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The Marines and College


>> STEVE TALLENT: One of the big trepidations I had when Cody joined the Marine Corps was what was going to happen to his college education. >> CAPT. VICTORIA JENNINGS: Continuing education is very important to the Marine Corps. I think educators are pleasantly surprised when they come to the Educators Workshop here, and they learn about the various educational programs that the Marine Corps offers. >> SARAH CAMPBELL: All of the Marines that we spoke to, and certainly the young, newer Marines all spoke about the educational opportunities available to them. And many of them were taking advantage of furthering their education. And to me, that was a surprise. I did not know education was so strongly stressed. >> TONY PERKINS: I think that stigma of, if you can't make it in college, this will give you another avenue in your life. I don't think that really exists as much anymore as it was in the past, mainly because they see what good that they do. And those kids that are going into the Marine Corps have the grades, or they're not looking to go in just because. They have a purpose when they go in there. And they come out a better person for it. >> MAJ. KRISTEN LASICA: Some Marines may come in after college, some come in with college degrees, some come in because they tried college and decided, "Ah, this isn't for me now," maybe take a break. But when they're here in the Marine Corps, many finish their college degrees. They go on to get master's degrees. They continue with all different types of education throughout the time that we're here. >> VERONICA LOPEZ: They encourage them to go to college because they have colleges on base, which was a surprise for me. They have a university that you can go to get your bachelor's degree. You take it on your own time. You do it as -- as you can. And they constantly push them, you know, because you're good today, but you can be better tomorrow. >>LT.COL. AL TRIMBLE: One thing about being in the Corps, you understand how to learn. You know, when you--when you learn how to learn and enjoy learning, and you take that, and you cross that with preparation and opportunity, nothing in the world can stop you. >> PATRICK HARRIS: You have to be a pretty sharp cookie to be a Marine and to be able to not only go through the training but to keep--they keep learning constantly. 00:02:02:15 >> BGEN. GERALD MILLER: Education really does reinforce the mission of the Marine Corps and does help significantly, in my view, with the quality of leadership that you have. >> PATRICE McNATT: I guess they just push. I think the Marines really push these young men and women to further your education, to further better yourself. And I think they're really doing a great job with that. >> MSGT. JOSEPH AMICK: As long as you have the desire and the self-discipline, there are plenty of opportunities to go to college while you're in the Marine Corps. >> CAPT. VICTORIA JENNINGS: Our goal is to educate our Marines to the fullest extent possible. We encourage them to continue classes during their time in the Marine Corps. We encourage them to take classes when they're on deployments. We have various opportunities for them to increase their education, because the smarter the Marine is, it's not only good for themselves, but it's better for the Marine Corps. 00:02:54:15

By supporting the decision to become a Marine, you are supporting a path of self-improvement that has education at its core. Becoming a Marine and getting a college education are not mutually exclusive: for Marines, college education is encouraged as part of our commitment to developing quality citizens.

Enlisted Marines are offered financial aid and encouraged to pursue a college degree. Marine Officer candidates must complete their college degree before accepting their commission to lead Marines.

Even those who choose not to get their college degree will receive hundreds of hours of Marines education in fields that make them successful in their Marine Corps jobs and in life.

The qualities that make a successful Marine are the same that make a successful college student: discipline, drive, intelligence, perseverance and willingness to learn. No matter which comes first, the two experiences complement each other.

Men and women who finish college first have the drive and experience to face the challenges and educational demands of becoming a Marine. On the other hand, many find the drive, focus and determination to pursue further education by becoming Marines. Those who become Marines before seeking their college education have the confidence and discipline to succeed in earning their diplomas.

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