. No money no school and nothing is for free. That money comes from somewhere.

humingbird31 5pts

I did say I might be wrong about this.....

charger0922 5pts

Finally! Someone has put this valuation of military life and training into the light. I tried arguing this same topic at the Pearl Harbor Education Center back in 1998. All I got was an ACE military to college credits comparison book. Thank You for fighting the good fight.

FlemingMarkL 5pts

You Brother, are a Scholar, a Gentleman, and a Prophet of Truth....I am so glad to see that I am not the only guy who had this type of experience.

ChuckHolton 5pts

Hey Brother - college is for dopes.  Seriously.  The experience you picked up in the military is worth a college degree in most places you'd actually WANT to work.  I mean it.  You weren't trained to be a worker bee - that's all college is good for.  Besides, you're actually PAYING these window-lickers to try and change the worldview you formed through hard experience, when they actually ought to be teaching you something new.  

BS should not cost money.  Go start a business and prosper.  You don't need the degree.  College is obsolete.

From a former 75th Ranger bat boy, now a millionaire, and still 2 credits short of my degree.

humingbird31 5pts

@ChuckHolton  In this context, I love the quote from Good Will Hunting. :)

Will: See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f*ckin' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!

GrayFox1019 5pts

@jumpingbum @ChuckHolton Haha, how you like them apples! I can honestly say I've gained more in my short time in the military than I ever did during the 5 years of college I went through. I would have to agree that it is obsolete. Hell, having a bachelor's degree now is being talked about as having an if the trend is sliding that way...than what IS the point of going to college other than to network? (which can be done in the military anyway). 

ChrisLakay 5pts

Thanks for helping me add more cliches & rhetorics to my compilation of Mr. Green Bean's or Maverick Murphy's Laws! I applaud your catalyst contributions to turn ones' naive mind to expand into unconventional/out-of-thea-box way of thinking! I wish you lots of Good luck! As the saying goes from our ancestral combat vets, " I will surely go to heaven coz I spent my time in hell!" ;-

ChrisLakay 5pts

I agree w/u Mr. Guru Guffaw, 7) "Noisy rivers are shallow while silent rivers run deep! "; 8) Life is too short to wallow in the mire!

;-) :-) :-D

Blake Miles
Blake Miles 5pts

@ChrisLakay Silent wheels get no grease.

An engine that sounds like its running fine may be moments away from seizing because you forgot to put oil in it. 

Drive in a car with headphones on and you may not hear the train honking at you before it slams into you.

I could come up with more analogies, but I hope you get the point.

Guy Griffaw
Guy Griffaw 5pts

Your ignorance is breathtaking. ACE has nothing to do with what credit an ignorant registrar gives you. You are solely responsible for the completeness of your AARTS (now JAARTS) transcript. ACE recommends credit based on content, scope, and rigor of the military curriculum. Each college or university decides whether it will award credit based on that recommendation. Military schools are periodically reevaluated and credit recommendation is updated to reflect current trends in academia (i.e. a Homeland Security degree didn't exist prior to 9/11). You’re trying to parlay martial skills into an accounting degree? Perhaps a class in critical thinking would be more beneficial. Lastly, as a retired SF 1st Grouper, a professor with a Webster University graduate program, and a participating member of ACE's military evaluation team, you should apologize to ACE as publically as you demonstrated your ignorance, and I question your suitability as communication director for any organization, let alone our GBF aka "The Quiet Professionals."

Blake Miles
Blake Miles 5pts

@Guy Griffaw After being told by numerous colleges that they are not able to award credits out of fear of losing their accreditation, it stood to reason that those involved with the accreditation had something to do with the problems I'm facing.

You lash out at me for pointing out a flaw in the system. Could I have done more research into learning the system? Certainly. Was I quick to lay blame solely on ACE? Based on what you're saying, definitely.

Consider this: why are there so many people who don't understand this system? Why is it so difficult for veterans to get their military training to count towards their credits?

If you've read the responses below, you should take note that I am not alone in this assessment. Something is broken.

You can question my suitability and my ignorance in a public forum as much as you please, but this got your attention for a reason. Perhaps you should write your own article as a service to other veterans such as myself who were either never trained, informed, or simply too ignorant to recognize that the system in place is a front door, but there is a back door that you have to go through to get what you need. 

Apology? Sure. I apologize for laying blame solely on ACE for this problem. But perhaps you should know that 'ignorant registrars' across the country are laying blame at your feet when veterans are asking why they receive little to no credits for their years of training.

Direction of blame aside, the problem remains. I was just a pissed off messenger, and it appears you are just as pissed as me. So what do we do now?

Albert Kittredge
Albert Kittredge 5pts

@Blake Miles @Guy GriffawI agree with Blake on this one Guy. It's probably already out there is some form but might be time for ACE to explain in layman's language how it goes about awarding credit for various military schools and experience.

