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: www.JST.DODED.mil. 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)

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Comments

  1. Axman15 says

    You could not be more on point, and I could not agree more with the rage that you felt in the office listening to how “They” decide to define our experiences. The whole experience is rich with contempt or worse yet….indifference. College seems more and more a money making scheme than an educational institution, unfortunately it seems a scheme I will have to keep contribute to until I finish my own degree. I pray that soon changes will be made to make this farce of a system much more relevant in the future.

  2. NousDefions says

    Blake, same thing here. Joined the army as a 31U (now 25U) which was a Signal Support Systems Specialist, basically a radio guy, and two years later went through the Q-course as an 18E. Got out in summer 2007, started college in spring 2008. My blood boiled when UNLV would only give me 3 credit hours from my AARTS military transfer credit for ‘Physical Fitness.’ No language, international, or multicultural credit waivers. Decided to start at the local community college instead.

  3. bink1999 says

    “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.” The same could be
    said in the reverse. Your military service is admirable but we train business
    managers in business school not the Q course.
    If you enter college
    with the attitude that you have nothing to learn from the classroom then I
    would imagine that all you will receive is a certificate of completion a.k.a. a
    degree and not really an education from that experience.
    Your dissatisfaction and frustration seems to be more about
    the fact that you did not get what you wanted out of the military. There are
    many jobs we do in life and things we endure and experience that do not count
    towards college credit. In the same way you earned any of the distinctions you
    received during your military career you are required to meet
    the standards and qualifications for earning a degree from whatever
    field you choose to study.
    “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.” I am not sure who
    is giving you this advice but I can tell you as a veteran, college graduate and
    employer this statement is simply not true. College is not simply a “proving
    ground” for the dedicated and employers need people who are more than just
    that.
    In the job market, dedication and determination are expected
    traits, so no extra points for that. You get paid for what you can do not for
    what you have done. A college degree is what is required in order to compete
    for a job. It is a measure of your competence to perform on an academic level
    and why you earn a GPA. But it is simply a tool used to set a standard by
    employers to say this is the minimum requirement. Unless you are in a
    specialized field, the degree simply lets an employer know you have achieved an
    academic distinction. Unfortunately your military service does not meet that
    same requirement in a measureable way that employers can understand.
    Your rant is a good one and a very common one among
    veterans. We all feel like we are not appreciated enough for what we have done
    because the general civilian population has no idea what we do. But we really
    cannot expect them to as there is no way to really quantify a military
    experience.
    Accept the college education experience for what it is and
    learn what you can from it. Make sure you are in a quality degree program and
    not some paper mill. Not all colleges are equal therefore not all degree
    programs are equal. Many people graduate college with the expectation that the
    world will be beating down their door with job offers for high paying positions
    upon graduation. This is not and likely will not be the case. There are
    thousands of people with college degrees working all kinds of jobs that don’t
    even pay enough to afford their student loan payments.
    I understand your frustration. I was in the same position
    with ten years of military service including special operations and all I got
    was a few Military Science credits and met the Physical Education requirement.
    You just have to do the work, get the grades, and then get the job you want
    which is the ultimate goal. They are simply not going to give you credit for
    what they do not understand. You are playing their game now so it’s their
    rules.

  4. KellyEnglish says

    Blake,
    You’re not looking at this from the proper perspective.  Colleges want to keep you enrolled as long as possible.  You hit it on the head that their motivation is MONEY.  If your training in the military actually translated to more than 30 credits, think how many years of tuition, books, boarding etc, you’d be cheating the college out of.  I went through all of this when I ETS’d in ’93.  Good luck, brother and just understand what their true motivation is.
    KE, USN

  5. says

    Thank you for this Blake.  I will get this out as your service is a value that is not possible to fully quantify.  If all those who say they honor and want to help what is done by “Our Team” let them step up like you did.

  6. ginger30 says

    I too, got zero credit for my military experience. To be fair it’s all medical related credits but I am currently enrolled in a “contemporary health” course which is literally your basic health and fitness brief. I am fed up with taking gen eds that I know are a waste of my time.

  7. JoanRoberson says

    Damn I am so very sorry you guys got so messed over…. My husband somehow had the heads up on all this – and actually requested his college catalogues ahead of time since there had been time in the university then Military and now back applying and see how many credits he would get…at first he hit the wall too… then he met the vets assistant…. an older guy, special forces/ranger…. great guy… who hated the run around…. he reviewed everything and told my husband how to approach it and arbitrate if necessary…
    YUP they were going to discount his credits down to about 12…. so he made an appointment with the vet assistant and head of several courses…  it came down to they could not speak  about the requirements of the class as my husband could explain how the mos’s  met those requirements….. he got those…then it came to language… he had a year of french… and then challenged them on German… since he spent so much time in Germany and of course took the military requirements for language and culture…. he challenged them to let him test out of German 1 – and take 2 & 3 at the same time… un heard of…but military people are not respect enough for what they are taught and what they learn and what they learn they learn far better than what one learns in todays university’s…. Well he tested out of ! got a 99, he missed a punctuation…. ok…. then 6 month later… he aced both 2 & 3 with 100 on each…yes a different teacher, older and respectful of what young ppl learn in the military…and always engage my husband in history of Germany a this helped but bottom line he knew the language….and this guy was impressed and told the vet assistant that more needed to be done for the vets… yeah…

    Well he got the most out of the way with his ability to deal with all the hoops and having his college catalogues to  challenge on other subjects…cause the names changed or some such… if you read the outline of the subject… it all comes down to it is the same subject and thy learned he knew more about it then they did as they could not argue against  him and they “granted” him said credits.

    So, while I was not so lucky… one… I get too angry and I had to be very careful not to go postal – I had a paralegal degree before I went into the Army – then spent two more years in Army JAG schools to be offered 9 credits…. I  had to walk out….. the vet asst I had was worthles told me I should be thankful, yes I almost choked her out…. my husbands vet asst…. came to my rescue…and got them to see the credits were there…. I got almost 21/2 years out of the way….

    What I am telling you is this…. Yes it is about money…. they will frck you over if they can…and they place untrained ppl in these positions… they have no military training now… or hardly…. they don’t do more than teach them the forms required to sign up for benefits and put your degree plan together so you get you dues and the school gets theirs… but any mistakes it falls back on you….

    Since then I had two daughters go thru the same… at the same college in TX… the first should have gotten about 28 credits…. but their program just would not work with her…. they could not translate the skills from the Army to their courses…. of frustrating…

    the Second daughter walked in – whole new vet asst… who knew what she was doing…she had some real training… my daughter got almost 2 years of credits toward her BA…and it was a cake walk…

    So… all of you… be prepared to fight…but you have to fight nice out here…. be prepared… start getting your prior school credits ahead of time…. get your military training / Mos’s in writing and start comparing to course you may be required to take…. then find a school that has a real Vet asst…and love them….

    My Husband continue after graduation for a few years to replay his vet asst who need some help… more vet were coming back then he could handle so they worked together for a long time…. playing it forward…it is  a hard road to walk…. and we all thought the Army was hard… hell it was… but at the end of the day – you knew what you had done – had done it… and you knew what you would do in the morning, and basically the  military is self rewarding…. going back to college is hell… dealing with civilians is torture…. even the ones who might care….  so prepare yourselves… it is hard, but worth it in the end….just much longer than basic… Good luck

  8. phdkrmlinonthecharles says

    It’s obvious that the higher education community feels that veterans must be re-educated.  After all, D. Feinstein says we’re all huts!  When I first went to college after getting off active duty I was treated like a pariah, but that was 1970 when all veterans were considered “baby killers.”  I had hope that things had improved.  I guess not.

  9. GeneStiglitz says

    The universities exist to sell credits. If they accept your credits, there is no money to be made.

