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Thread: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

  1. #1

    Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Good evening,

    With the recent information I received in my LDO/CWO thread, I come with another question which concerns earning a bachelor's degree not only while being a SEAL, but also while being a trainee. This thread is, of course, for the purpose of commissioning as an officer after going through OCS.

    Would it be possible to earn a degree online, or at least work on it, while being a trainee? On his free time, could a BUD/S trainee work towards earning a degree? And on SQT and other schools?

    If it is not possible, could anyone offer some info on how an active duty SEAL could earn his degree, how he would go about it, and how long it would take?

    Once again, thank you for your time.

  2. #2

    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    It is impossible to earn your degree as a trainee from the time you go to boot camp until your graduate from SQT. As a SEAL candidate you will have little down time. In BUD/s training starts very early in the morning and stops (most of the time)when the sun goes down, but by the time you are done with training you will be in no shape to try and learn. You also get weekends off but thats not enough time to complete a college course. Im not sure about SQT but i think its the same story. The easiest way in my opinion to get your degree and become a SEAL is to go to college first and get your degree then go to training. I say this is the best way because it is impossible to get your degree in training and it is very hard to get your degree when you are an active SEAL because your workups and deployments take up a lot of your time and they will be very demanding. However if you want to go into the navy first there is a way. After your first two deployments as a SEAL you can request to be put on "shore duty" which means you are still a SEAL, but they are giving you the opportunity to get your degree at any college you choose with no interruptions.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Mmarino is correct in that you need to utterly focus on training while in the BUD/S pipeline. You will be consumed with achieving your trident and have little down time for anything else. I agree and recommend you take care of your degree before you come in, or, wait until you've got your trident and are assigned to a Team before you think about school. However, be forewarned the first few years in particular are very busy and you may find it difficult (but not impossible) to achieve a degree, even with online classes.
    Navy SEAL & SWCC Scout Team

    "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
    John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
    35th President of U.S. 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)

  4. #4

    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Excellent information, both replies have helped me determine a game plan for earning that degree. Thank you very much, Mr. Williams and Mmarino!

  5. #5
    Y.Wood
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    I am slightly confused, what you are saying is that if we pass BUD/S and get put in a deployment team, after our first two deployments we can opt for Shore duty which will allow us to earn a bachelors degree at any college. I'm guessing that is as long as we are accepted to the college, and would the Navy/SWCC be offering any kind of scholarship or grant for those who choose to do that? I know those are a lot of questions, but I'm trying to plan for my future.

  6. #6
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    No one is going to interfere with you if you really want to pursue a degree. The Navy has a broad array of programs and benefits for the aspiring college student, chiefly Navy Tuition Assistance. Look it up on the Navy's website. However, for your planning purposes, it is wise to take your opportunities where you can. Once you enter the BUD/S training pipeline and get assigned to a Team, you will have less time to work on a degree, at least initially. My personal opinion is that you should either knock out your degree now while you have the time to focus on it, or wait until you (presumably) make it to a Team and then reassess based on your schedule, which is likely to be very busy for awhile. If obtaining educational benefits is one of your reasons for joining, then by all means wait until you put on the uniform. I have managed to spend comparatively little money in obtaining my degree because of Navy benefits.
    Navy SEAL & SWCC Scout Team

    "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
    John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
    35th President of U.S. 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)

  7. #7

    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Y. wood

    Yes you have apply to the college whether it be a community college or a 4 year university go wherever you get accepted. The navy will pay for it through the post 911 G.I. bill or the navy tuition program i think its called. However by the time your done with your first two deployments your 6 year contract will be up or close to. So you could just retire and then go to college using the G.I. bill. Another thing to think about is if you'll be motivated to go to college when your 24 and have been a SEAL for 6 years. That was the changing factor in my decision because after going through what you SEALs go through and maturing in the Navy you probably wont want to take a political science class with some 18 year old who doesn't know what the f**k he's talking about, let alone go to school at all

  8. #8
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Mr. Williams, does the Navy have any programs where after you serve your first enlistment, you can go to college earn your Bachelor's and re-enlist in your prior MOS. For example at 18 I plan on shipping out to basic, if all goes as planned, I'll serve my 6 year enlistment as an SO, Ill be 24-25 would it be possible to earn my Bachelor's and re-enlist as SO? Is it to late for me to apply to the Academy, and of course if all goes well would I be an officer SO upon Graduation? If that's not an option could I take an ROTC program and re-enlist as an officer or re-enlist and go to OCS and stay in the SO field? I know this is all far in my future, but I plan on "planning the dive, and diving the plan".

    Thanks- Carmicahel

  9. #9
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    You are probably thinking of the Seaman to Admiral Program. Look it up on the Navy's website for details. After you obtain your degree, while active duty, you may apply for Officer Candidiate School and become a SEAL officer (assuming you meet all qualifications). There are other ways to become a SEAL officer. I recommend you check out the SEAL Officer Community Manager website for all the options: [http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-np...election.aspx]
    Or if you decide to get out of the Navy after your first enlistment, you can use your post-911 GI Bill to pay for college.
    Navy SEAL & SWCC Scout Team

    "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
    John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
    35th President of U.S. 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)

  10. #10
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    Re: Earning a Bachelor's while enlisted, for a commission

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmichael View Post
    Mr. Williams, does the Navy have any programs where after you serve your first enlistment, you can go to college earn your Bachelor's and re-enlist in your prior MOS. For example at 18 I plan on shipping out to basic, if all goes as planned, I'll serve my 6 year enlistment as an SO, Ill be 24-25 would it be possible to earn my Bachelor's and re-enlist as SO? Is it to late for me to apply to the Academy, and of course if all goes well would I be an officer SO upon Graduation? If that's not an option could I take an ROTC program and re-enlist as an officer or re-enlist and go to OCS and stay in the SO field? I know this is all far in my future, but I plan on "planning the dive, and diving the plan".

    Thanks- Carmicahel

    Any interested candidate must be no older than their 23rd birthday by July 1st of the year they plan on enrolling in the USNA. Not the exact words, but the info is correct. I looked it up not too long ago because that was a route I was interesting in pursuing as well, but I'm 21 now, and almost 22, so unfortunately, that will not be a viable option for me, even though I would have served in the Navy.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it." - Thucydides
    *08APR2013 SO Contract*

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