Troops to Teachers Program: Facts and Overview

In today’s post, I will review the Troops to Teachers Program.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I believe teachers are IMPORTANT. They are often underpaid and underappreciated. When I look back to my childhood, I can still remember the names of the teachers I had, especially in elementary school. I have good memories of them helping me learn and grow.

When we are children, teachers are some of our most important role models. We often spend more time with them than we do with our own family. Plus, they teach us basic things we need to know to be a functional member of society.

The Problem

We live in turbulent times. There are things going on inside and outside of the United States that captivate our attention. Spend even five minutes on social media and you will think the world is falling apart. One thing that often gets overlooked is the teacher crisis in the USA.

Simply put, not enough new college graduates are becoming teachers. In addition, many teachers are resigning, creating shortages in the ranks. Some of the issues teachers deal with include:

  • Low pay.
  • Politics involved in the education system.
  • Lack of support for disciplinary procedures.
  • Crazy, and often uninvolved parents.
  • Violence at schools.

It’s sad to think there is violence at schools, but it happens. Teachers get shot, assaulted, and disrespected. To be quite honest, many experienced teachers will tell you they would feel safer teaching in a prison than in the public school system. The estimated rates of teacher shortages are frightening to say the least.

I wanted to address these issues before covering the Troop to Teachers Program. I believe this program can help put qualified teachers in schools. Help a veteran. Help students. Help the schools. Everyone wins when you do that!

troops to teachers program

Troops To Teachers Program Overview

The Troops to Teachers Program was established back in 1993. It helps veterans have a career once leaving the military and students and schools who are suffering teacher shortages.

Originally, funding for the program was split equally between the Departments of Education and Department of Defense. In 2013, all funding and oversight was assigned to the Department of Defense. In doing so, day to day operations and management is performed through DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support).

The goals of DANTES are:

  • Lower unemployment rates among veterans.
  • Improve the nation’s education system by providing dedicated, motivated, and experienced personnel to teach.
  • Increase minority and male teachers.
  • And solve the issues of teacher shortages in high-risk, low-income schools.

DANTES is headquartered in Pensacola, Florida. DANTES does not provide teacher certification but when a potential veteran agrees to participate as a teacher, the program will take all steps and help that individual get certified.

The Troops to Teachers (TTT) program helps service members and veterans become certified and employed as teachers in K-12 schools. The program was reauthorized on December 27, 2021, via the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, after being canceled on October 1, 2020. The Department of Defense (DoD) provided funding to restart partial program services in certain states. Information and referral services are being provided through the TTT National Office for states that did not receive funding. A list of the states that received funding is provided further down the webpage. ~ Dantes

Troops To Teachers Program Facts

I am going to share several facts about this program in the section below. If you want to know more, I suggest you visit the DANTES website.

  • If you agree to teach for three years at an eligible school, you can receive up to $5,000 for expenses as a bonus.
  • If you choose a high needs school, that bonus can climb to $10,000 for a 3-year agreement.
  • You must have separated from the military after October 1st, 1990.
  • The member must have an honorable discharge.
  • For an academic position, you must have at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • You must meet all DoD’s requirements for employment.
  • For Career Technical Education, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a training program in that area.
  • For both academic and technical, the individual must agree to collaborate with a teacher-mentor.

Confusion About the Program

I’ve read some articles where people think this program was created to find and train “young soldiers.” In other words, the military would infiltrate the schools and indoctrinate children to join the military.

I think that’s crazy. Why? There are already thousands of VETERAN teachers across America. These teachers do a wonderful job teaching our kids. If anything, they have a deeper appreciation for society, American values, and freedom, than someone who has not served.

Also, keep in mind the following things:

  • These men and women are not Department of Defense employees when they accept the position. They are employees of the school district.
  • Troops to Teachers doesn’t issue teaching licenses; they help and advise participants on the steps to take.
  • By registering, a person does not agree to teach for three years. The three year stipulation comes when funding is accepted.
  • Troops to Teachers do not force people to teach in a school they are not comfortable with.


Overall, the Troops to Teachers Program is a viable method to solve teacher shortages and decrease veteran unemployment.


If you love kids, and want to become a teacher, and are about to transition out of the military, I recommend you take a closer look at the Troop to Teachers program.

What are your thoughts? What do you know about this program? Have you had experience with it before? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

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chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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