Military Education Programs: How the Right School Can Help You

Most prospective students choose a college based on a handful of deciding factors: location, size, tuition cost, and available programs or activities. But when you’re in the military, your educational plans change drastically. You have to decide whether you want to pursue your education while you serve or after active duty, and you also have to consider where you’ll study and whether you want to opt for traditional or online schooling.

To make your education much easier, consider enrolling in a military-friendly college. These schools have rigorous military education programs that are designed to offer you the flexibility and support you need. Learn more about the benefits of military education programs by checking out what they can do for you.

Who can get help?

Military education programs and services are so helpful because they assist a variety of military personnel. Whether you’re on active duty, a veteran, or even a military spouse, you can qualify for special services from certain colleges.

What do Military Education Programs help you with?

As a military student, you have access to all of the resources and support services that non-military students do-only military education programs surpass normal schools because they understand your specific needs as a member of the military. If you choose the right school, you can get help with every step of the application process from an experienced representative.

Military education services are also dedicated to helping you figure out your financial aid options. Although military aid benefits are a huge asset, learning how they work is nothing short of challenging, especially when you have to choose from the military’s Tuition Assistance program and the multiple types of GI Bills. By working closely with a military liaison or financial aid representative at a military-friendly school, you can get help understanding and applying your military benefits to your education. Some schools even offer additional aid for military students through scholarships or the Yellow Ribbon program.

How do they help?

Military-friendly schools help you tackle all of the challenges you face as a military student. Most significantly, they offer flexible scheduling in their programs, either through campuses that are conveniently located near military bases or through online learning options. Some schools offer online classes that military students can take while they’re on base or stationed across the world.

When do they help?

Military education programs make sure they have the proper staffing and department structure needed to be available to their students. Many employ specialized military liaisons, representatives, or entire Military Education or Military Financial Aid departments to serve their students. Military students can often seek help at any time, either by contacting military liaisons by phone, in person, or online.

If you’re ready to find a school that can help you pursue academic success, start researching military education programs. Military students who choose a school that fits can pursue a rewarding educational experience by getting the support they need.

Critical Thinkers and Creative Leaders in The Professional Military Education System


The U.S military is led by several of the most educated professionals in the world. It is also not uncommon for a retiring commissioned officer to have spent lots of time in a classroom learning. Every commissioned officer and a number of career noncommissioned officers have a college degree, and add an advanced civilian degree. This is boosted by what is known as the “professional military educational system,” of which is comprised of specialized schools operated by the military services. The most significant are staff colleges, whose students have 12-14 service years, and war colleges, of which often come between the 18th to 22nd years of the career of an officer.

Today’s military leaders are constantly compelled to act as “out of the box” thinkers. Such statements give the impression that the only comprehensive solutions are those that have never been conceived. However, what the professional military education system (PMES) as well as the military really endeavor to produce are leaders that have strong critical as well as creative thinking skills. Both indirectly avoid the idea that a box even exists.

Importance of critical thinkers and creative leaders in PME

Today’s organizations function in what the U.S War College describes as a VUCA setting. Volatility, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity are continuous realities within the 21st century. The military tries to prepare for challenges it could probably face by creating realistic training scenarios as well as routinely adding such activities into its ongoing operations. The objective is not to teach them what to think, but to develop their ability to think creatively and critically about the number of contingencies posed by a dynamic environment-in essence to teach them how to think and not what to think.

The expression “professional military education”(PME) shows the duality of the system. It is intended to both increase the military’s professionalism as well as educate it. These are related as well as overlapping goals, but they are not similar. Professionalism means that the military leaders share both an amount of knowledge directly associated with their mission and ethics. While education implies a widening beyond the limitations of knowledge directly associated with the mission and the advancement of critical and creative thinking.

Good decision making is one of the traits together with good leadership that is significant when it comes to command. Critical and creative thinking also has significant consequences for group dynamic skills as well as quality control. Critical and creative thinking skills are needed in order to produce constant honest quality improvements. However, while several military processes depend on good critical and creative thinking, evidence shows that behaviors as well as skills may be lacking. A constant changing environment also requires a constant change in the approach to education.

Critical and creative thinking for military leaders to succeed

The increasing complication and changing landscape of the human environment necessitates critical and creative thinking skills. These thinking skills have not been taught as part of the traditional education nor are they emphasized within the military. Critical and creative thinking is vital to professional military education in that it provides a strong tool to function within a complex, and changing world.

One of the most significant facts about PME’s is training, and the most significant points concerning training is the importance within the training environment as well as the focus on creative solution. In addition, it is totally critical to focus on the advancement of personal leading and thinking skills. Gaining technical skills, collective training, and knowledge are significant but secondary educational requirements are needed. A military leader is the focal point of failure in military undertakings. Skills, collective training, and Knowledge mean little unless exceptionally trained as well as competent leaders engage units and soldiers correctly and effectively. Furthermore, military leaders make two vital contributions to military success: one, effective decision-making and two, capitalizing on the abilities as well as potential of subordinates. One of the best methods for military leaders to become successful is by using simulation and technology in order to train critical and creative thinking as well as decision-making. However, the technology is there to support the thinking process, but the military generally has not made the necessary steps in using the technology to train individual critical and creative thinking as well as decision making skills.

