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Education for the deployed

 

Written by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division PatchNangarhar Province, Afghanistan – Many U.S. Troops dealing with the hardships that accompany a deployment find respite in the continuation of college classes at Forward Operating Base Fenty here.

Higher education assistance is one of the many perks the military has to offer, an opportunity that many servicemembers take full advantage of.

One class taught at FOB Fenty is criminal justice. The instructor, U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Ronald Wright of Granville, OH, Company A, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Task Force Bastogne, is certified as a police instructor and volunteered to teach the course.

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Ronald Wright of Granville, OH, Company A, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Task Force Bastogne, teaches a class on criminal justice at Forward Operating Base Fenty here August 10th. Even while deployed, Soldiers can continue to pursue their education. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Ronald Wright of Granville, OH, Company A, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Task Force Bastogne, teaches a class on criminal justice at Forward Operating Base Fenty here August 10th. Even while deployed, Soldiers can continue to pursue their education. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

“I enjoy training Soldiers and police officers to share my experience and, hopefully, teach them the proper ways to conduct business,” said Wright. “This was a chance to connect with other Soldiers during my deployment and learn their motivations and aspirations.”

Wright, who plans to become a criminal justice teacher after he retires from the Army, said he enjoys teaching servicemembers in his off time. He hopes his teaching style inspires them to continue their education and that the time in the classroom provides them a mental safe haven from the battlefield.

“Attending college courses while deployed gives Soldiers something else to think about while they are also fighting the war,” said Wright. “When they are focused on learning and their studies during off-duty hours, they are not thinking of the constant dangers they may face on a daily basis.”

U.S. Army Spc. Murod Fa Hokkov of Queens, NY, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd battalion, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Lighthorse, reads a criminal justice text book at Forward Operating Base Fenty here August 10th. Even while deployed, Soldiers continue to pursue their education. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

Spc. Murod Fa Hokkov

Attending classes in theater is not always easy for troops. Many times their duties prevent them from attending. However, instructors work with their students to insure they can receive a quality education.

A servicemember’s education also depends on the availability of the class, said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Mia S. Jackson of Douglas, GA, Company C, 1st Special Troops Battalion, Task Force Spartan. If the mission allows a Soldier to participate then he should do it, but he still has to balance his time for class with the mission requirements, he said.

U.S. Staff Sgt. Kendricks Fields of Fork, SC, Task Force Lighthorse Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives noncommissioned officer in charge, takes a criminal justice course test at Forward Operating Base Fenty August 10th. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Kendricks Fields

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kendricks Fields of Fork, SC, Task Force Lighthorse Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives non-commissioned officer in charge, is currently pursuing a degree in liberal arts and scheduled to graduate in December.

“This is the perfect environment to focus on improving yourself,” he said. “Each Soldier is given over $4,000 a year for education.”

Kendricks encourages troops to pursue their certifications or degrees and to use the valuable resources offered by the military. He also plans to take math and chemistry online.

The courses are open to everyone on base and have education advisors, regular class schedules and online courses available.

People with various backgrounds, ranging from National Guard to the 101st Airborne Division attend courses, said Jackson.

Even after the military, servicemembers want to set themselves up for success.

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Ronald Wright of Granville, OH hands out a test to U.S. Army Pfc. Ricardo Hernandez of Strasburg, CO, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Bastogne, in a criminal justice class offered at Forward Operating Base Fenty here August 10th. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Ronald Wright of Granville, OH hands out a test to U.S. Army Pfc. Ricardo Hernandez of Strasburg, CO, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Bastogne, in a criminal justice class offered at Forward Operating Base Fenty here August 10th. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

Whether they stay in for 20 years or not, Soldiers will have a life after the military, said Wright. “Obtaining a degree in a career field allows them to become more competitive on the civilian job market, especially with our current struggling economy.”


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