  10. SeanWilliams3 says

    Norwich University had a degree program for those that fall under the SOCOM umbrella, Google “Norwich SSDA”.

  11. jumpingbum says

    ACE has nothing to do with this.  

    Unfortunately, this happens a lot. It’s not just your school or SOF guys. Why do schools do this? (and they’ve been doing this for DECADES, yes, they were doing this in the 1980’s when I was at Kent State.) One word: money. It SHOULD be illegal. I’m glad that the Joint Service Transcript website is available here: JST DOD MIL is available to you.  My next two suggestions may not be necessary as a result.

    My first suggestion? University of Maryland (from what I’ve heard) gives MASSIVE amounts of credit for time in the military. Probably even up to the point of an AA degree. My second suggestion: move to Pennsylvania. Last time I checked veterans get free tuition there. I’m not sure if there are other states that do that, but, hey, you might as well google those two issues.
    And finally? You have not just my sympathy, but my empathy. On the bright side? You have given a heads up to veterans who haven’t yet started this process. If it helps at all, private schools do this FAR less than state schools. AND private schools give more financial aid.
    Hugs,
    Tania

  12. says

    jumpingbum Hmm.. I’m starting to think that the ACE assumption is wrong… My assumption was based on two schools telling me they needed to keep their accreditation so they have to follow their guidelines.
    I would love to know though. Thanks for the kind words!

  13. jumpingbum says

    JoanRoberson  Not just like: LOVE. You’re amazing!!!! :) You guys should write a BOOK. Seriously.  You will make buck$, but more importantly you will be responsible for saving lives! :)

    Hugs.

  14. Grumpy Sergeant says

    I mostly agree that the credit system for military experience needs a lot of improvement. However, I have a couple of disagreements: 1) I have no doubt that you deserve more credits for physical fitness; however, those credits are not relevant for the type of degree you are seeking. 2) some language training is transferable (like DLI) but yours may not be. If you can demonstrate a rudimentary level of reading, writing and speaking in the target language, they should give you credit. That can be done by taking a standardized exam. (And yes, darnit, military personnel shouldn’t have to pay money for it.)

    That said, I have had some success getting credit for military experience relevant to my degree by requesting interviews or submitting work to the professor in that subject. In the case of business communication arrange an interview with the proffie or submit a portfolio that shows you know the topic. Schools these days need to be more willing to accept “experiential learning,” but we have to be prepared to demonstrate we earned it.  Best of luck to you.

  15. jumpingbum says

    Blake Miles jumpingbum  My nickname comes from the fact that I married a 10th Group guy. :)  I am in school to become an Occupational Therapist because I want to work with ex- and retired Group guys to help them make the transition to the civilian world.  In short? I have a soft spot in my heart for Group guys: Your piece is part and parcel of work I want to do.

    I loved Joan Roberson’s comment.  I really do think she and her husband should write a book or at least a pamflet.  You should collaborate with them. SERIOUSLY. 

    I grew up in a college town because my Father was a professor at a private college there. :)  I got my BA at a small private college. It was a big shock when I went for my MA at Kent State – I heard your story in various forms again and again and again.  It really p*ssed me off.

    Accreditation for schools that have transferable credits comes from regional agencies.  Diploma mills like the University of Phoenix use National accreditation and it is generally not transferable.

    I’m impressed by all that you’re doing.  I wish my ex-husband had been able to make the transition as well as you have.  I know way too many retired guys who have imploded upon retirement…

  16. mclut says

    Similar thing happened to me. School requires everyone to take these 2 special courses focused on group work and real world based projects… Emphasize team work, and “real world scenarios”. They can waive it for certain students…Assuming you posses this. Apparently a tour in Iraq in the back of a CASEVAC Ch-46 with a total of 6 guys as team doesn’t count as real or teamwork… 

    Huh go figure.

  17. JGonell says

    I got more than 3 credits as a lonely Airborne Infantryman/Apache crew chief, of course none of that applied to my degree.. BTW, some schools are in it for the money, classes that have nothing to do with your degree as a requirement. it comes down to how much $$$ they can get out of you in the name of a Degree. ACE needs to get their stuff together..

  18. A7Dave says

    JackMurphyRGR  Jack, what do you expect from the Ivies? ;-)  Did Columbia make you take a Human Sexuality course or some other ridiculous thing? 

    I would imagine state colleges and universities would give vets a better deal on credits, and the “for profit” ones like Phoenix U. would give zero credit hours for military service knowledge.  So many colleges just do not take the “adult” (i.e., vet) needs into consideration.  If a veteran wants to get a B.A., there should be a “fast track” degree which dispenses with the b.s. requirements like “distributive electives”.  

    When I was a ROTC midshipman, I was told in my last semester that unless I pulled 3 credits out of thin air, I wouldn’t graduate on time.  All because I lacked a baloney class that had nothing to do with my major.  I had plenty of extra credits from my ROTC courses, but none in one of the other “colleges”.  Had I taken “Human Sexuality”, “Bee Keeping”, or “Enology” (Wine Tasting 101), I would have been fine.  As it was, I crammed into a half semester Forestry class and wrote an “individual research” 2 credit paper on the Brazilian economy.

    My point being, who the hell needs it?  Particularly as a post-high school adult with real world experience, public and private universities should make available to veterans a fast track degree, minus the time and money wasting baloney requirements.

  19. BravoSierra1 says

    As one of the many veterans who said screw college because the liberal bias, as well as not being able to get any classes I needed to take, and not being able to stand walking around the campus and seeing liberal douche bags clamoring how every serviceman/woman who dies deserved it for being a bunch of baby killers (this last one I almost got arrested for when I knocked one of them out…) I couldn’t take it….. I was so fed up I had to get away from it all.
    Colleges are all about money anymore…. Look how many schools use their own text books written by dept heads at that school. They shuffle the chapters, add a new one and release a new revision at least every other year. They make a big chunk on all that. Look at college professor compensation rates. Colleges and ACE in general have been hijacked by a bunch of liberal shit heads……
    My favorite, I can link a computer to a CB with $20 of radioshack parts and get into a military comm channel, perform life saving emergency trauma surgical procedures, I can make field expedient explosives out of common household chemicals…. all training received in the military….. none of it transferable for for a Nurse Practitioner or physician assistance degree program, even though I have already gone through almost all the same training….. Oh well, I use my skills at running my own business, doing what I love the most…. building and designing firearms and suppressors.

  20. ginger30 says

    It’s as I was told so we can be well rounded students. Which is garbage, why am I taking a Philosophy course about contemporary moral issues, when I’m an engineering major? Oh right, so I can be more marketable on my resume.

  21. says

    jumpingbum Believe me! My transition has not been smooth. You’re seeing me ~6 years down the line. Lots of ugly, dark, potholes behind me. Thanks again for the kind words. Best of luck to you and your husband!

  22. says

    mclut I think it’s the disregard for the training necessary to operate in a specific military capacity that is the most bothersome. You give a great example of that.

  23. JimByrd says

    Blake, I am very fortunate to work for an employer with a huge Vet culture and I found myself in a position that required a degree. My hiring manager being s former Infantry Officer new exactly where I had been when he read my resume. I have to say, it is so much more comforting to realize the person interviewing speaks the language. My saving grace was that I had gone through the requirements for the Univ. of MD MBA curriculum and was able to relate it back to what I had trained on and experienced.  I am however back in school to finish said degree. His parting advice when hired…….”don’t bunch up”, 4 years later, I get it.

  24. says

    JimByrd Good stuff.. glad to hear that worked well for ya. Best thing I’ve learned is the importance of networking. Invaluable skill that is tough to build quickly after getting out, even tougher to have a good network established upon getting out.

