09/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2019 08:35
ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors eligible to take advantage of the Tuition Assistance (TA) and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) program will have the opportunity with the start of the new fiscal year, Oct. 1.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Anthony Guzman, assigned to the medical department aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), recently used TA to complete his bachelor's degree to progress toward his goal of becoming a medical administrative officer.
Guzman worked toward his degree in health administration services at his last command, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, and finished this summer while aboard Ike.
'I prefer to do paperwork and manage budgets and finances,' said Guzman. 'It's something that interests me. That's kind of why I like doing supply for medical.'
On top of ordering medical supplies, managing storerooms and recently optimizing how they maintain and track items in their system, Guzman balanced a full-time workload of classes-15 credits last fall and 12 credits this spring.
The Educational Service Office's (ESO) Supervisor, Personnel Specialist 2nd Class David Ehrenpreis, said a Naval administrative message (NAVADMIN) 114/19 ensures Sailors like Guzman are mission-ready while pursuing higher education.
'The new NAVADMIN that was released requires the Sailors to be onboard for at least a year, which allows them to start working on their primary rated qualifications and trainings prior to doing off-duty education,' said Ehrenpreis.
Some of the requirements include completing a virtual counseling establishing education and career goals, TA training covering policies and the application process and receiving an academic counseling from a Navy College Program counselor.
Ehrenpreis underlines the importance of balancing the mission and education.
'You need to understand your schedule and not bite off more than you can chew,' said Ehrenpreis.'
Guzman said it's all about time management between pursing department qualifications, off-duty education and home life.
'How much time are you going to be able to put in?' said Guzman. 'It's about how important it is to you and what you want to accomplish. When we were underway, instead of just going to bed I would sit there and do homework. During holiday routine, I would do homework. Any off time I had I would end up doing homework.'
He recognizes how much his hard work benefits his wife and his three kids, and as he looks back on his journey so far, he said appreciates their patience during the process.
'I wanted to become an officer originally, but I didn't have the degree,' said Guzman. 'I was tired of paying for school. I couldn't afford it.'
NAVADMIN 114/19 states that TA and NCPACE funding is now capped at 12 semester hours per fiscal year.
'You'll be one step ahead of the game,' said Ehrenpreis. 'There's always a way to get ahead and right now, TA is definitely that option.'
As Guzman contemplates which route he wants to take to become a medical administrative officer, he looks forward to what he has to gain in the future for he and his family.
'It gives us more opportunities,' said Guzman. 'They know that I had things to get done to improve our lives and help me provide better.'
If you want to begin or continue your off-duty education like Guzman, refer to NAVADMIN 114/19 or visit the ESO desk located in personnel for more information on TA guidelines and the steps needed to take to receive TA.
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.