CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Celebrating the academic achievements of servicemembers, civilians and family members, the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Education Center hosted a joint-college graduation ceremony Nov. 3 at the Morning Calm Conference Center on the installation.
In front of an audience of uniformed personnel and family members, 41 recent graduates or near graduates from 19 universities and colleges walked the stage to receive their academic degrees, all while fulfilling full-time military or other duties.
Col. Roderick F. Laughman, Eighth U.S. Army deputy commander for sustainment and keynote speaker at the ceremony, expressed immense pride in the graduates as he handed out each diploma.
In his keynote address, Roderick told the graduates that lifelong learning often involves taking risks and not shying away from failure, but if they do fail then learn from it and move on. He emphasized that the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong journey, even if it does not take place in a formal classroom setting.
“When you look back on the things you remember, were any of these things easy?” said Laughman. “Your completion of this degree was full of experiences that will long be engrained into who you are. You are better from this experience, even those things that you did not enjoy but nevertheless conquered.”
Capt. Jaime Bass, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion-Enhanced, 1st Signal Brigade, was the student keynote speaker at the ceremony.
Bass echoed Laughman’s remarks and spoke about the risks, failures and challenges he encountered while pursuing his degree.
He talked about how he had to figure out how to financially pay for his program, then taking classes while simultaneously enrolled in the Captain’s Career Course, to eventually serving overseas in Korea – now as a company commander – and struggling to find time for his classes.
“Now just compare all that to trying to put out a bush fire and all you have is a wet chain doused in oil,” said Bass. “But I made it, sometimes I don’t know how I made it, but I sure am glad I did. I stand before you, battle-hardened, degree in hand, and a smile on my face.”
Bass received a Master of Arts in Global Security with a concentration on cybersecurity from Arizona State University. He chose his major to “explore the intersection of the social and technical aspects of today’s world to better understand the complexities of modern warfare.” He plans to continue his education even further and pursue a doctorate’s degree.
There may be challenges to pursuing higher education, but Clara Sagoe, chief of Army Continuing Education Services at the Humphreys Education Center, wants service members to know that education counselors are ready to assist each soldier in evaluating their academic goals.
“The Humphreys Education Center helps service members streamline their educational journey and helps them save time and money,” said Sagoe. “We help with selecting appropriate degree programs and understanding the financial aspects of education, such as Army tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities.
For many of the graduating students at the Morning Calm Conference Center the Humphreys Education Center played a vital role in supporting them while they pursued their education. The commencement ceremony was not only a celebration of individual achievement but a culmination of both academic and military achievements.
Sgt. Colleen Evely, 814th Multi-Role Bridge Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, graduated from American Military University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration on fish and wildlife.
Just like Bass and the other graduates, she too endured challenges to pursuing her degree.
“I am extremely proud of all my accomplishments while being active duty, stationed overseas and going through two pregnancies while being a full-time student. I finally did it!” said Evely.
Her future plans are to someday work for the Florida or Kentucky state fish and wildlife agencies. She chose her degree program because she is passionate about animals and for the future of the environment.
Sgt. Dwight Spence, 2-2 Assault Helicopter Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, stationed at K-16, Seoul Airbase, Korea, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland Global Campus.
“I chose this degree because it was perfect for developing my leadership skills, critical thinking, and investigative research that has benefited my career greatly,” said Spence.
Spence wants to continue his education and complete a Master of Science in cybersecurity management and policy degree with UMGC and strive for a position as a chief information security officer.
Among the graduates was Charles Oshon, a military spouse, who managed to complete his degree while supporting his partner’s deployments, changes in duty station and military life.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security from the University of Maryland Global Campus.
“I chose this major because there is still a lot of threat to our homeland, whether big or small, and I want to make a difference,” said Oshon. “I am one step closer to my next goal, which is a masters in cybersecurity and technology.”
Oshon plans to start his graduate studies in the upcoming winter semester.
As the event closed, the graduates stood to face the audience and moved the tassels on their caps from the right to the left, indicating that they are graduates. The audience applauded their dedication, courage, and their ability to succeed in both the classroom and on the battlefield.
The Humphreys Education Center facilitates access to educational institutions and programs, both on-post and online, that cater to the needs and schedules of military personnel. The U.S. Army Continuing Education System collaborates with colleges, universities, and vocational schools throughout the U.S. to offer a variety of flexible learning options, including online courses and distance learning programs.
U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys is the “Army’s Home in Korea” and is located along the western coast of South Korea within the seaport city of Pyeongtaek, approximately 40 miles south of Seoul. Camp Humphreys is the headquarters for the Eighth U.S. Army, the Second Infantry Division, the Army’s most active airfield in the Pacific, and the hub of U.S. Forces Korea.
|Date Posted:||11.07.2023 01:55|
|Location:||CAMP HUMPHREYS, 41, KR|
This work, New graduates celebrate academic milestone while serving in uniform, by Patrick Bray, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.