Navy unrestricted line (URL) officers can apply to receive funding for Navy-relevant graduate education under the 2010 Graduate Education Voucher (GEV) program. The program was announced by Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. M. E. Ferguson. The program offers eligible Unrestricted Line (URL) officers the opportunity to receive funded graduate education during off-duty hours.
“Not all career paths provide the opportunity for full-time education at the Naval Postgraduate School or other institution,” said Cheral Wintling, Graduate Education coordinator for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC). “The GEV program offers a path to an off-duty master’s degree with financial latitude of up to $20,000 per fiscal year, with a limit of $40,000 for the entire course of study.”
DARTAll required fees normally charged by the university relating directly to student application and enrollment, including mandatory health fees and health insurance, laboratory fees, vehicle registration and identification cards, and computer fees are reimbursable. Other reimbursable expenses include the cost of textbooks and course materials, and limited expenditures for transcript and entry fees, and final thesis production.
Cmdr. Nathan Strandquist, deputy branch head for current ships on the OPNAV staff, is a surface warfare officer who was recently selected for special mission command and was a GEV participant.
“I believe graduate education was essential for my career success,” said Strandquist. “The GEV program was a much better deal than regular Tuition Assistance and kept my out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum. I feel that education at a civilian institution exposes you to different ideas and points of view that, combined with military education, strengthens the officer community as a whole.”
GEV applicants must select a regionally accredited school and choose a specific course of study which meets specific officer community subspecialty requirements. The education plan is reviewed and approved for the Navy subspecialty code by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).
The GEV program is targeted at officers with demonstrated superior performance and upward career mobility who are transferring or have recently reported to shore duty, in order to allow sufficient time for completion of a graduate program. The GEV program is open to URL active duty list officers, paygrades O-3 through O-5, in designators 111X, 112X, 113X, 114X, and 13XX
There are 80 planned quotas available for FY10 as follows: Surface Warfare - 28; Submarine - 15; Aviation - 35; Special Warfare/Special Operations (SPECWAR/SPECOPS) - 2. Quotas by degree program and warfare areas are available in NAVADMIN 052/10, and additional information can be found on the Navy College Program’s GEV web page.
Some restrictions apply and enrollment in the program carries a service obligation of three times the number of months of education completed, with a minimum of 24, and a maximum of 36 months obligation. Officers completing a degree using GEV should expect to serve one tour in a subspecialty billet not later than the second tour following graduation. NAVADMIN 052/10 contains additional information on specific program requirements. Interested officers should submit written requests to their detailer, per the NAVADMIN. For ships at sea, applications via naval message containing the required information will be accepted.For those not qualifying for the GEV program, educational assistance may be available through the Navy Tuition Assistance program, GI Bill or other graduate education program, as listed on the Navy College website.