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Vouchers Available to Accelerate Officer Graduate Education

 By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval officers unable to pursue full-time graduate studies now have an additional education option with the FY-18 Graduate Education Voucher (GEV) program, announced July 11.

Detailed in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 160-17, the GEV program offers eligible officers the opportunity to receive funded graduate education during off-duty hours. Through GEV, unrestricted line (URL) officers can apply to receive funding for Navy-relevant graduate education meeting the requirements of at least one sub-specialty code as specified by the Navy Sub-specialty System.

"It can be challenging for many officers to maintain their career progression and simultaneously schedule full-time education at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or other institutions," said Dr. Cheral Cook, graduate education coordinator for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC). "The GEV program offers an accelerated funding path to an off-duty master's degree with financial support of up to $20,000 per fiscal year, with a total limit of $40,000 for the entire course of study."

All 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, 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.

Lt. Stephen Watson, a pilot and instructor at Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 (HM 12) in Norfolk, recently completed his Master of Business Administration degree with Syracuse University. He will soon be returning to the fleet in an operational MH-53E squadron.

"In my opinion, education is everything. If you're enlisted, it can help you receive a commission or promote. If you're an officer, it will help you hone your skills and promote," said Watson. "For both officers and enlisted, it opens up new doors and offers higher compensation upon your entry into the civilian workforce."

GEV applicants select a regionally-accredited school and choose a specific course of study meeting their community's sub-specialty requirements. Education plans are reviewed and approved for the Navy sub-specialty code by NPS.

The GEV program is targeted at officers with demonstrated superior performance and upward career mobility who are transferring to 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 officers in pay grades O-3 through O-5, in designators 111X (Surface Warfare), 112X (Submarine Warfare), 113X (Special Warfare/SEAL), 114X (Special Operations), and 13XX (Naval Aviator/Naval Flight Officer).

For FY-18, there are 32 planned quotas: Surface Warfare - 10; Submarine - 8; Special Warfare/Special Operations/Explosive Ordnance Disposal - 4; Aviation - 10. Details of quotas by degree program and warfare areas are listed in the NAVADMIN, and additional information can be found on the Navy College Program's GEV Web page at http://www.navycollege.navy.mil/resources/gev.htm.

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 sub-pecialty billet not later than the second tour following graduation. OPNAVINST 1520.37B contains additional information on specific program requirements. Interested officers should submit written requests to their detailer per the current NAVADMIN and OPNAV instructions.

Program-specific GEV questions should be addressed to GEV Program Manager Bryan Gromer at 850-473-6061, DSN 753 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For those not qualifying for the GEV program, educational assistance may be available through the tuition assistance program, G.I. Bill, or other graduate education programs, as listed on the Navy College Web site at http://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.

Get the latest voluntary education (VOLED) information by following Navy Voluntary Education on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NavyVoluntaryEducation/.

Additional information about the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center can be found via http://www.netc.navy.mil/netc/netpdc/Default.htm.

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