  25. ChrisLakay says

    Hey buddy! We all need to suck it up on any type of endeavor whether getting a degree or a job to work on. It takes a great deal of psyopsing our own psyche! We all need to be flexible & adapt to changing environments! Good luck to achieving a college degree & a civilian job! And its always gonna be about the money involved for any marketable skills we acquire! We must be thankful for we are blessed to be breathing & enjoying the rest of our short lives! Huuaah!

  26. TastyBeverage says

    The sense of entitlement is unreal in your post. Not feeling like we’re owed the fucking world is supposed to be a strong point for people in the special operations community; we’re supposed to make do with the cards we’re dealt and drive the fuck on. When life serves us the proverbial shit sandwich, we turn that fucker into a Big Mac.

    It doesn’t matter what you’ve done on deployments or how many you’ve been on, how many honor grad awards you’ve received, or how many sick schools you scored in your time in the service. All completely irrelevant, because the civilian world runs at a different pace and operates with different priorities. But the thing is that you’re playing the civilian game, so you play by its rules. You run at its pace. You do things how they tell you. Your reward for wading through the swamp of college: a piece of paper that says you’re certified with some professional field that opens up different career fields. That’s what you want, right? Nobody’s forcing you to do it if it isn’t.

    Did anybody give a shit if you ‘knew how to shoot’ or ‘knew how to read maps and walk trails’ before you came into the military? Fuck no. Same with college. You’re not special to them. You might have experience in things related to the coursework you have to go through, but the institution of higher education casts things under a different light and wants you to do it from their perspective. Their hidden agenda or underlying motives aside, just deal with it. Finish the prescribed curriculum, learn whatever you can, get your shit and go do great things. The system is flawed, but you have all sorts of benefits (if you’re on chapter 33, your shit’s completely free for god’s sake) that allow you to get through it without the looming stresses that kill other college kids. College is notorious for completely crippling kids before they even start a career or profession. Strictly looking at the architecture of the college process and its consequences, all you have to do is put in the time and you come out in world’s better shape than the rest of them. Consider the peace of mind of no debt (again, if you’re on chapter 33) and the freedom of NOT having to work two jobs while being a full-time student another major benefit offered to you for joining the military.
    Donning that green beret is supposed to signify that you were specially selected out of the pool of regular soldiers. You were supposed to be cut from a different cloth than the conventional infantry dude that is content with the mediocrity of the regular army… you weren’t just a soldier, but a professional soldier. So stop acting like the crybaby bitch PFC that complains how he got fucked for a weekend chute shakeout detail. 
    Man the fuck up, sit in classes for less than a year, and be done with it. You’re right fucking there.

  27. ChrisLakay says

    Stop being a snivelling old fart bird shit brain! Is that all you can comment? I love protecting babies & raise them to cap would- be “friendly firers” or “buddy fuckasses” like u, thereal_brendan!

  28. jumpingbum says

    Dear Chris,
    I’m confused here. To whom are you replying? For whatever reason, I can only see your comment. By the way: My Father and 4 of my cousins went to Harvard in dome form or another. My Older Brother attended Dartmouth. In short? I’m impressed.

  29. jumpingbum says

    Dear Chris,
    I’m confused here. To whom are you replying? For whatever reason, I can only see your comment. By the way: My Father and 4 of my cousins went to Harvard in one form or another. My Older Brother attended Dartmouth. My other cousin attended Princeton. In short? I’m confused: Why is Harvard listed in your education?
    Me? I’m the family runt. I attended Oberlin and majored in Chemistry. That’s a long story, but the reason I listed all the Ivy Leaguers is that I understand the result of hard work and ambition. :).
    You’re at NASA Ames. That’s pretty cool, esp. Coming from the Philippines. You’re the 2nd Philippino I’ve met who works at NASA. What do they put in the water there? :)

  30. jumpingbum says

    Dear Chris,
    . In short? I’m confused: Why is Harvard listed in your education?
    Me? I’m the family runt. I attended Oberlin and majored in Chemistry. That’s a long story, but the reason I listed all the Ivy Leaguers is that I understand the result of hard work and ambition. :).
    You’re at NASA Ames. That’s pretty cool, esp. Coming from the Philippines. You’re the 2nd Philippino I’ve met who works at NASA. What do they put in the water there? :)

  31. jumpingbum says

    Ex-husband. He’s the reason for my interest. He imploded and left… If the VA had done its job… That’s a whole other story…

  32. ChrisLakay says

    If you jumpingbaum is also an alumnus of Harvard, then I assume that you ‘ve got a broad spectrum of comprehension then no further questions from doubting Thomas is asked. Filipino is the correct identifier of a resident in the Philippine Islands. I guess there’s some volcanic minerals in the water, some fluorine & amoeba too that causes black water diarrhea if your innards are weak. I was replying to that low-life joker thereal or thefake_brendan if you missed reading my specs. Have a Happy Admin. Pro. (not whores) but Professionals Day celebration! Treat your workers well & you’ll always have very loyal followers!

  33. reddog11_1 says

    Blake,   
      I had the same problem when I left 1-10 and decided to go back to school for my paper.  I did all the jumping through hoops to get those credits.  We have the equivalent of a masters in our language when you add up the hours taken and then applied through life experiences.  To help change in my school I helped start a veterans advocacy group who appealed to the school for change.  I had to take a PE course because basic or my PFTs didn’t count as a PE.  I get the rant and discuss with the process but we as true leaders need to make the waves for those of our cloth who were not SF and only made it to pfc but still had life experiences that should count for credit.  It is a lot of red tape and needs to change but can only change if we keep our cool and be strategic about the change.   
    DOL RLW

  34. says

    TastyBeverage I’m confused. If you look at some comments on this article, you should quickly notice that I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand why there is such a discrepancy between training in the military and what is considered a college credit.
    I *am* turning the shit sandwich into something better. Not only that, I’m pointing out the maker of the shit sandwich that it could be done better. If you were SOF, then you should also know that we are supposed to be advisers, which is the SF strong suit. Which is what I’m doing. Advising. Pointing out a fucked up situation and advising that it should be reviewed and revised. I’m not asking for a handout. I know I’m almost done. Does it mean I should remain silent? Your attitude is the likely culprit that it remains fucked up. 

    The crybaby bitch PFC was something I never was. I was selected as a PFC because I behaved as an NCO. I aware of situations and seeking for solutions all throughout my career, as I am now.
    What other things do you tell former SOF guys to ‘shut the fuck up’ about? Would you tell a teammate this if they were having issues with something?

  35. tgnighthammer says

    Chapter 33 only pays in state tuition, doesn’t pay everything. And the college I’m attending isn’t a yellow ribbon school so I have to pay out of pocket for the remainder.

  36. says

    TastyBeverage Final side note: I am working two side jobs while I go to school because I want to. I’m not bitching about my lot in life. I’m bitching about a broke ass system and I’m not the only one.

  37. S7_POGUE says

    Blake, I totally agree with all that you have to say and more.  I’m not gonna get involved with the “better than me or know better than me’ crowd commenting as well on your article.  I already have a Bachelors and I still ran into these very issues and got zero resolution no matter who I talked with or evidence I produced to the contrary to my vast experience over 25 years and hold a Bachelors degree.

    The system is fucked, period.  And the system is biased, period.  The employees could for the most part give a shit less, period.  In the end as you have found out the hype about the military-civilian connection in education or training is just that – hype.  The only individuals I’ve seen benefit from this are those who don’t deploy, period.  So, as you have found just like I did, regardless of training or experience we have to sit through countless hours of retraining in classes we could very well teach better ourselves – without the political bias.

    Many of these Azz Clowns need their asses beat plain and simple.  Best way to do that would to put them through the same training you went through and then have re-evaluate the way the fucking eduction system evaluates service people.  The military has done a piss poor job as well ensuring we are treated fairly for what we have earned not in combat but in all the training required of us to make us better Soldier/Statesmen on the Battlefield.