Keep it civil folks - we are all on the same side.

FlemingMarkL 5pts

@Guy Griffaw  No genius, he is justifying why any one of the general study classes (AKA how they PAD their  bank accounts at our expenses)  should count for most ALL degrees...Not just for his accounting major...Why would you have to take an Art class for Accounting...I am positive they make you take something stupid like that....

I say this as someone with Not only 3 Associates...but Also a Triple Major Bachelors and a Masters from a Prestigious English University.  I graduated as on the Deans list every single semester...and as a member of the National Honor Society.

The most valuable education I received was BY far from the School of Hard Knocks....

I learned ONE thing from College....Vocabulary....everything else was basically worthless.

The system is completely and totally fucked.   Everyone loves a veteran as long as they either 

A) Want a Day off

B) Want a parade to wave a flag at or

C)  Want someone they don't like...Dead.


FlemingMarkL 5pts

@jumpingbum @FlemingMarkL  

Absolutely, Cornwall was gorgeous...Going to the 'Hoe' In plymouth was awesome as well.  We were there when the Americas cup was there a few years ago.

humingbird31 5pts

 @FlemingMarkL I'd rather not write a long message here that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I lived in England for awhile and I love Cornwall. I want to leave you a message on Facebook.  Is that okay?

ChrisLakay 5pts

6) No good deed ever goes unpunished! All deeds whether good or bad always get punished in the end by any form! That's the time when we croak!

ChrisLakay 5pts

..."Murphy's Laws" 1) Don't forget anything including nothing!

2) The more you desire, the more you suffer!

3) Never push your luck!

4) Never carry extra useless baggages!

5) Spend what you earned & never leave anything for the dinks!

ChrisLakay 5pts

My new supplemental/voluntary "Murphy' Laws" 1

JGonell 5pts

(Hit the return button before finishing, had knee surgery yesterday, so on meds,  so deal with it)

Okay, since my post, I've gotten tons loads of messages, with kinda a few themes: Entitlement, Crying about not getting what he deserves, etc.

First of all, he's not saying he's entitled like those around the country that are receiving an Obama phone, those that are getting pain big bucks to shit on their butt when they shouldn't be (not talking about those that are getting canned at work), he is entitled as  A VETERAN with certain rights per the contract we signed, maybe it was a bonus, maybe it was the college money, maybe first duty station, but we were all entitled to use the GI Bill be it the new one or the previous one, but he does have that right to it. 

Second, he's complaining about getting screwed over by a school because he has all this experience and that the school doesn't want to give him credit for. Valid Point, why, because Uncle Sam and ACE dropped the ball, when we ETS, ACE is supposed evaluated our records and grant us credit for what we have done. from the looks of it ACE did a terrible job on this. 

Last item, it's appalling to see other veterans attacking another veteran (hope not, hope it's someone that should have stayed in their lanes) when he is speaking out on our educational benefits and how it's fked  up. I don't know him or any of you, but due to Airborne Wings pinned on his chest, him being a grunt at one time, and I got his back, (yeah even though he's wearing a Green Weenie on his head now)

Creative criticism is one thing but flat out attacking him is a BLue Falcon move. How about pointing him to the right direction, we need to help one another, because only we understand what we've have gone thru, some lowly civilian that has never manned the walls or putting his life on the line for their brothers to the left or right of them. 

So Blake, continue pressing the system to make it right, as this will later helps those that follow your foot steps. 


JGonell, USA  (90-97)

Bco 5/87th Inf, Bco 1/325 AIR, 1/101st Aviation (Attack)

JoanRoberson 5pts

@JGonell - JGonell - nice job on your posting post opp, I am two... both ankles, and yeah from jumping a few rough ones... but, the Army taught me how to deal with it, and like you I like to see post of your kind.... we all need to stick together.... sure let a ranter is time to back up and get with the program...but damn.... if we have info that can help.... we would do that in the military...."leave no soldier behing" yet we get out here and get or crappy??? WTF - we are the ones who can understand and therefor help.  Reminds me of the end of Nam... the VA and the GI bill were getting easier to use...they put trained people... really trained people at the colleges and universities...and if one didn't have one they found one...even if you had to drive for 30 minutes....and let me remind you...these were VETS and volunteers... some got paid nothing..others very little...they did it because the believed in leaving no soldier behind... they knew how to rewrite the MOS and relate to the course materials...they had the patience to work with the administration that a new VET has yet to learn.... so, by now we should be much further ahead right? p- wrong... just like Nam...they down sized and cut programs...and with that went many good people who didn't even have a desk, in fact they really weren' wanted around....What do we have now, a ton more Vets, a down size, and no real trained vet assitants...or coordinators..... but happens every go around.... but there are web sites that have been listed and available.... start looking before you get out.... make sure you take advantage of computer training and NO I don't mean video games... lol - talk to career advisors they have books to use for comparing your mos and what it means towards classes....

