Get Your Military Schools Done ASAP

Today, I’m going to share some career advice about getting your military schools done as quickly as possible.  One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen Soldiers (both officers and NCOs) in the military make is waiting too long, or procrastinating, when it comes to their military schools.

Most people know what military schools they need to get promoted to the next rank.  But for whatever reason, they aren’t proactive about getting enrolled in the schools they need.  I’m really not sure why people procrastinate so much, since I’ve never had that mindset myself, but in most cases it always comes back to haunt the person.

The last thing you ever want to do is lose out on a dream job or a promotion because you haven’t finished the required military education.  I have seen it time and time again in the Army National Guard where people couldn’t get the jobs they wanted, or they got passed over for a promotion, because they didn’t have a certain military school.  That’s ludicrous.

Look, the National Guard and Army are downsizing.  Money for schools is tight.  That’s WHY you need to be proactive and get enrolled in the schools you need sooner rather than later.  Take the time to identify what NCOES or OES courses you need for your next promotions and GET ENROLLED.  Sit down with your Readiness NCO or S1 and have them enroll you in the school TODAY.

If distance learning is an option, utilize that option and complete the school on your own time.  If residency is the only option, you will have fewer choices and you might need to rearrange your schedule.

As I say over and over on this blog “no one cares about your career as much as you do!”  It’s so true.  Don’t wait for your supervisor or chain of command to tell you that you need a certain school.  Manage your own career and be proactive.

This also means that you need to stay in shape, have a current APFT and HT/WT and not be flagged for anything!  There are few things worse than being enrolled in a school, but not being able to attend because you aren’t in shape!

It sounds like common sense, but so many Soldiers mess this up!

If you are up for promotion in a couple years and you know you will need a certain school to get that promotion then complete the school now.  The last thing you want to do is wait for the last minute only to find out the state doesn’t have any money for schools or that you have a scheduling conflict or the course is full.

Murphy is always working against you, so be PROACTIVE with your own career.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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5 thoughts on “Get Your Military Schools Done ASAP”

  1. I also can’t understand why someone would consciously choose to put their career on the back burner when it has barely even begun. As a member of the Army, the further you advance into your life, the more years you’ve ticked off on your life’s calendar, it only becomes more and more difficult to find the time to complete your military schools. You’ll have a spouse and kids, more responsibilities to more people, and your job will become more demanding regardless of whether you have been promoted or not. Complete your military schools when you’re relatively young, healthy, and free from so much responsibility.

  2. I'll share an instances where this came into play.

    I was in a reserve unit and at the current time there was no slot for advancement. The other troops at my same rank failed to do their next level of Military Education while I did it even without the possibility of advancement. Shortly after I finished our Unit Manning Document (UMD) changed and new slots opened up. I was the only one who had finished the proper school.

    There were people with more experience and possibly a better chance for the promotion, but as the only one with the proper school I was promoted. ALWAYS be up to date on mandatory schools. They should take precedence over anything not mission critical.

  3. You are so right. Education is something that you do not want to put off. You never know when the next big promotion or other opportunity is going to present itself, and you need to be ready. Careers are so competitive nowadays, in every field.

    I remember talking to a classmate when I was in my second or third MBA class, and I told him that I was worried about the course load and thought I might take some time off. He flippantly said: “Oh, sure. You should wait until you are younger and have less children and your career is less demanding.” It was the best advice ever, and I kept on going.

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