FORT HOOD, TX, UNITED STATES
FORT HOOD, Texas – The Education Services Division hosted the 16th Annual Graduation Ceremony for III Corps and Fort Hood, Nov. 15.
Given that most active duty military students take courses online and not in the classroom, they would not normally be given the chance to participate in an official graduation ceremony.
“We are all just glad to have the opportunity to have a ceremony like this to honor our achievement,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alberto Rodriguez, rear detachment noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Cav. Brigade, 1st Cav. Division.
Approximately 180 graduates from all over Fort Hood walked the stage to receive their advanced degree, Rodriguez stated.
“People from many different universities and different programs are all getting their degree today,” Rodriguez explained.
The ceremony was open to all students of certificate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs who recently graduated, or were within six credit hours of graduation.
“I am getting my Bachelor or Arts in Homeland Security from the American Military University,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez intends to use his degree to continue to serve the U.S. after he transitions into the civilian sector.
Dr. Kathryn M. Sneed, president and director of Service Members Opportunity Colleges, spoke to the gathered graduates about how the value of earning an advanced degree may not change their immediate situation.
“Tomorrow you will return to the same job, same employer, and resume business as usual,” said Sneed. “Your earning potential and growth opportunity may be deferred to later in your career.”
Despite this deferment, Sneed encourages graduates not to be lax in their achievement, but to begin using their knowledge to affect their behavior right away.
“I would encourage you to think about your newly acquired skills and knowledge and put them to use immediately,” said Sneed. “I propose you move beyond just getting the degree to becoming a knowledgeable leader.”
Sneed explains that such a leader is a person who looks at problems and issues from a different perspective in order to find a solution that may have been overlooked.
Just like earning a degree made the graduates stronger, more educated soldiers; knowledgeable leaders can create a stronger, more educated Army, said Sneed.
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