Don't get angry....don't give up... rant on here all you want...that is what this is for... some of us do understand and we have your back, like JGonell - ask questions.... ck out schools - decided if your want a vocational school or classic studies university... and if unsure... start with a jr college, but make sure all gen credits transfer..... and Those of you who are from TX and joined from TX - you also have the Hazelwood act...which is great for when your GI bill  runs out or you just want to take more classes..... oh I am sorry I go on and on.... but  hate to know there are folks out here getting the same crap I got.... and don't know which way to turn.... this is a great place to start.... Respects to all who have our backs.

Blake Miles
Blake Miles 5pts

@JGonell Appreciate the support. You were definitely picking up what I hoped to put down, even if my 'tone' was far from refined.

Keep up the good fight, brother!

MarioNieto 5pts

@JGonell  ACE does not grant anything. ACE recommends credit for military training that is similar in scope to a civilian college course. ACE provides recommendations to schools on whether or not a military course warrants credit.

JGonell 5pts

OKay, since my posts, I've gotten tons loads of messages, with kinda a few themes: Entitlement, Crying about not getting what he deserves, etc.

First of all he's saying he's entitled like those around the country that are receiving an Obama phone, those that are getting pain big bucks to shit on their butt when they shouldn't be (not talking about those that are getting canned at work), he is entitled as  

ChrisLakay 5pts

It seems that anyone who achieved an AA/AS; BA/BS; MA/MS; PhD in any major field of concentration/study are experiencing sour-grapes/sweet-lemons. It's indeed ironical that those who maximized their educational attainment are beaten by successful college drop-outs like Billionaires Bill Gates & Mark Zuckerberg. Those who were left behind by wealthy pyramid stakeholders became highly educated derelicts! How ironic is life indeed?!

bigpappa160 5pts

Good article, what you described is the exact reasons I didn't go back to college after I retired.

riedog 5pts

I have played both sides of the fence Army / UMUC- Europe. To me most of the issue is the Army they do not work as hard as they should to have courses evaluated to translate them into college credit. And god forbid you go into a new MOS you could dam near retire before they get that evaluated. Some branches are better than others... surprise surprise the Air Force seems to be better at this. Next two issues are the schools unwillingness to work to better evaluate nontraditional education .. now this is not just mil, if you have a Net Secure+ cert you cannot turn that in to college credits, but if you talk to UMUC about a degree they will offer you classes to prep you for the cert. But as previously noted it’s about the money here. Neither the school nor the Cert issuers (the entities in the position of dominance in the IT field) want to work together. Last is some schools have crap evaluation departments, you see working on a degree audit is somewhat magic, some creds only fit in one place some could be used in several, then there is the making the plan fit the student. It takes almost a year for an evaluation person to get good at their job, and probably another 3 or so to be great. Not only for the person to understand the curriculum, and eval incoming transcripts, but to make it work with the current schedule/student. Lastly having a great eval team is in direct opposition to making money. The more you lose for reason x-y-z is the more you have to take.  oh how the circles intertwine.

melanietesh 5pts


I agree with you 100%. I too am in your situation, I have thought of this many times. A solution to the problem, start a petition. Fortunately the college I am attending now does take military transcripts into account. However, they only count as electives and many will not transfer to a University. I will be researching into this matter and once I have all the facts straight I will be starting a petition. There are many Veterans that feel the same way you do, including myself. Thank you for your inspiration!

BravoSierra1 5pts

Most college degrees are usually 11x14 actually.... so basically you pay for them to print it on 11x17 paper and cut 3 inches off....

JoanRoberson 5pts

@Jeffrey A Williams Jeffrey, I don't disagree with you at all.... there is much that needs to be changed.... I just went thru my volunteer work helping some grads get ready for job search-they sent me their resume's OMG.... I was in shock, not only could they not write, they could not state their mission or their training... and when it came to spelling out their military training - they just stated Military MOS - and how many years.... The punctuation was non existent and they did not have any concept of paragraphs..... you are probably wondering what colleges or paper mills .... nope.... universities... UT, UofA - Baylor and T A&M - I called a few of the professors...

they said - they don't really worry about that stuff anymore.... it they pass their tests... they pass..

Well that is indeed getting a piece of paper to join the is where this country has headed for the last 20 years.... and we the People have let it happen... I don't mean you in particular...

but it is clearly what is happening.... and it needs to be stopped.... there are plenty of groups who are trying to get the "communistic" professors and teachers out of schools... we need to take back our public schools and get back to real studies.... not just move the sheelp along and cater to the few outstanding students whose parents are probably on the board, teachers or volunteers..... again... this is just another battle we are all needing to take a hold of.... voting and keeping up on the way things are being done... hell I just had a major battle with local schools who wanted to have school on memorial Day..??? I had gone arond and found this to be true of many public schools and the local collages...  I went to my DAV and American Legion, I went to the vet homes and VA hosp.... we got so many names on petitions that well - the schools were closed that day in honor of all our Veterans.. but we also had a week of Vets visiting and speaking with the students.... - yeah we overwhelmed them... this as an easy battle this time...

