Quote from wtbcrna
Ok guys I am trying to write a paper on the effects of deployments on completing your graduate education. I have been sitting here for two hours on the computer searching online databases and not found any decent articles.......somebody throw me a bone.....am I just typing in the wrong thing or what.......
First, I don't know if any papers where this has been studied. Probably because the researchers were deployed and their studies kept getting interupted.
The answer to your question depends on many variables. AD or reservist? Approved by the military for Long Term Graduate Education or just getting your degree on the side? If this is the case does your commander like you and support your goals? What branch of service? If Army (my personal experience) are you enlisted or commissioned (Officers seemed to me to get a little leeway since promotion can depend on advanced degrees)? Are you assigned to an MTOE or TDA unit?
It took me almost 5 years to complete a 2 year associate degree when I was active duty enlisted army on the 67th FST out of Germany and 1/23 Infantry out of Fort Lewis WA. Mission always comes first. I was forced to withdraw from several classes due to deployements. When I was forward deployed to Macedonia awaiting the end of the air war and deployment across the border to Kosovo, I was able to continue my classes, but as soon as we entered Kosovo, there was no educational facilities and computer time was limited so my inability to test required my withdrawl.
When I was in WA a young soldier in my unit decided to steal a pair of Night Vision Goggles while helping with an Arms Room Inventory. The entire company was locked down, to include comissioned officers for 3 days. When I say locked down, I mean I was sleeping in my office chair. I was on my way out the door to class when the commander told me I was not going anywhere until further notice. I missed 3 days of classes that time and was lucky to catch up due to a missed exam.
If you are in a rapid deployment unit such as a Forward Surgical Team, there is little warning as to when you are going to leave. I was on 2 hour recall for 4months out of the year, meaning I had to be packed and ready to leave within 2 hours (we were always packed). When the Embassy was bombed in Kenya in 98' we were stood up at 1500 and gone by the next morning. This did not include training exercises which can be extremely time consuming, especially if you are in a leadership position. When we were not deployed, we were training in the field or recovering from our training. In addition there were numerous military schools that took precedence over a civilian education (Driver, Equipment, Weapons, NBC training and qualification, Expert Field Medical Badge [If you did not have it you were testing x 2 weeks, if you had it you were cadre x 45 days], Medical CE classes, ACLS, PALS, NALS etc...). It really depends on your assignment and the optempo and mission of your unit.
While there were lots of educational opportunities, I was unable to take advantage of many and chose to exit the military to continue my education (AA, ADN, BSN). I'm in the process of applying to CRNA school right now (including the Army program).
Hope this helps. Let me know if I can clarify or offer any additional personal experiences. MBWEAH is getting his Doctorate right now...I'm sure he has some additional insight.