For many high school graduates
interested in the armed services, enlisting right after graduation is the obvious option. However, the decreasing numbers in our armed services today have left many of the divisions ill-equipped for the training regimen of new recruits coming into the programs.
Community colleges across the country have stepped up to shoulder some of the additional load, offering courses specifically geared to military personnel in all branches of the armed services.
It is not unusual for community colleges to answer the occupational calls
of our country today. Many colleges are now providing training in the industries that need more employees, filling the needs of companies while giving individuals opportunities to step into recession-proof careers
. However, the idea of providing military training is catching on, as community colleges offer the specialized training new recruits need to handle the responsibilities of the armed services today.
Training in San Diego
San Diego City College
is at the forefront of military training in an academic setting. According to a report at Sign on San Diego
, this college received a very humble start in training military personnel in the 1970s, offering them math and English classes to supplement their military training. Today, the college offers a nationwide network that employs nearly 500 instructors, many of whom were former service members themselves.
Along with basic academic curriculum, students in this program participate in classes like Small Arms: Live and Simulated Fire, Surface Combat Systems and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection. The program that began in San Diego is now across the country, serving 15 states and 24 different locations. Much of the training is done directly on military bases, with about 140,000 soldiers, sailors and marines trained during the last academic year alone.
The community college acts as a contractor for the federal government, receiving revenue to provide the training the government desperately needs for their armed services. While the net revenue the community college receives is considered negligible, the excess is siphoned into general district programs. As long as the college continues to provide the standard of training the government seeks, it appears to be a very symbiotic relationship.
Larry Allen, a contracting expert in Washington D.C., told Sign on San Diego, "It's not at all unusual for the government to outsource training. There are countless private companies and universities that provide training to the government."
Dennis Spiegel, a retired Army colonel, says the success of San Diego City College
is largely tied into the level of training they offer. He told Sign on San Diego, "The instructors from San Diego City College
, to a person, are far above average. It's a phenomenal organization."
Options in Alabama
San Diego isn't the only community college to seize the day when it comes to training military professionals. Calhoun Community College
in Alabama also offers military training on its Decatur and Huntsville campuses. The programs are provided in conjunction with US Army Ordnance Missile and Electronic Maintenance School (OMEMS) and other military branches.
An Associate in Applied Science degree in Missile and Munitions Technology (MMT) is available through the school for students who have completed 27 hours of OMEMS courses or 27 hours of military training. OMEMS courses include Ammunition Inspector, Patriot Missile System Repairer and Air Defense.
The course list is a long one, offering students the opportunity to explore the area of military training that interests them most.
With a rising need to train noncommissioned Air Force officers as leaders, technicians and citizens in the early 1970s, Air Force representatives got together to discuss how best to meet those training needs. The result was Air University
, a community college that combines technical education with a general academic curriculum. Within a few short years, this institution had exceeded the minimum requirements of associate degree programs
in civilian community colleges, and in 1976, the college received authorization from Congress to provide degree-granting authority
Today, Air University is the largest multi-campus community college in the world. The affiliated schools are located in 37 states and nine foreign locations, according to the college website. Air University has awarded more than 335,000 associate in applied science degrees since its first one in 1977. The college serves to prepare Air Force officers to meet their leadership responsibilities through the professional and personal growth they receive in these collegiate programs.
Community colleges may not be the first institutions that come to mind if you are considering military training, but they do offer a number of comprehensive programs in this area. Combining academic with military training is one of the best ways to prepare for a rewarding career in the armed services.