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Special Operations Veterans Ask Army to not Cut Tuition, Certification Benefits

May 6, 2024

Patty Nieberg

Task & Purpose

A candidate helps carry a simulated patient during Special Forces Assessment and Selection at Camp Mackall, North Carolina January 18, 2024. Army photo by K. Kassens.

By Patty Nieberg, Task & Purpose / May 3, 2024

 Special operators are asking the Army not to cut benefits that help soldiers pay for secondary education and vocational training for civilian jobs post-military service.

David Cook, director of the Special Operations Association of America said that an Army proposal to cut civilian tuition and certification assistance could mean special operators like Green Berets and Rangers would lose a key path for promotions, leading to lower retention rates. 

“The nature of special operations is that you have to volunteer to get selected, you have to go through the most rigorous training in the world and you go in every day with people that are better than you,” Cook, a former psychological operations soldier, told Task & Purpose. “Along with the fact that the Army evaluations have included secondary education to be promoted for senior enlisted ranks – then special operations promotion rates are higher than the conventional Army – which means that tuition assistance is a vital incentive for special operators to take advantage of.”

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