Deployments don’t stop education

| June 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Hill (left), command and controls system technician, HHC, 25th CAB, and Capt. Brandon Murphy (right), automations officer, HHC, 25th CAB, pose for a photo with Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th CAB, before receiving their master’s degrees during the Kandahar Education Center graduation ceremony on Kandahar Airfield, recently.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Hill (left), command and controls system technician, HHC, 25th CAB, and Capt. Brandon Murphy (right), automations officer, HHC, 25th CAB, pose for a photo with Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th CAB, before receiving their master’s degrees during the Kandahar Education Center graduation ceremony on Kandahar Airfield, recently.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Soldiers in the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade are “arming” themselves through college courses available with assistance from the Kandahar Education Center, which hosted a graduation ceremony to honor service members who received their associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, here, recently.

Traditional college courses are held at a set time and place, making it difficult for Soldiers to attend. To make college more accessible, the Army created several programs that work with universities to allow enrollment in online courses and smaller classes taught at military installations around the world.

“Online classes have made going back to school more convenient,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Hill, command and control system technician, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th CAB.

“I have been on numerous training exercises and deployments, and online classes have allowed me to pre-prepare for any upcoming assignments,” Hill said. “One weekend before going out into the field, I wrote four papers that were due during that time, so I did not have to catch up when I got back.”

Hill earned a Master of Science in information technology and a graduate certificate in Foundation of Information Assurance from the University of Maryland’s University College. He also holds a master’s degree in information technology from Trident University and one in education at Phoenix Online, in addition to his bachelor’s degree in information systems with a minor in culinary arts from Wayland Baptist University.

Standing next to Hill to receive his Master of Science in information technology management with a graduate certificate in chief information officer was Capt. Brandon Murphy, automations officer, HHC, 25th CAB.

“In the last two years, I have not had many nights and weekends off,” said Murphy. “Sometimes, the homework lasted late into the night. I just focused on the long-term, looked at where I wanted to be at the end of my career, and based the classes on that.”

Allan Berg, vice president and Europe director of UMUC, conferred the degrees.

“I know, for the troops, to get a degree while working on active duty is incredibly challenging,” said Berg. “The challenges are huge. They have to be disciplined and tenacious to get their degrees. I have so much respect for the students who got their degree with a full-time job.”

One challenge Soldiers do not have to worry about, however, is how to pay for college classes.

“Tuition assistance paid for 95 percent of my classes that I have taken in my Army career,” Hill said.

“I used TA, grants and scholarships, and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to pay for my classes,” Murphy added. “If you have the opportunity to go back to school, take advantage of the opportunity and the programs the Army has to offer. Education is worth it.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, Education, News

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