U.S. troops stationed in Iraq will
now be able take college classes. For over half a century, the U.S. Army has
contracted for colleges to teach courses, for credit, in areas overseas were
troops are stationed. Some troops in Iraq have already been taking college
courses via the Internet. One U.S. university has already hired some military
personnel to teach basic college level courses for troops in northern Iraq. But
for troops who take the courses provided by the U.S. Army contractor (usually
the University of Maryland), the courses are free, and credits easily
transferrable to another college. Many troops leave the army after one
enlistment (four years) with a year or more of college credits.
Even in a
combat zone, most of the troops are not involved in the fighting, and have
fairly regular schedules that allow for attending college courses. Some
battalions already have dozens of troops taking courses. Even during the
Vietnam war, there were some University of Maryland courses taught in Saigon.
In Iraq, however, the courses will be available in several of the large bases.
Other troops will still be able to take the Internet based courses.