Jason Harris may only be in his 30s, but he’s quickly nearing retirement. You see, Harris has been an active duty member of the Army National Guard for over 19 years, so when he began thinking about making the transition to civilian life, the military encouraged him to pursue a college degree.
Harris began exploring his college options and finally decided the Minnesota School of Business-Online was the best fit for him. By attending college online Harris, a logistics management student, was able to remain stationed with the Alpha Company 32D BSTB in Onalaska, Wis.
We had a chance to ask Harris a few questions about his life as an active duty Army National Guardsman and an Online student, check out what he had to say about how he manages to find time for it all:
What branch of the military are you in? Rank?
I am in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. I currently hold the position of a Supply NCO which is the rank a Staff Sergeant holds.
Where are you currently stationed, and where have you previously been deployed (or plan to be deployed to)?
I am currently stationed in Onalaska, Wis., for Alpha Company 32D BSTB. The previous 19 years of my career, I was stationed in Antigo for several different units that were located there. I have been deployed twice—once to northern Kuwait and the most recent time was in Baghdad. Both were approximately a year long.
Who or what inspired you to pursue your degree?
The military looks highly upon soldiers who want to better themselves, and that was my initial driving force behind getting a college degree. Now, I’m getting close to retirement, so having a degree will help me transition into the civilian world.
What are some ways you balance your time between your military duties and your education?
One way that I balance my time is that I dedicate a couple days a week that I leave work a little early to do my homework. With the demands of being a Supply Sergeant, I have to sometimes take a semester off from school because of a field exercise, and internet access and time to do the required assignments are in short supply.
Can you think of a specific class or skill you’ve learned in class that you’ve been able to apply to your current career?
My degree will be in Logistical Management which correlates directly to my position as a Supply Sergeant. Many of the classes that are assigned for this degree plan fit into my everyday work.
Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
I am close to retirement so within five years, I see myself fully transitioned into civilian life, making a living in a warehouse or business as an inventory coordinator or production manager.