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Sequestration Stops Marines Tuition Assistance Program

Prompted by sequestration cuts, the Marine Corps has halted new enrollments in its tuition assistance program.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Saturday that one of the immediate consequences of sequestration would be the ceasing of new U.S. Marine Corps enrollments in voluntary education tuition assistance.

Stars and Stripes reports the announcement also affects Marines now enrolled in the program:

Marines already using the program said they were informed that their assistance also would be cut off after the current semester and that they should meet with guidance counselors for information about scholarships and grants.

Tuition Assistance (TA) provides active-duty Marines with funding to help pay for "High School completion, Vocational Certificates, Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate Degrees."

Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis told he worries the sequestration cuts will affect tuition programs in other branches of the military, too:

"It's just the beginning in the curtailment or even the ending of the 'people programs' that the military provides.

"It's an unfortunate reality right now. The military preaches higher education from day one – it's a right of passage for higher rank – and now they're cutting the programs."

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Avatar for user 'greendouglash'

greendouglash | March 7, 2013 at 12:30 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Now, I've seen several posts about this and this is what I have to say. I'm upset, but I also have perspective. People are paying for college in the civilian world, and we also have the GI bill to use for college. If you want to go to college, you still can on your own dime (loans) or via the GI bill which you still have available. Tuition Assistance was nice, but not an entitlement. The fact that the Marine Corps is dropping the program is saddening, but not an outrage. My problems with this is not the lack of Tuition Assistance, but the obvious other places that the government could cut back rather than education. If you want to finish your degree, please use your GI bill if you cannot afford loans or out of pocket expenses.

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Avatar for user 'squelch'

squelch | March 7, 2013 at 7:53 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

greendouglash: It is an outrage, because the cut was published as part of an ALNAV (All Navy) message, as opposed to an ALMAR (All Marines) message, which suggests that this reaction to the sequester is occuring as a result of direction from the SECNAV and not the Commandant of the Marine Corps. If THAT is the case, why hasn't SECNAV seen fit to suspend TA for his sailors as well? Is it more important that his sailors receive an education while on active duty than his Marines? If this is a cost-saving measure, then why cut TA for the smallest branch of service and not for the larger population that is the Navy proper?

This stinks to me.

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Avatar for user 'ChiefBobF'

ChiefBobF | March 7, 2013 at 9:42 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Marine Corps usually initiates new policies that are coming down the pipeline before they are official (i think). All other services will probably follow with the same or slightly modified policy soon (i think). I also (think) that if you are not a professional education advisor that you probably shouldn't give advice or suggestions on how to fund education or how to use the Montgomery or Post 9-11 GI Bill. Furthermore, (i think) there will be a greater emphisis on counseling military personnel and their families on how to apply for Federal Aid, Scholarships & Grants, and how to claim schooling on their taxes. I would also (think) that they would go over accreditation with transferability and enlisted to officer programs in mind. If I were thinking positively (half glass full) I would (think) that this would mostly likely make military personnel (students) have more of a stake into their own education and take it more seriously. Once a Tank has ran over a flower, the flower is dead. Much better to tend to the rest of your garden and help prevent further disaster than to cry and complain over the flower that you have no control over. (I think).

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Avatar for user 'aconcernedcitizen'

aconcernedcitizen | March 8, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

I think that this is a huge problem to cut the tuition assistance for the Marines. As a former Navy Corpsman, I know what it feels like to be on either side of the fence with Marines/Sailors. Regardless, the benefit needs to stand. The benefit was just recently raised to meet all other branches of service. I can remember both services NCO's not allowing members to attend (based upon needs supposedly), but just because that was how they were done in their careers (Operant Conditioning). Need I also mention that Sailors and Marines, in reserve status are/were never eligible to receive it? USAR, ASAF, ARNG, AIRNG, USCG (now under DHS), USCGRES, USARES, all are eligible to receive it in every capacity. Basically, our operational capacity is far above the other branches, as we protect America's interest abroad, under direct guidance of the Commander and Chief, and always the first in every fight. Who captured Sadaam and killed Osama? It's f***en sad that political non-sense affects those that are most dedicated to a righteous cause. Not knocking any other branches of service, but I've seen engineers on a naval boat work 6 hours on/6 hours off for a 6 month rotation. Hopefully, their 4 hour watch isn't within the time frame they should be sleeping. They see daylight about twice within that period. Deck seaman performing manual duties 18 1/2 hours throughout the day. Airmen on a flighteck, risking limb/life to safely land an Osprey, Marines risking it all to save another. Do they really deserve to be held back on achieving education while serving? If there was a way for the Navy/Marines now to just receive the equal amount, try balancing the budget in between all the branches. The Department of the Navy is the sole responsibility of the President and the other branches receive financing from Congress. The President cut defense spending overseas, they cut his Presidential budget. I don't particular care for either side of the aisle, but the country needs to wake up. He is in fact, The Commander and Chief, Congress is what it is, and Our Sailors/Marines/Soldiers/Airmen don't deserve any of it....

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