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NEWS | April 17, 2006

Airmen should take advantage of their benefits

By Lt. Col. Maureen J. Smith 1st Mission Support Squadron

The number one reason for joining the military has always been education. 

The military offers unmatched educational support which, taken advantage of, will provide Airmen a solid foundation for future growth in the military or civilian life. 

Continuing education is important to every member of the expeditionary Air Force – exposure to new ideas and awareness of different cultures is important as we deploy to every corner of the globe. 

Education also opens your world to different possibilities. 

Promotions and new job opportunities are often created through increased education levels. 

My sisters and I were fortunate to have parents who set high expectations for their daughters. There was never an option of not continuing our education; the expectation was, we would be the first college graduates in our family – and we all were. 

I encourage you to set high expectations for yourself and take advantage of the great education opportunities the Air Force offers. 

Just like my parents, the Air Force expects you take advantage of these opportunities.
Promotions today are rare without the appropriate level of voluntary and professional education. 

Why does the Air Force put such high value on education for its members?
The small investment they make in you yields enormous returns for everyone – what makes you better makes us better. 

Education, combined with your work experience, stretches your comfort zone, and makes you challenge and improve your environment. 

The continuous growth of Airmen is what keeps the Air Force the premier force in today’s ever-changing world. 

The Base Education Center is your portal to the generous benefits the Air Force offers.
We have made it easy to take advantage of 100-percent tuition assistance. It only requires one stop to establish a degree plan. 

After that, you can apply for tuition assistance and even take your courses online from your home computer. This is a great resource for any Airman, but especially for shift workers and those who are deployed. 

Whether looking for traditional classroom education, blended programs or strictly on-line courses, our Education Center can help. 

Langley annually support enrollments of more than 5,000 students in 132 different colleges and technical programs. 

We can find a program that meets your educational needs – anywhere, anytime. 

The Air Force offers many educational benefits, such as tuition assistance, Montgomery GI Bill ($36,144.00 for a $1,200 contribution), reimbursement for one-time certification/licensure and CLEP/DANTES testing and counseling services. 

The net effect is to make out-of-pocket cost for our Airmen minimal. I challenge you to motivate yourself and use these programs to create a better future – for yourself and the Air Force.