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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Endorsement for military science program          Send a link to a friend

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to inform the community about the benefits of enrolling in college and taking military science courses. Military science is a four-year program that will help students achieve their goals and make them leaders for not only the community, but for our country. I have spent the last 22 years in the United States military and have grown personally and professionally from all of my experiences. I became an officer in the Army by participating in military science while I was in college.

As my twin daughters progress through high school and begin to look forward to attending college, I see many opportunities for them. Each year there are many students who cannot or will not enroll in college because they lack the financial ability to do so. Nearly 85 percent of students who are enrolled in military science at Eastern Illinois University compete for and receive scholarship benefits of some kind. There are federal scholarships that pay full tuition and all fees, or room and board. Additionally, there is a book allowance of $900 along with a monthly stipend. There are also scholarships supported by the Illinois General Assembly. These scholarships pay all tuition and limited fees and incur no military commitment. Each community college in the state has three transfer scholarships that are specifically designated for students who transfer from a community college to a four-year college and enroll in military science.

[to top of second column in this letter]

Parents and students alike have a misunderstanding of what is associated with military science. Many fear that by enrolling in military science that a commitment to the military is incurred. Not until the beginning of the junior year is a student asked to make a commitment to the military. Military science is an elective class that can be taken, just like any other, and if a student decides that military science is not for them, there is no obligation to sign up for another class. A student can participate in military science and decide that the military is not what they want to do with their life. Should one of my daughters decide to enroll military science and complete the program, she will have an accredited military science minor along with her chosen major.

I served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was responsible for 75 soldiers and millions of dollars of equipment. Thankfully all 75 of my soldiers and I came home safely. Although times were difficult, I drew upon the foundation of leadership that I built while I was enrolled in military science.

Mark A. Woodsmall

(Posted July 13, 2005)

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