Millersville University can add another achievement to their mantelpiece.
They were named a Military Friendly School, along with many universities, colleges, and trade schools in the United States. Victory Media Inc., a media organization that provides information and resources to military personnel who are transitioning into civilian life, recently made the recognition.
“I was very pleased to see Millersville recognized for the commitment to our nation’s veterans,” said Major L. Craig Walker, assistant professor for military sciences at Millersville. “It is a tremendous achievement made possible by the university.”
Each year, thousands of faculty and school personnel are invited by snail mail or email to participate in Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools survey. The website gives the school a weighted score based on military support on campus, academic credibility, percent of military students, flexibility of military students and post-graduation employment rates of military students. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools. Furthermore, the schools listed offer military students “the best services, programs, discounts, scholarships, clubs, networking and staff.” For a full list of the schools honored, visit the website www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.
Millersville’s dedication to the success of its military students starts with the Columbia House, housing the ROTC program, and an experienced military staff. Major Walker teaches military science, a study program used to prepare candidates to become officers in the Army. It is the largest out of three available programs to get in the Army, which consists of four years. Major Walker referred to it “as a four-year internship.” The first year consists of teaching leadership styles, enacting self-reflection, self-development, and setting goals and objectives. The second year begins to have students train, supervise, and assess others on their way to their third year, where they are placed in leadership positions to run the program.
The first two years are open to any interested students, especially those who do not wish to pursue a military career after graduation. No matter their interest, students can also major in any of the available departments parallel with the program.
“Students can major in anything,” said Major Walker. “There are advantages to taking math, engineering, science; [they are] things the Army need.”
The Army also needs competent officers. Those who enter the program do not always leave with their wish fulfilled. Major Walker said that not everyone can be an officer. What’s required to successfully complete the program are certain qualities and discipline, as well as the necessary training to take over that kind of responsibility when leaving college. It also takes real commitment.
From Major Walker’s perspective, Millersville has done an excellent job in molding great candidates to enroll in the Army, thanks to the large support of Dr. Aminta Breaux, vice president for student affairs. As such, the University rightfully earned this recognition. He continued, “Primarily, it’s the people here at Millersville. There are a lot of veterans in this area (Central Pennsylvania) and the community respects the military for what they do for America.” On the reverse, military students and staff bring great experiences from their travels around the world.
“They [Millersville] accept everyone,” Major Walker said. “I’ve been surprised… at all the students not affiliated with us at all that still come up and talk to us and thank the military for what they do…”
Columbia House and those housed within offer a wide array of resources for military students. They have active recruiting available for three branches: Active Duty Army, National Guard, and Army Reserves for officers. There is continual information given out to prospective candidates and even guidance on how to join other branches of the military, such as the Navy and Air Force. Veterans also have a place at the Mercer House, or the Veterans House, not only for those who have served in the military, but a great resource for military students.
“It’s a broad spectrum of people here that appreciate what we do,” said Major Walker.