    Anyone who tells you to just deal with it is just an Azz Clown.  But they weren’t there when I was told my military experience (20+ yrs) didn’t mean “jack” in one class.  A class that I had over 25 yrs. direct experience implementing with Fortune 500 companies and the military (while deployed 2x OIF & 1x OEF). They weren’t there when they repeatedly told me to do the process one way and that I was wrong; but then when it came back screwed up and i and to redo it no one apologize and recognize I knew what I was talked about.  Shit head administrators.  

    Remember I was going to school for my own enjoyment not because I need too!  I and was putting up with the same shit.  YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM AND PEOPLE HACKING ON YOU EITHER ARE TALKING OUT THERE AZZ OR GOT OVER IN SOME WAY.

    For YOU AzzHats that want to question my timeline /experience I have been in and out of Active Duty over the years.  I would have over 32 now had I stayed in consecutively.  

    I applaud you for writing this article.  I’d like to shove it in the face of every school Dean!

  38. BravoSierra1 says

    Don’t even get started with the VA failures…. we could go on for years…..
    Colleges are all about money, even state the “public” colleges. In many ways public schools are even worse as they have more junk degrees than say Stanford, Yale, Harvard.
    My mom ran an HR dept when I was kid. Back before they required degrees for it. My father is an engineer,an aerospace engineer with loads of electrical engineering experience. Colleges should be teaching sciences and other realworld value stuff. Hell computer science half the time is joke. I know people who know more about programming and such they make those who work for the big companies look clueless.
    Everybody is trying to cash in on the ‘higher education’ field, and that is one huge reason we have so many on govt assistance. Today you can’t get a decent job without at least some sort of certificate or degree. Look at certified nursing assistant courses…. biggest joke and waste and is nothing but way for people to take money from those who cannot afford it.

  39. S7_POGUE says

    BravoSierra1  VA Failures so similar but far far more serious.  I don’t use the fuckers unless absolute.  I got final MEB TDRL appointment next week at Benning four yrs+ after initial began…

  40. JoanRoberson says

    TastyBeverage -I don’t get why you needed to be so ugly – sure it is a different world – but the system pays the colleges and universities to be prepared and trained to assist the Veteran, and I am sorry you don’t get that… they receive money from the government to help make that transition…. the fact that most of those vet assistants are not trained or dont get it or dont care is a big problem and cause the vet to wind up needing more credits then necessary… Damn any body with half a brain can understand if your training was equal to the course they want you to take- then there should be a way to contest as I outlined….and encourage others to try – but you sound like a very angry boy… maybe you got mad and gave up… Hell I went thru it and still worked two jobs and taking care of two…not one… two dying parents… and by the way, both were veterans too…. We should all be proud or our service….and get what we can for it…. that is not entitlement crying…that is fighting for your rights…. posting/ranting helps relieve some of the stress… but  coming down like you did  is WRONG… so do us all a favor and STFU.
    This is a forum for Military and Vets alike to share and help… so thanks you just helped me get some frustration out of the way.

  41. JoanRoberson says

    Blake Miles TastyBeverage Sorry you had to deal with Tasty there… he sounds like someone who let the system mess him over and now takes it out on everyone else…this forum is to help each other, active or vet… the more me know the better it can be… and we can rant – and get thru it…. you cant tell me he isn’t a crybaby bitch…. he show that himself… keep on  speaking out – it does help others…and he is like the ppl who complain about the way things are but too lazy to do a damn thing about it… Good Luck to ya..

  42. EricSeufert says

    Blake, Good post.  I got out in 07 as a UH-60 pilot with leadership experience commanding blackhawks.  I could see the civilian market wanted to capitalize on the leadership but was reluctant to allow the responsibility that I was used to.  I already had an engineering degree, but was offered the lowest range of $40-80k position as a government test manager engineer.  That’s what they offer college grads.  Even the Army Civilians had no idea what my skills were. You are right.  Civilians have trouble placing our training and experience, but I think you ran into a money thing too.  They do want you to pay to take as many classes as possible.  Universities are businesses and business is good.

  43. JoanRoberson says

    jumpingbum JoanRoberson – Wow Thanks Jump – it all comes from loving my time in the Army and all the wonderful MOS’s I got to enjoy and carry – I am proud but I was shocked to hit the civilian world…. and it did hurt…. but I learned watching my husband handle it with such efficiency and decorum, I have never had that self control, lol – I am the go for the throat type… but we since have worked with many and got them much help… and get the universities to pro9vide better trained personnel… but it is harder to keep good help now…cause… so many hot heads that become abusive…. But I will always do what I can to share the info… and get people ready before they even leave the military…my husband teaches many how to turn their military training into meaning civilian credit…a true talent…for sure…
    We should all be ranting our complaints but ragging on someone for ranting just pisses me off… I think they are the ones who gave up and now more angry….
    As for writing a book… WOW – maybe  a transition guide…? Thanks for the pleasant response – always  encouraging…. keep on jumping….. I do…. respects…

  44. phdkrmlinonthecharles says

    TastyBeverage It has been said the “Profanity is the tool of the ignorant man.”  I think you proved it.

  45. JoanRoberson says

    Thank you to all the positive responses… I know it takes effort and time to return a reply to posts, and seems all the positive people due take that time… maybe it is just best to ignore the crybabies…. counter productive… but then again… a good rant is good too…. Keep posting and seeking answers or giving advise, don’t let any of the fools discourage you… Respects to all.

  46. BravoSierra1 says

    Hell the language training in the military puts you on a level of comprehension of the language and culture that is beyond that of someone with a bachelors degree…. I went through the arabic course, and I can understand, written and spoken, far better than some jackwagon who went and got a degree in arabic studies straight out of HS. There is huge discrepancy between some of the specialized training we have received and it’s value in the civilian world. I love how they told me I needed to take a Phys. ED. course…. yet the amount of PT done in the military exceeds that of ANY phys ed course.
    Blake does not come off with a sense of entitlement, he is just pointing out some facts of huge discrepancies that do exist. It’s a a lot like how most employers don’t value the management experience that being a SFC entails. The problem is civilian sector has no clue what all the training we have done entails. Even the JST short changes our training (1 year advanced trauma medical training beyond paramedic level certification is only 12 credits, 1 year advanced arabic language course 12, and list goes on). This is directly ACE’s fault as they are the very ones who decide these things.

  47. ChrisLakay says

    A team member ranger barakus portrayed by Mr. T said, “I pity the fool!”
    All of us military veterans must analyze all angles of approach, avoid booby traps & be able to quietly reach the objectives in the safest & swiftest ways possible with less delay! No more internal squabbling & we must work as a close-nit team/group when navigating thru a complex jungle system of a schooling system or a new job/career search! Always remember that our mind is always our primary weapon!

  48. RebeccaSummers says

    Blake Miles TastyBeverage

    Blake,

    On behalf  of our fellow veterans AND those in Higher Education, I apologize.  I’m not sure what college/university you attend (based on the photo credits I’m assuming it’s Wake Forest), but many schools offer prior experience life skills credit separate from those that transfer from STAR transcripts or Joint Service transcript. The trick though (of course there’s a hoop) is that you have to specifically request it, AND need to have a faculty member agree to be your advisor on the project.

    What it entails is putting together a portfolio of your experience based on the syllabi of the courses you’d like to credit for.  Never hurts to have your Veteran Service office write a letter of endorsement for the project either.  (Where IS your VS Office in this fight?)  Many schools allow the portfolio to be several consolidated courses if you are seeking credit for more than one– in this case foreign language, marketing and sports/outdoor pursuits.