I got lucky... lots of VETS in TX... but this is what has to be done.... make the schools do things our way.... teach the subjects with facts, not their believes.... and have teachers who are qualified to teach the subjects they are teaching... I mean how can you have a coach teach math if he is not trained...? if asked a question, his reply is ... read you book??? really? this is how we teach algebra in High School.... now wonder when they try to get in to college they have to repeat so many subjects..... oh  wow... didn't mean to go on....but,  get your piece of paper - but use it to make a difference... Respects.

humingbird31 5pts

Yup. I've heard kids tell me about the lack of need for proper spelling, grammar, etc. I never let that crap slide when I was teaching and oh WOW did they complain. Like I said earlier the BA of today is like the HS diploma when we were growing up. It's a joke.

OnTheHook 5pts

@Jeffrey A Williams  Agreed.  The catch is that many actually believe that a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving is a better qualification than experience.  In my case, I have around 20 years of experience in my field, though not from military service, so I do draw a very big distinction from the outrageous situation described in the article.  I suppose some feel I'm not clueless in my field, as I've been invited to guest lecture at a few universities.  However, when I approached an admissions office about studying in a masters program similar the ones I guest lecture at elsewhere, I was told that my experience - recognized by academia - does not make me qualified to take a masters program.  If I had a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving and zero experience, I'd be qualified to study the masters program I was enquiring about.

It's just about product positioning and branding.  The fact that they actually believe there is something more to it is just naiveté.  But if they were simply honest about it being a purely business decision, I would have absolutely no dispute with them.  As a business decision, I'd do the same.  If you restrict access, you increase the perceived value and can therefore charge more for the product.

Yes, education is important.  No, education does not mean a specific 11x17 piece of paper.  I'm very encouraged by the online courses through the likes of Coursera where you simply receive a certificate of completion for a given topic.  I hope that is going to be a significant enough disruptive force to bring about change within both academia and the workforce.

JoanRoberson 5pts

@jumpingbum @JoanRoberson Hi Jump, and lmao... old habit

had a Full bird who liked all his legal briefings and memos done that way, did not care fore paragraphs... said this game him his breaking/breath point and did not need to take up space with new paragraphs... - I hope it is not annoying... to be honest I did even realized I still do it.  If distracting or annoying let me know, maybe I can one has ever mentioned to me before.... Respects.

humingbird31 5pts

It's not annoying. It's just that the full Bird was grammatically (punctuation ally?) wrong to do so. Ellipses are like dashes. They should only be used sparingly, according to an old English teacher of mine. I wanted to be sure you didn't do that in your formal writing because you're smart, articulate, intelligent, wonderful... :)

JoanRoberson 5pts

@jumpingbum And you are awesome I just never worried about it, and it became a habit carried over on forums like this. I just looked it up and found what you said about the time your msg popped up.  Geez, this will be a hard one to break, but, keep an eye on me, see if I can get it done in a week. I had to correct this one twice, lol.  thanksw Jump, always good to keep correcting and keep keeping on. And thanks for the kind words. seems we are both wanting to help and that is awesome. it is a good job we try to do.


JoanRoberson 5pts

@jumpingbum and you are wonderful, I posted and seems I lost it.... hmmm recovery mode,  I see what you mean and read up on it,  but my hubby the Professor said it is fine for forums - and getting away from Miss Thistlebottom's hobgoblins , it is in fact ok in many situations -  can be used as a substitute for soft semicolons, which is about what the Bird was doing... but, I am glad you pointed it out...cause I was not aware of just how much I do use it. Hopefully I can reduce it greatly - keep an eye on me, lol Thanks for the kind words and pointing this out - we all have stuff to learn and keeping an open mind is what we all need to do.  Glad you are willing to take YOUR time trying to help.  I enjoy you posts.   respects!

JoanRoberson 5pts

@jumpingbum Yes, and I do appreciate bring it to my attention, I was reviewing some formal writing and found - that somehow it has not spewed over YET! But also found that almost everything else is just loaded with them nasty little dots. So I am make every effort not correct it NOW.  Again Many thanks... for bring it to my attention, and yes I see I slipped here already but will leave to show improvement LOL, I can't tell you how many back spacing's I have done in just this little reply.  Wow bad habits are hard to break.  Do keep an eye on it, I fear I will slip otherwise.

Maybe I should turn to more formal writing and get some control, but I love my rants and blogs. lol  Thanks again

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