Military Education Success Stories

College student using a laptop.

Airman Vanbremen's Story

Senior Airman Russell Vanbremen of the 613th Contingency Response Group had more than his share of accomplishments arriving at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During his 15-month tour, he was inundated with Advance Security Forces responsibilities. But, his military training was not the only education he wanted. Vanbremen also wanted an Associate of Applied Science degree from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) in Criminal Justice, which he obtained through off-duty education and completion of several College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.

Vanbremen was also selected during graduation ceremonies as the Pitsenbarger Award recipient for his graduating class. The Pitsenbarger Award provides a one-time grant of $500 to selected top USAF enlisted personnel graduating from CCAF who plan to pursue a baccalaureate degree. The grants coincide with the CCAF graduation ceremonies held each spring and fall. Vanbremen is transferring to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to be an Air Force recruiter. He says that he will continue his educational pursuits with the same the focus he had at Andersen Air Force Base.

Petty Officer Hopkins Tells His Story

"I started taking college classes at night and weekends and at every duty station where the opportunity allowed. I have used Navy Tuition Assistance and taken CLEP tests, DSST's, and Excelsior tests. I am getting my bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College and I am two classes short of my goal."

"I am separating from active duty to go into the Reserves. I will be attending Tarleton State University, where I'll finish my last two classes and then enroll as a graduate student using my GI Bill and Navy College Fund. I plan to pursue a master's degree in Animal Science and Development to become a high school agriculture teacher in Texas."

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