The Academic Bridge from Military to Civilian

B picTroop numbers swell when a war escalates, leading many young people enlist. Not only do they train as soldiers, they often travel widely and become culture savvy. However, upon leaving the military, one adversity is transition to civilian life, simply for the fact that the two worlds often don’t overlap vocationally. Pilots and mechanics transition well, but many specialties do not.

Going to college helps with the transition. An education is the common pool. Of course, most career military personnel can’t advance without moving ahead simultaneously with a college education since military promotion boards at every level look at education. However, lots of young adults exiting the military didn’t do much, if anything, with college because of deployments, family, and just growing up from a teenager into an adult.finals-college-soldiers-military-funny-1357138734

It’s fun to see these veterans, now civilians, dig in with college work and career goals. Many at the Hopkinsville Community College campus at Fort Campbell, KY, are women who enlisted out of high school, met and married a spouse, and begot children. They want to get an education in order to grow and take on a career, which also increases their motivation to urge their children to study hard in school. Others getting out of the military are men with families now ready to do the same.

femalesoldier1Going to college right out of high school may be an ideal, but many teenagers haven’t seen education modeled at home, or they haven’t awakened to the model set before them by parents, teachers, or mentors. The military offers a maturing opportunity, one for which to be thankful.

Another interesting feature is the multiculturalism of a college classroom at the Fort. Many women from other countries enter the classroom by virtue of being married to a soldier. They tend to value education and work very hard, becoming role models for students with no military connection who are still immature. It’s inspiring to see the accomplishments in class by those speaking and writing English as a second language.2003_4_7

It’s funny too that many who are born and brought up right here at home think of English as a second language. Actually, it’s a first language not yet learned, not from lack of ability, but from still being in a haze. Since the classroom at the Fort is a mix of military and some from the area with no military connection, it’s good to see the example of discipline and desire of those on active duty , or those now out but still connected by family. A few of these military or former military students are lethargic, but in the main, it’s clear that education is a good wake up call to some necessary mental PT to get on with life.

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