Every action and every undertaking by humanity was first a thought, every decision, problem, solution, and new invention or creation was initiated by some particular form of thought process. The capability for a purposeful thought is what lifts military leaders, yet sometimes, their strongest attribute is their obvious weakness. Instead of formulating rational solutions based on realities of the environmental, military leaders seem to be essentially prone to reshaping environmental reality to fit pre-predestined answers. The military leadership thinking process is normally anything but rational, and worse yet, they are totally blind-sided concerning mental failings. Faulty actions is driven by faulty thinking. History has proven this. For example, Japans defeat during the Second World War was due to its leadership’s incapability to critically and creatively position herself as the war turned against them. Another example of a poor decision-making process was the Vietnam War whereby highly intelligent people were perpetuated by collective stupidity. Therefore, no amount of good leadership can improve a decision that is faulty from the beginning. Good leaders have to first make good decisions, and yet good decisions require critical and creative thinking and leaders have to understand the limitations and capabilities of their own thought processes.

In industry, 90% of the time is spent on executing business actions, and less than 10% is apportioned to increasing organizational as well as individual abilities through training. On the other hand, the military spends a lot of time training and executing-even in the middle of high risk operations. For example, a unit in Iraq or Afghanistan will not put aside its experiential training program while engaged in combat operations, because its capability to clearly and creatively address future challenges is improved by a persistent commitment to improving soldier’s adaptability and competence through experiential exercises, and actual experiences. However, the real lesson for military leaders is not merely that training is paramount. The real issue is the value of how the military structures its training opportunities.

The Army describes leadership as both completing the mission as well as improving the organization. Permanently improving the organization necessitates the development of human capital. The military believes that people are substantively improved by improving their capability to skillfully address challenges within their environments. Therefore, the military does not find ways to limit thinking by limiting available solutions, unless the suggested action infringes any of the criteria of which are morality, safety, ethnicity or illegal.

So as to have people tussle with what it takes to have action plans where the above-mentioned criteria establish their only limitations, the military structures its experiential training undertakings with broad parameters. Events are made to mirror uncertainty within operating environments (while targeting specific needs of the organization). Military leaders are responsible for setting the conditions in all training activities and resourcing them correctly, as well as reminding participants all through the exercises that there are many potential solutions to each unclear challenge.

There are two significant things to take away from military practice of which engage in routine experimental training. One, crucial feedback. The military practice of having intermediate as well as final after-action reviews (AARs), whereby all participants test the preparation, execution, planning, and follow-up of any vital organizational initiative which promotes a learning culture. Two, coaching is needed so that feedback is translated into behavioral changes. Studies have shown that feedback without coaching hardly results in changes in behavior. Therefore, all military leaders must develop their ability to coach others. Dialog and reflection lie at the center of development. Experiential training creates the drive for both to happen.


In summary, the quest of better thinking skills and a military more inclined towards critical and creative thought is an arrogant but important educational objective. Critical and creative thinking is paramount to the professional military education because it provides a strong tool to function in a complicated, changing world and because it has practical military applicability. Military leaders cannot wait for the right time to train for it rarely happens. However, the current opportunity is preparation for tomorrow’s unforeseen challenge, regardless of what is going on.

Military Pen Pals and Loved Ones: Best Technology for Staying in Touch

In the past, soldiers on military deployment had to rely on letters, care packages, and occasional long distance phone calls to communicate with their loved ones. But when the Internet burst on the scene in the early 1990’s, it opened up a world of new possibilities that made keeping in touch with partners in the military easier. Now, there are online dating sites for military personnel that can help deployed soldiers communicate with their loved ones and, of course, find new friends and partners. There are now also a number of different applications designed for the same purpose. Here are some of the new technologies that you, as a military spouse or partner, can take advantage of.Video Conferencing:The advent of video conferencing allows military pen pals to see each other and communicate in real time. This computer and communications technology digitizes audio-visual information sent through web cameras and then streams it video over the Internet to a computer on the other end of the line.Seeing and communicating with your partner in real time can help reduce the loneliness and ease the stress that comes after a loved one has been deployed.How It Works:To make video conferencing possible, web cameras record both the audio and the video then convert them to digital form. This is then compressed and prepared for playback on computer monitors and through speakers. Video conferencing uses a combination of web page tools and Internet communication technology to make real time communication possible. Tools such as HTML and XML, Java, and Flash all play a role in making Internet communications engaging and effective for military soldiers and their spouses.How It Helps:According to studies, many people absorb information better when they are visually guided by something they’re seeing. This is the main reason why video conferencing is the best technology for staying in touch with loved ones in the military. Being able to see your partner in real time will help you overcome the loneliness and stress that both go hand in hand with the sacrifices required by military life.Other Options:If you need other options or if you want to have a backup system in case video conferencing becomes temporarily unavailable, you can also use instant messaging and chat applications.Web-based solutions such as chat rooms, forums, and sites designed specifically for military pen pals also help tremendously.Some deployed soldiers also use audio and video recording. With this technology, military soldiers and their families can record messages that they can then send to their partners for playback in the event that real time conferencing is unavailable. Audio and video can files can be attached to text messages using MMS technology, and they can also be attached to emails. There is nothing that will warm the heart more than receiving a video or audio file from your military spouse or partner that can be downloaded and watched or listened to.Why Mobile Phones Aren’t Enough:Some are probably wondering why mobile phones are not on this list. The fact is that, based on the experience of many military spouses, mobile phones can be quite unreliable and, instead of making things easier, actually make the situation more frustrating due to faulty, or unstable connections. Thus, reliable web-based technologies such as sites for military pen pals and video calling applications such as Skype make a better choice.So, What Are You Waiting For?Start communicating with your loved ones in the military. Simply download the right video conferencing software, buy the right equipment, and get online with your military partner, now.