    I am a former naval officer and wrapping up my masters in Higher Education Administration/Student Development.  I’d be more than happy to personally address any questions you have, as your situation is EXACTLY the reason I have chosen to pursue a career in this field.  I work closely with SVAs around the nation who might be able to also offer additional guidance on ways their veterans have been successful in the life skills credit arena (USF &Colorado-Boulder are AMAZING vet offices!) . Negotiating this system can be a beast. No, you shouldn’t have to go this alone whether you were SOF or Airman Timmy.  Feel free to contact me at .

    Lastly, TastyBeverage. wow, brother. Pretty much not helpful in the least.  Stating that Blake isn’t special to anyone in Higher Education is blatantly false. There are good Administrators and schools out there who are trying to help make veterans successful. Nazareth College of Rochester, Northeastern University, USF, Virginia Tech and so on.  Giving credit where credit is due.

  49. says

    RebeccaSummers Thanks Rebecca… I do have a plan and have had some good conversations on this topic on how to proceed to get out of the classes I mentioned… or at least make a valiant attempt.
    I know there are good schools out there and good people working in them. I think my problem (and the problem that many other veterans have) is: why is it this difficult to begin with? There doesn’t seem to be any standards across the board, even at schools that are state colleges/universities.
    I’m less worried about what I need to do to move forward since I’m nearing completion now. At this point, I think I’ve found a fight worth getting into… and I don’t find many fights worth getting into. 

    I’ll send you an email shortly!

  50. BravoSierra1 says

    One big problem, veteran employment and education is made worse when it allows businesses and colleges to to make money while not actually doing anything positive towards the problem at hand.The only real solution is to award more credits In a much more sane manner and to have it count towards any prerequisites. Another is to mandate priority class placement to veterans for required courses since the GI Bill and other college funds for veterans require you to take classes that count towards your degree. I know I had to stop college because I couldn’t get the classes towards my degree, and was told I would have to take 6 credits every semester to gain priority to be able to get those classes which would take over two years. It was utter BS and is a total shakedown…. hell it would be criminal for private industry to do that, but an ACE accredited school gets away with it. I didn’t qualify for financial aid because GI Bill and ACF but those require those certain classes. Basically they wanted $12k plus the required books for another $1200 it would have cost to do so out of my own pocket. I refused to take student loans as I also didn’t qualify for federal backed loans since it was not towards a degree.
    The student loan issue is also part of the problem, the schools and banks are in bed together on that.

  51. BravoSierra1 says

    Such life skills credit shouldn’t have to be specifically requested, and JST should be accepted in full without fail, not to mention better reflect the training and skills.

  52. BravoSierra1 says

    Hell if SHTF most all college kids and faculty would be begging us for help….
    I just hate the feeling of being essentially extorted to be able to use earned benefits, it is no better than highway robbery. I graduated HS at 16 and did two years of college before enlisting (because my parents income counted against me even though I never received financial support, and state emancipation laws required me to move out). While college benefits was a motivating factor it was not the main reason I joined, I wanted jump out of airplanes and blow shit up… sounded like fun to me at the time, and was infinitely better than ever expected. I was 4 classes shy of my bach. Degree classes that I was extorted to be able to get into. I was working part time post service as a ballistic lab tech for a body armor mfg. Company then after the extortion from several various schools and being laid off decided do my own thing with what was a hobby and get paid for it.

  53. JoanRoberson says

    ChrisLakay – that is exactly the right attitude… you got it right… and everyone must realize the transition is only as hard as you let it be…. the military live was hard…face it…did you ever think you would get through all you went thru…I know i didn’t…but I got determined to get ‘er done and beat them…then we get out regardless of how many years and expect the world to open doors for us…no so… you have to fight again and it is frustrating cause you are out of your element and you don’t have your back up… but you do… reach down… read these posts – ask questions… and know it is just another kind of hard…but you can do it… fight for the credits…challege…. test out of course if you think you can…. challenge the one you feel are not being given the right amount of credit…. get your training broken down… be prepare to argue your point… but know you must maintain your self… you can’t get anywhere if you act a fool…
    This was a great post and great share…

  54. BravoSierra1 says

    The same attitude of “sit patiently and wait it out and deal with it” is also why the VA is still the giant shit soup sandwich it is and has been for decades. The sort of replies that tastybeverage gave is what I constantly hear from older veterans regarding VA stuff….. the whole whining crybaby bs…. or when dealing with an old ‘nam vet who won’t do their job at the VA because ‘we didn’t fight a real war in Iraq or Afghanistan’ and other such shit….

  55. BravoSierra1 says

    No I got the same treatment in 2003, 2006, and 2009 when I tried getting back into school between deployments…. always the same shit. 2009 was the worst of all, because the liberals who run the schools could be much more outgoing about it since their fellow groupthink was running the govt.

  56. TastyBeverage says

    Blake Miles TastyBeverage Alright, I need to apologize up front. That post was entirely an
    impulse action that was 100% uncalled for in the way that I did it. No
    excuses; it was classless for me to attack you like that in a public
    forum.
    That
    said, and all the ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ aside, I still stand by my
    original argument about the feelings of entitlement. Color me shallow,
    and slap whatever label you want on me, but I view fellow SOF vets as
    people who strive to transcend the selfish, entitled and narcissistic
    attitudes and beliefs that flood not just society, but other
    conventional vets too. A pretty elitist and polarizing opinion, sure,
    but something I’m sticking to. After all, professionals have standards.
    So whenever I see or hear of anybody who was/is SOF talk (or in your
    case, write, which is a concentrated and deliberate action that carries
    more weight and responsibility than the tongue in my opinion) about
    getting screwed over or how much they deserve, I see things in blood red
    and sound off.

    I
    get you’re trying to advise. And yes, there sure are flaws in the
    system of higher education in America. I never denied any of these
    statements; I addressed solely your attitude in the delivery of this
    information. As a matter of fact, I’m right where you’re at with about
    140 credits in, and completely ready to be done with institutionalized
    education and move on. The premise of my classless post was: your
    attitude sucks.
    You
    don’t need to try to convince me how qualified you are or whatever it
    was you were trying to say in your side note and last few paragraphs. I
    never called you a name. I called you out for acting a certain way.
    Don’t have to prove shit to me, because serving in Group (even if it was
    1st, har har) is enough for me to e-fistbump you.
    Anyway,
    my bad for packaging that to you in such a hostile way on here. It was
    pathetic, completely uncalled for, and reflects poorly on the collective
    group of former SOF dudes.

  57. nickbauman says

    When I transferred from one accredited university to another I lost an entire year. I went from being a second semester sophomore to a second semester freshman. For no reason. Well, of course we both know the reason: money. Education, because of the money involved, has become purely vocational, so it’s become radically financialized. This not a veterans problem. It’s an American problem. You have no reason to feel singled out, ok?

    I really do thank you for your service, but why should get a different set of rules? You made an agreement that for doing something for the government, you would get help with school and get paid to do that service, that’s it. Nobody twisted your arm. You made a deal. For that deal you got more than people who don’t make that deal (school money, the experience of military skills of a special forces soldier, maybe some VA and other benefits, and a paycheck). I think you should feel damn lucky. I know I would.
    That said your situation still sucks! You deserve to get those credits just like I deserved to get them! But I didn’t get them. I had to knuckle under. And I was rightfully angry, like you.
    The solution? As someone who claims credit without attendance, you and I should be able to take the exact same final exam that an attendee has to take to get credit for that class and NOT HAVE TO PAY A DIME for it. That’s only fair. If they’re going to financialize education, we should be able to pay for it in the currency of education. THAT was the deal we made: we give you money, you give us learning. If we have the learning, then we don’t need to give you the money. Otherwise, what are they selling? Fraud?

