Can Active Duty Personnel Complete Online Courses while Deployed?

When you enlist in a branch of the American military and find yourself on active duty status, you can take some online courses. Unlike the classes you might take in your home town or near your base, you’ll take these classes online and use the computers and network connections available to you. Online programs let you take general education requirements to complete a full program later, but other programs let you take all the classes you need to graduate with a degree while doing your duty. Learn more about these programs and how online classes can help you before enrolling.

What is a Deployment?

Active duty is a term that can refer to two different stages in your military career. This often refers to the time when your unit receives a call from the military that it is time for you to serve your country, but it can also refer to your general status. The military may use the term to explain that you are actively working on a local base and know that you may move to another base or location at any point in the near future. Deployment is when you actually move to a new base or a new location in the world.

Can Soldiers Take Classes?

Enlisted men and women absolutely can take classes online. Whether you live and work on a base in the United States, or you find yourself deployed into the field in a foreign territory, online courses are available to you. Some schools even offer programs designed just for enlisted personnel. These programs may give you a little more time to complete your assignments and come with online resources that you can use in lieu of textbooks. You may even find colleges that offer you course credit for your military service. 

Paying for Courses

When you decide to enter college, you can apply for financial aid and submit the FAFSA. If you wait until after you complete your military time, you can use your GI Bill benefits to may for your education expenses. Sergeant Justin A. Naylor recommends that students check with the military about compensation as well. Naylor found that the Army Tuition Assistance program gives enlisted students up to $4,500 a year that they can use to pay for online classes. Other branches of the military have similar programs that help military students study online while enlisted.

Why Study Online?

Taking online classes appeals to any student who doesn’t have the time to take classes on a traditional campus a few times a week. As an online student, you have the chance to take courses on dozens of different topics, work on your assignments when you’re off duty and transfer those credits to a college when you retire from the military or end your service. Depending on the amount of time you remain enlisted, you may even complete one or more degrees before you finish your service. Studying online is generally more affordable as well.

Enlisting in the military lets you serve your country and protect the freedom of citizens. Instead of waiting until you finish your four years or a longer commitment to get your GI Bill benefits, you may want to enter college while still enlisted. Active duty personnel like yourself can take online courses while from colleges around the world.