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Will the military help pay for college even if the courses are different than your current occupation?

For example if I go to the military and become a combat medic or corpsman, will they help pay for nursing courses in college even though its a different specialization?

Thank you comment icon With TA the us mill will pay for 1 degree in any subject. However Going the enlisted route takes way more time to get a degree and it not even garenteed that youll have time like michel said. If you want to do nursing and serve in the mill your best bet would be to pick a brach and do one of the pre service nursing programs. That way your not wasting your time becoming disgruntled from the service. Aja

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Michel’s Answer

Preface I am a little jaded with my military experience so with that being said let me tell my story.

As a combat medic there are two paths since they merged combat medic and the hospitalist position. You will now be assigned to either an infantry/cav unit where you will be doing more active work in the field. During time in this role until you hit E-5 it is pretty difficult to do college. I applied 3 times and was declined because they didn’t feel my hours would match up well with the responsibilities I had. I had friends get into EMT I courses and the unit wouldn’t allow them to get enough time in the ambulances to be able to pass the course so they all ended up failing because there wasn’t time to meet requirements that they needed. That being said that is not everyones experience some units really do put in an effort to help you get college degrees especially if you work in a hospital. If you work in a hospital they will do everything they can to make sure you are getting time off for things like school that you may need to be doing.

To answer your second question you can study anything you want while you are in it doesn’t have to be job related. I know people that were doing engineering while they were working in an entirely different field. What you need to do while in is talk to your unit and say I want to better myself and go to school and they will help you with the process.

All of that being said I do not agree talking to a recruiter. I have had many times where I have asked questions that have not been answered correctly because they have quotas that they need to meet in order to perform well. Sooooooo telling you correct information isn’t always as effective as beating around a bush to make it not seem as bad as it may be.

Thank you for the question and hopefully this helped. If you have any more questions let us know.
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david’s Answer

Hi, Marco,
This is too important a question to rely on us. I encourage you to actively engage with a military recruiter, as the discussion will open up all the many avenues and opportunities available. People often try to guess the possibilities, but a recruiter will help you develop a plan for your career area and training opportunities. I wish you well.
Thank you comment icon Okay, I will meet up with a recruiter soon, thank you. Marco
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Michael’s Answer

Yes.

Enlist as a Medic (Army or Air Force) or Hospital Corpsman (Navy) and you'll receive world-class training at the same school.


The Combat Medic Specialist Training Program (CMSTP) is the largest medical training program in the U.S. Army, training up to 6,000 students per year. It is the second largest military occupational specialty (MOS) in the Army second only to the Infantry.


The CMSTP is designed with team-paced instruction. This 16-week program trains the 68W Combat Medic Specialist in foundational skills necessary to become an effective Combat Medic Specialist on the battlefield. The student begins training as an Emergency Medical Technician to include Basic Life Support (BLS), emergency medical care and evacuation, minor acute care, inpatient and outpatient care, and basic force health protection. The student then receives extensive Field Craft training with special emphasis on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) during the “Whiskey Phase” of the course. Students are trained in limited primary care, medical care for patients exposed to weapons of mass destruction, (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear - CBRN), deployable medical systems, aircraft and ground evacuation, and casualty triage and processing. The program culminates with a rigorous Field Training Exercise (FTX) using realistic combat scenarios to validate what the students have learned through practical, real-world applications.

The 16 week program consists of classroom lectures, blended on-line learning, team-building exercises, hands-on demonstrations and extensive psychomotor skills testing. Practical exercises and written examinations are used to assess accumulation and retention of knowledge and skills.
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Welcome to the Medical Education & Training Campus (METC)
Our Tri-Service Campus is located on Fort Sam Houston, Texas in the City of San Antonio. With 48 medical programs, and 16,500 graduates a year, METC is a state-of-the-art DoD healthcare education campus that trains enlisted medical personnel. Warrior Care begins here at the METC.
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Depending on your assignment after graduation, you may even be able to attend Nursing School (in person or virtual/online) during your time in the military.

After graduation (RN or BSN), you may be commissioned as an Officer and serve as a Nurse for a full career, with Veteran's Benefits - for life.
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Eric’s Answer

Hello again Marco,

The short answer is yes. I am Corpsman, specialized in serving with Marines in austere environments. While I ended my education some time ago in direct patient care, the benefits of tuition assistance, the Pell grant, and GI Bill has supported me in obtaining my associates, bachelors, and masters degree in Health Administration. And yes, you are able to peruse any educational program you’d like. I would just be cautious of the requirements needed in order to utilize TA and the percentages of the GI Bill available to you per year.
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