  58. JoanRoberson says

    BravoSierra1 hey- that is grouping way too many vets in your soap opera there…. I am a Nam and Desert Storm Vet… and I hear what your saying… but I hear that in every group… and vets who go civilian do get an attitude… but you can learn to shake them out of it… its called speaking up and feed back…yes it works – ask one of the shit heads if they have feed back forms politely… if you get any crap ask for a supervisor…. it does work…and the nicer you are the more respect you earn… those old vets didn’t have these resources and places to rant and rave… they got burnt all the way around till they got the civilian jobs…. but believe me most of them are miserable…cause they are treated like pogues, while most were not, they are treated like shit cause the new young hot shots have to be angry at some one right… and they jobs are while they could be meaningful…just don’t relate to being in service… those who get in to the medical side are happy and do a great job…those who wind up in appointments or scheduling or desk duty… are not happy…but you can turn their arses around.. and lastely I have never met a Nam vet who felt that iraq & afghanistan wars were not real…hell most of them say how horrible it is…and how much respect they have for these young kids so young going straight over with so little training…. man they  feel ya….  Heck go to a DAV lodge sometime, I promise you… you wont have to buy more than one drink… if you drink I don’t mean to encourage that…but that is where they found some thing familiar with people who understood…. they were not inclined to talk to anyone else – like us…. but we have many blog and it is easier to unwind and speak out…. but believe me they went thru the same hoops and frustration’s as we have…. any way I know you are speaking from your own frustrations and that is what we are here for…just better to find ways to deal with it…. Respects.

  59. BravoSierra1 says

    Having GI Bill while it mostly pays for school (even post 9-11 doesn’t cover everything) it still disqualifies us from financial aid, but has stringent course requirements financial aid students do not have. Most colleges/universities also give preference to students who have been there longer… which is fine until a GI Bill student needs classes they only offer once a year with a low capacity and a lot of people wanting/needing to take it. Add on the extortive rules many such colleges have, ie you must take a minimum 6 credits per semester to remain on a wait list, but not needing other classes and not qualifying for financial aid due to GI Bill is fucked up. When our GI Bill funds and service branch college funds requires courses that lead to a degree, and you only need those classes they have a wait list for (and schools love having such bottlenecks and rules because GI Bill student will not qualify for reduced tuition or financial aid) it forces us to either take out student loans which accrue 5.45% interest from funding date, and 6.5% after graduation, or pay out of pocket such vast sums of money.
    The 4 different colleges, within the same public college system, gave me the same spiel, and it was the same over a 6 year time frame. You would think they meet find the teacher and resources to meet the demand to help further expedite the education process if they were at all concerned about education. But they haven’t, not because they couldn’t find the resources, or couldn’t afford to, but because they were bilking students to make money, and thats just wrong, for both veterans and civilians alike. My wife has a JD degree… and 50k of student loans. Last thing we need is to have another 12+k on top of that.
    Now schools who gain VA accreditation should give priority in such cases to students who are using GI Bill funds, it would be different if they would change FA rules for such cases but they have only made anu sort of FA harder for veteran students using such programs.
    I also qualify for VocRehab education benefits… but same rules and regs as GI Bill apply. When veterans are held to restrictive rules which colleges take advantage of in the name of profit, that is wrong. Just like it is wrong for requiring students to buy books written by school staff that is constantly revised in the effort to pay for said staff’s lavish vacations.
    Remember public schools receive govt money, and VA accreditation is a major deal for schools, public or private. But the way colleges look more at the money than accomplishments and the lack of cooperation between schools when it comes to credit transfer (which transferring schools or changing majors is an individual choice which nobody twisted your arm). Big difference is one of the big recruiting pitches is earning credits from training, but when it is undercut the way they do it, and all in the name of the almighty dollar (which is funny since most colleges are run by pseudo-socialist liberals) and then being told a year of intense language training is only worth less than a year of college level language courses is just fucking retarded…. thats like saying 5 years as a manager of a large retail store is worth being a shift manager at a ma and pa shop for a year max…..

  60. BravoSierra1 says

    I won’t touch DAV with a 10 foot pole it is many DAV leadership who have said such things, especially after the passage o the post 9-11 caregiver benefits. Some took out their anger against recent vets and I jave witnessed sabotaging claims for recent vets by several various DAV leadership…

  61. BradBailey says

    I went to excelsior college and they gave me 83 credits total towards a degree. 36 i had from 1 year of college. They credited the rest from all my army training which included infantry school and pilot training as a warrant. This is WAY more than any other college with aviation degrees offered. My buddy received so many credits he only had to take 3 classes from them for a bachelors. Good luck.

  62. Albert Kittredge says

    I don’t care how you spin it a BA opens a lot of doors that are
    otherwise closed. It may not make you any smarter but it opens doors.
    Way back when, ie even before the Vietnam era, I was a snot nosed
    Private who quit school in the 10th grade. Did the GED bit and rose to
    the rand of SGT when Vietnam came along. Went to OCS and soon realized
    I’d better do something about college if I hoped to remain long enough
    to retire. Lots of folks poo-poo’d that and partied thinking doing a
    good job was enough – it wasn’t. They were the first to go in the
    reduction after Vietnam. I spent 2 1/2 years in Vietnam  (not
    “deployments” – years) all with SF. Between tours I got a degree. That saved me from
    several RIFFs. I eventually went to graduate school and receved an MA
    all without costing me a dime. (The Army was good to me – but I was also
    useful to the Army) – Eventually retired as an LTC and now they call me
    professor all because I saw the wisdom of getting a formal education. Yes it was tough and frustrating at times – It takes 120 credits to obtain a BA at most schools. I had about 150 but many didn’t count at the school which finally awarded my BA so I took courses over again.

    Reading some of the comments I’ve seen here I see others have taken the same
    route and I commend them. Some however can’t seem to find the time  or have become defiant and given up– to
    those I say “you’d better get with it or in today’s job market you will be left
    behind.

  63. Albert Kittredge says

    Andrew Everett Albert Kittredge Call it what you want. In my case it was a BA in Sociology. That checked off the box, got me sent back to Vietnam and was enough to let me rise above 6 riff’s. It eventually got me past two field grade promotion boards and the gatekeeper at graduate school.

  64. says

    nickbauman Lucky? Luck implies it was an accident. Volunteering is not an accident. I feel blessed with opportunities and talent. Luck has nothing to do with it.
    I agree it is an American problem. But just as you could have research schools transfer policies in advance, so too could I have researched what would/would not be accepted from the military. I don’t feel ‘singled out’ because I recognize this problem is far bigger than me… if it were just my problem I can assure you I wouldn’t be complaining to the world about it.

  65. says

    TastyBeverage I’m glad we’re on the same page. And your comment about 1st wiped the slate even cleaner than it was haha.. that was funny.
    I’ve noticed people read the article and perceive me different than I perceive myself, and I write MUCH differently than I speak and behave in person. This article has attracted more attention than anything I’ve ever written, and I firmly believe it’s because I put emotion into it.
    If you were to ask my wife about my emotional side, you would get an earful because I tend to show very little at times when it would be understood for me to show a lot. I’m reserved in person. 

    But I can put on different hats when needed, and that includes when I’m writing. I would agree that my attitude lacks decorum and professionalism within the article… but it got your attention didn’t it? And it’s getting the attention of far more than you who would have otherwise moved along. 

    How’s that for some UW? :)
    PS– Every Ranger Batt. guy I met, I loved.. but you fuckers are all insane :)

  66. jumpingbum says

    Andrew Everett Albert Kittredge  I have a BA in Chemistry and it got me VERY far in the world of employment in Chemistry.  I was granted entrance to one of the best PhD programs in the country, I was selected to be an assistant instructor at a small college fresh out of college and, had I not chosen to leave Chemistry as a field I probably would have worked for DuPont as a researcher.

