U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific


U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Marine Corps has more to offer

By Pfc. J. Ethan Hoaldridge | | June 27, 2005

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(Photo by Pfc. J. Ethan Hoaldridge)

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U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii – -- “Feet and elbows 45 degrees, one point of black, tight fists, lean back,” barks a Marine drill instructor.  He stands in front of a platoon of Marine recruits in formation for drill.  Every aspect of their posture and the way they carry their rifles was near perfect as they execute the sequenced drill movements.

It is this attention to detail and discipline drilled into recruits that gives them the tools for success as a Marine, but it doesn’t stop there.
Educational opportunities continue to provide a way for Marines to build for a bigger, better future in and out of the Corps.

“Marines at Camp Smith and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, can start their college career by attending a class provided by the Joint Education Center, MCBH on tuition assistance and other pertinent information to further their education,” said Loretta Cornett-Huff, Command Education Center Office, MCBH.

The classes run every Tuesday at 10 a.m, and are usually given by Huff.

Most universities award college credit to Marines for their training in boot camp and Marine Combat Training, giving them a head start in attaining their degree.

Marines may also use Marine Corps Institute correspondence courses as a source for college credits.

“All of those credits from training are listed on a Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Transcript for all Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Edwin A. Ortiz, administrative clerk. “With tuition assistance, in three years you could be three quarters of the way finished with a bachelor’s degree and not worry about student loans or debt.”

The tuition assistance pays for 100 percent of the costs minus books and supplies.

The tuition assistance is limited to 4,500 dollars a semester, which should afford most a full load of classes, depending on how much each class costs.

For additional help, the Montgomery GI Bill provides money toward college education for all servicemembers. 

If servicemembers choose to invest 1,800 dollars in their GI Bill through a series of partial payments, they can increase the amount of money received per month for their education by $150.

Financially, getting a degree is made easier with the tuition assistance and GI Bill, but what makes it possible to handle both your job as a Marine and a student is location.

“What makes it so easy to start your college career here is that most of the classes needed for your beginning semesters are located aboard Camp Smith or MCBH,” said Cornett-Huff.

“When Marines progress to upper-level courses that aren’t offered on base, they have the opportunity to take those classes on-line,” she said. “In some cases it’s possible to earn a degree without setting foot on a university campus.”

The offer has been laid on the table for Marines to take advantage of.  It’s a simple matter of mapping out their goals and exploring the Corps’ resources that can help reach them.

For more information contact the Joint Education Center, MCBH, at (808) 257 – 2158.