    In short? BA vs BS depends on the school you go to (I went to a school which was known for chemistry even though it was a liberal arts school), and in what field you get the BA…. Making generalized statements shows you to lack something in terms of education….

  67. jumpingbum says

    Andrew Everett WHAT is your deal? You are bad mouthing everyone.  If you don’t have anything helpful to say? STOW IT.

  68. jumpingbum says

    Blake Miles lol I have yet to meet a Group Guy who isn’t reserved to some extent. :) Give your wife a hug from me.  Sometimes I think the wives have it worse than the guys. :)

  69. pookMatt says

    Blake, 
    Thanks for writing about this subject. I definitely have felt the same frustration before. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else write about it. I got a couple AAs and a BS while I was in service. I did alot of research over the years to try to maximize whatever military credits I could get at whatever school. That’s around 60+ credits just from military schools.  

    Now I’m working on a degree outside of my old MOS after retirement. How many, and what kind of military credits did I get toward the social service degree I’m working on? SIX. In military leadership. WTH? Not even the 3 credits I needed for the computers requirement? That’s all I really NEEDED outside of the courses I had to take anyway. I even had ACE credit recommendation for computers. This is in a university right here in Alabama. There is definitely some academic snobbery going on behind those doors. Somebody higher refuses to revise school policy. Ya, I got my counselor to waive the 3 credits when I showed him JST/AARTS and other proof. Thank goodness.

    Here’s the thing…….  There are other service members out there who will be needing that fair treatment that we want to see. I eventually got what I needed, but some other service member is going to get screwed out of well earned military credits. Across the board, all service members at my school are only getting 6 credits for military leadership. That is all they get. 

    So, the student veterans group here has voiced concern to our VA Rep(retired Army guy) here. So far, nothing. It is definitely time for things to change. If nothing else, at least for those obvious credits like Phys Ed, Computers, Technical Writing, Foreign Language and other things. 

    Here’s a link for anyone trying to convert that DLPT into an ACE credit transcript. Go for it!   http://www.dliflc.edu/academiccreditfo2.html
    http://www.dliflc.edu/registrarforms.html

  70. jumpingbum says

    BravoSierra1  I enlisted in the Army fresh out of grad school and I was given E-5 rank 90 days out of Basic.  The Army wouldn’t offer me an officer position in my field.  The Air Force did (1st Lieutenant), but they told me I was to appear before a Board of Officers to get the job.  That scared me.  I thought all officers were gods or something.

    I didn’t realize how, um, hmm, how do I put this, incompetent Lieutenants actually were….  The reason I chose the Army was because I was young and stupid and had no one advising me.  The recruiters made it sound just impossible and I wanted to do research right away (I was a USARIEM.

    Were I to do it again, of course I’d choose the Air Force, that’s a no-brainer.  I’ve written all this to say: I got treated just as badly by the Army as the colleges and universities treat veterans.  And maybe that’s why higher education does what it does:  maybe they feel that after years and years of getting more than enough  money for everything that it is time for the military to pay up?  I know, that sounds ridiculous to me too. 

    However, Harvard students who want to participate in ROTC have to go to MIT to do it.  There is a very strong bias against the military at a lot of institutions of higher learning.  I remember hearing a kid with a bullhorn shouting “Get the Air Force recruiters off campus!!!!”  But hey, that’s Oberlin for you… :)

    What I do know is that higher education, like the military is a series of jumping through hoops.  It used to be that in order to get a BA you had to take comprehensive exams as a senior.  Then they changed that to just the honors students and now most colleges and universities have completely done away with comprehensive exams even at the Doctoral level.  This says one thing to me: the BA is being watered down (especially with the advent of diploma mills.)  An MA or PhD these days is more like the BA that my parents earned in the amount of difficulty of the course work and the process.  As I see it, a PhD these days is a joke compared to what my Father went through to get his.

    That is not to downplay the experience of Veterans. Certainly our work and training is worth academic credits.  If it helps at all, once y’all get out of school you have a leg up on your fellow graduates: you have experience and that’s what counts with most employers….

  71. jumpingbum says

    SeanWilliams3  :) I have a friend from my old unit who teaches at Norwich.  Great place.  I dated a graduate when I was active duty.  What I loved was his explanation of what  N.O.R.W.I.C.H. stood for… lol (Name One Reason Why I Came Here?)

  72. jumpingbum says

    and by private, I don’t mean the diploma mills (for profit schools) like U. of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, Regis… (shall I continue?)

  73. jumpingbum says

    Axman15

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” 
    Describing the stages of a winning strategy of nonviolent activism. There is no record of Gandhi saying this. 
    A close variant of the quotation first appears in a 1918 US trade union address by Nicholas Klein: 
    “And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America” 
    – Proceedings of the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (1918), p. 53 

    (I figured if I was going to use a quote I should make sure it is attributed correctly…
    And 
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    (I think Lao Tsu said that, though I wouldn’t swear to it.)
    Y’all have started a conversation and it sounds like Joan Roberson has the background to do something about it.  
    I’m in school so I can become an Occupational Therapist (OT).  I want to be an OT because I watched helplessly as the lives of my enlisted friends retiring from Group imploded due to complex PTSD. These guys couldn’t find a place in the world; they no longer had the Brotherhood that allowed them to keep their lives together..  
    Some turned to alcohol, others to drugs, still others to gambling.  All of them turned to escapist activities (one just started spending money like it was going out of style.) I want to be able to save families by giving these guys, or their successors the tools necessary to make a successful transition to the civilian world. I know, it sounds idealistic, but for whatever reason, that’s where I am.

  74. jumpingbum says

    Axman15
    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Describing the stages of a winning strategy of nonviolent activism. There is no record of Gandhi saying this. 
    A close variant of the quotation first appears in a 1918 US trade union address by Nicholas Klein: 
    “And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America” 
    – Proceedings of the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (1918), p. 53 

    (I figured if I was going to use a quote I should make sure it is attributed correctly…)
    And 
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    (I think Lao Tsu said that, though I wouldn’t swear to it.)
    Y’all have started a conversation and it sounds like Joan Roberson has the background to do something about it.  
    I’m in school so I can become an Occupational Therapist (OT).  I want to be an OT because I watched helplessly as the lives of my enlisted friends retiring from Group imploded due to complex PTSD. These guys couldn’t find a place in the world; they no longer had the Brotherhood that allowed them to keep their lives together..  
    Some turned to alcohol, others to drugs, still others to gambling.  All of them turned to escapist activities (one just started spending money like it was going out of style.) I want to be able to save families by giving these guys, or their successors the tools necessary to make a successful transition to the civilian world. I know, it sounds idealistic, but for whatever reason, that’s where I am.

  75. OnTheHook says

    Colleges are businesses like any other, but they drink their own kool-aid into believing they are something else…more altruistic perhaps.  If they acknowledged that others can provide the same product that they do, it would decrease their revenues and hurt their bottom line.

    I think it a shame that employers consider a piece of paper to be more important than the proven skills you have developed and applied through your military career.  It is a shame, but much more understandable, that colleges are looking out for their own bottom line.

  76. melanietesh says

    Blake,

    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!

  77. riedog says

    I have played boths 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 can not 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 its about the money here. Neither the school nor the Cert issuer (the intuit 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 some what 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 a evaluation person to get good at there job. 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.

  78. JoanRoberson says

    BravoSierra1 Then do something about it…. OMG – you sound like the cry baby… I report that stuff and it does get fixed – if you have proof…and not just talking out your butt, man stand up and get things fixed is that so hard?
    Yeah- I had all kinds of anger taken out on me… during the years, and now by those younger vets…. one even said they should get rid of the older vets….make room for them… geez… by the way – he got moved to the end of the line – his disability is no worse or painful than mine…just newer… I forgive him…. and I asked that they let him go first… no need to further the anger and hate…and he came out of his appt and actually said he was sorry… so Man up … geez

  79. JoanRoberson says

    Albert Kittredge Awesome and encourage response… it is only too true, my kids were very frustrated once they got their BA’s….and found many jobs still wanted to hire low and get the time in… so lower wages than expected… but…because they stuck it out, just like fighting for their credits… they got the raises and promotions…. that BA does open doors that plain experience just wont do… I don’t necessarily agree with this… but it is the way it is at this time…
    I hope to see some changes…and more respect for those with real experience in a field…. that a BA will not have, may never have… but right now.. you have a chance to get the BA…yeah, call it just a piece of paper…but you will be glad you did… thank you Albert….

  80. BravoSierra1 says

    It does if GI Bill doesn’t cover entire bill, ie private schools not in yellow ribbon program. At least in the Democratic People’s Republik of Kalifornia it does.

  81. JoanRoberson says

    jumpingbum Axman15 Jump thank you for you kind words…. but we all have the responsibility to stand up and take note…. if each one would take notes ask questions it would get better…. Hell we new how to deal with it in the military… so… beyond expecting a different home coming… lets get past that…. we are here now…. I had to deal with all kinds of negativity from being a Nam and Desert Storm Vet – they didn’t have much of a woman’s VA back then, and actually it was awful – were I to tell you how long it took to get some major repairs done you probably would not believe me….and those of you feeling abandoned  or turning inside…I get it, I was there…and worse I had a husband too who was going thru it all and two dying vet parents, my plate was full…. the VA was awful to my Parents.. would not make accommodations for my parents to be even close to each other….and these were WWII VET highly decorated, yes both of them…and I had to find ways to get them to change….all the while close to my own implosion… and going to school at night and battling there too…
    Jump you do not sound idealistic…you have found a passion – where you can use your skills to help a few ppl… I have come to learn that you can’t help them all…but if I can help just one, I am so happy… in previous rant, I mentioned the DAV… and got a rash of crap…. well listen that was just one place… and they are not all the same…the American Legion – can also be helpful, in fact they helped me get my surgeries moved forward…. I hope more people who come home learn and share… or even find a vocation in this field… we need people to stand up and speak out…. we don’t have to yell and curse…there are ways to get things working…the first is taking names and following up the chain… and as for the time it takes… HELL did we all hurry up and wait and wait in the military…. come on folks… we have been thru a very special training, it was unique…. many days still I wish I had not gotten out…but I did….and I have survived as the Military trained me to do…. we have skill sets nobody else has, they never will, but don’t expect all of them to bow down and praise you… it won’t happen…. but if you need help or someone to talk to…there are people you can reach…. and yes you may have to wait…. so get on it now… we know how to WAIT better than anyone else…. don’t be a victim of yourself.. Read what Jump wrote above me… it is spot on…. thanks Jump….

  82. JoanRoberson says

    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 club….it 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.

  83. jumpingbum says

    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.

  84. ChrisLakay says

    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?!

  85. JoanRoberson says

    jumpingbum exactly, if you don’t want a classic education, which I can understand…then go to a school that gives  you what you need…and they also give more credit for military mos’s…. this is a great way to get a profession or occupation….  We use to have way more jobs that had apprenticeships, which I think is great for those who just want to do certain things….. but that too has transitioned into business schools… which make money… too….  damned it you do and damned if you don’t… I & hubby wanted to complete the classical degrees and fought for them… but makes no sense if that is not what you are interested in…
    Hope more people will explore their options.. just be aware that course taken at  places like DeVry mainly do not have credits that transfer should you change your mind… so explore while on active if you can… what do you want to do with your life… then look at jr. colleges that fully trans to universities…. that is another whole bag of tricks so be sure that they work together… or the university will deny credits to….but if your sure you want a tech degree….go for it…
    hope that helps some…. and remember this rant is awesome all the info in one place and people willing to take the time to answer  your questions so you can start thinking about the future….pretty awesome…

  86. OnTheHook says

    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 11×17 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.

  87. JGonell says

    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

  88. JGonell says

    (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. 

    AATW! 

    JGonell, USA  (90-97)
    Bco 5/87th Inf, Bco 1/325 AIR, 1/101st Aviation (Attack)

  89. JoanRoberson says

    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 stop…no one has ever mentioned to me before…. Respects.

  90. JoanRoberson says

    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  know…it 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.

  91. jumpingbum says

    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 your smart, articulate, intelligent, wonderful… :)

  92. JoanRoberson says

    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.
    Respects.

  93. JoanRoberson says

    jumpingbum and you are wonder full, 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  – and 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!

  94. JoanRoberson says

    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

  95. ChrisLakay says

    …”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!

  96. ChrisLakay says

    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!

  97. Guy Griffaw says

    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.”

  98. ChrisLakay says

    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

  99. says

    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?

  100. Albert Kittredge says

    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.

  101. says

    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.

  102. ChrisLakay says

    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!” ;-

  103. ChuckHolton says

    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.

  104. FlemingMarkL says

    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.

  105. FlemingMarkL says

    Blake Miles Guy Griffaw  

    Never argue with a Fucking Idiot (or an Asshole) …as Few people can tell the difference.

  106. FlemingMarkL says

    Blake Miles Guy Griffaw  I will be Civil when They no longer choose to fire the first salvo….after that…Fuck em its On.

    ~M~

  107. FlemingMarkL says

    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.

    ~M~

  108. jumpingbum says

    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?

  109. charger0922 says

    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.

  110. FlemingMarkL says

    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.

  111. FlemingMarkL says

    phdkrmlinonthecharles TastyBeverage  

    No genius, It is little more than the vernacular of the military….as Herodotus said Custom is king….and many of us succumb to that time honored way of expressing ourselves.

    ~M~

  112. Figanootz says

    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.

  113. LeviRodgers says

    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.

  114. jumpingbum says

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

  115. jumpingbum says

    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.

  116. jumpingbum says

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

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/name/nm0000354/?ref_=tt_trv_qu: 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 fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!

  117. LeviRodgers says

    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

  118. Figanootz says

    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.

  119. LeviRodgers says

    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 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 achieved. 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

  120. says

    LeviRodgers This was from me personally. Certainly not a public release from GBF.
    I volunteer with the GBF. If you think my post was out of line, feel free to send up a complaint. But again, this was not from the GBF.

  121. jumpingbum says

    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.

  122. jumpingbum says

    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.

  123. RebeccaSummers says

    LeviRodgers 

    All due respect, but the title of this blog should be a dead give away.  It’s not given a comfortable stable academic title such as, ” Enhancing Veteran Success in Higher Education: An Examination of the Shortcomings of the ACE/JST System.”  The term RANT should be a significant clue that what you are about to read will resonate on a more emotional and personal level than a traditional academic piece. While no one is crazy enough to consider changing an entire system that allows all veterans to graduate without setting foot in a classroom, there is some substance to the content of his blog that is most deserving of analysis, even as a rant. 

    I, personally, appreciate the F-bombs in this article.  As both a veteran and a M.Ed. candidate (Higher Education/Student Development) who is swamped with a variety of academic focused articles and research projects, none of those articles are so impassioned to demonstrate the sheer frustration felt by so many.  The ACE/JST system is not entirely broken, nor is it entirely empowering.  His blog carries weight for its anecdotal evidence, and thankfully so.  Anecdotal voices are just as important to the policy/research process as the empirical evidence because it helps to hone in on issues that otherwise may not have been brought to light (cultural anthropologists rely heavily on the interpersonal and anecdotal experience).
    So, without all the extra fancy academic words, I leave you with this. Yes, the rant and the F-bombs definitely work for this blog because they provide a fitting context for the experience of the blogger.

  124. says

    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!

  125. CameronMichaelPartlow says

    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 associates…so 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).

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