November 6, 2012

College Students in The Military



Since the 2007 recession, military active services and reserves have met or exceeded their Fiscal Year recruitment goals and college students’ interest has also increased, according to Marine Corps Capt. Elan Greenberg.

“We have seen an increase in currently enrolled college students inquiring about the benefits service to our nation as a commissioned Marine Corps officer,” Greenberg said.  “Anecdotal evidence suggests that the economy is making people consider us for the tangible benefits, but experience shows us that only someone truly committed to becoming a Marine officer will complete the process.”

Military branches vary in the benefits they provide, but some factors like salary while receiving education and military training, scholarships, healthcare, family services and support groups remain consistent.

Ashley Espin, 21, joined the U.S Air Force in 2011 after struggling to juggle life between two jobs, participating on the volleyball team and attending NYC College of Technology. Espin works in personnel and human resources during the day and attends school at University of Alaska Anchorage Community and Technical College University during the evenings.

“Everyone joins for different reasons, the most common are: school, military background and pride in serving their country and traveling,” Espin said.

Espin said everyone she works with is enrolled in college and many who have already been enlisted for a few years have associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“The recession might have something to do with [college student’s enlistment in recent years]; the military helps out in the sense that it provides security to many,” Espin added. “We get a certain amount to pay our rent every month, food and if you have dependents you get dependent rate on top of your base pay. Not to mention our medical care — we are seen whenever we want to be seen, we don’t have to pay for any medication for ourselves and our dependents.”

National Priorities Project, a non-governmental organization that works to clarify federal budget information, said although the data does not suggest a strong statistical connection between unemployment rates and recruit rates, other factors lend support to recruiter’s assertions that the poor economy is driving candidates to seek out the armed forces as a career choice.

In 2011, the army set a goal that 90 percent of recruits would have at least a high school diploma after a NPP study found 80 percent of recruits with a high school diploma will complete their first term of enlistment while up to half of those with alternative credentials or no diploma will drop out.

Qikun Tan, a junior at Queens College, joined the Marine Corps. after his freshman year in college to become a mortarman. While Tan agreed some people join the military for the financial benefits he said he joined because he realized there were people he loved that he wanted to protect.

“For the Marine Corp, we have the least amount of funding. I’m paying college out of my own pocket, the Military does have a G.I Bill, but it doesn’t benefit you until you’ve been into combat; pay is not that great,” said Tan. “I’m pretty sure some would join the military for the money, it’s possible for the Army, Navy and Air Force because they have a decent amount of funding.”

NPP’s previous years of analysis have been adjusted to reflect a candidate pool of 18-24-year-olds instead of the 15-24 standard used previously. This may be due to standards adjustments for potential candidates such as the Army discontinuance of its program to help enlistees earn their GED as part of their training in 2010. In 2011, the maximum enlistment age was also lowered for the Army from 42 to 35 years old thus altering when applicants can apply.

The Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy accept very few applicants whose education does not extend beyond high school or a GED, lending high recruitment efforts toward CUNY students.

“I work with all CUNY schools, and I regularly submit applications from full-time students and recent graduates. CUNY students are active applicants to our programs, and they show a strong desire to serve their country and their community,” Greenberg said.


Photo by Brandon Jordan
The food trucks, like Shah's Halal Food, will soon be leaving the campus because of the winter season.

Winter is coming, but food trucks are going

The distinct smell of Shah’s Halal Food on The Quad at Queens College will soon disappear as winter approaches. During the winter, a few trucks will not appear on campus. However, they will return in the spring. “I’m de...
by Sara Scheidlinger

Photo by Phil Vallone
From left to right: School Certifying Official for Veteran Student Services Lorraine Rosenfeld, retired Colonel Gregory Gadson, Veterans Outreach Specialist Dennis Torres and Executive Director of Student Life John Andrejack

Retired Army officer speaks to students about overcoming obstacles

The New York Giants faced the Washington Redskins, their rivals, in the third week of the 2007-2008 season. Before the game, retired Army colonel Gregory Gadson, invited by a former West Point classmate, spoke to them about h...
by Phil Vallone

Photo by Yongmin Cho
The Feminist Press was founded in 1970 and became a part of CUNY in 1985. They publish works related to feminism.

Feminist Press still relevant after 45 years

At the CUNY Graduate Center is a small, educational non-profit organization that fought and still fighting for big social changes. The Feminist Press, located at 365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5406, publishes feminist classics, offer...
by Yongmin Cho


Photo by Mahnoor Mirza

Humans of Queens College created to highlight student stories

Humans of Queens College is a thing. An adaption from Humans of New York, the popular blog which highlights the lives of New Yorkers, HOQC seeks to exemplify the concept for QC students. Shiran Cohen, junior, Solomon Shapiro, ...
by Mahnoor Mirza

Photo by Christina Cardona
Joyce Carol Oates holds up a copy of her latest memoir, which she spoke about at LeFrak Concert Hall on Nov. 10

Author Joyce Carol Oates discusses memoir at Evening Readings

Joyce Carol Oates read from her latest memoir, “The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age,” on Nov. 10 at LeFrak Concert Hall for the Evening Readings Series. “The Lost Landscape” is a memoir about her childhood a...
by Christina Cardona



College students struggle to balance jobs and education

Franklin Rodriguez, a senior, applied to four to five jobs since his freshman year. For him, it was difficult selling himself to employers. “The hardest thing when applying for jobs and internships, for me, would be the proc...
by Brandon Jordan

Photo by Brandon Jordan
Kirsten Weld spoke about looking into the archive of the Guatemalan dictatorship. In the above photograph, Weld shows one document she discovered.

Harvard professor explains value of Guatemalan archives

Historian Kirsten Weld visited Queens College to discuss archives found in Guatemala, specifically ones during its civil war. Weld, a history professor at Harvard University, released a book last year titled “Paper Cadavers:...
by Brandon Jordan



Students share their lives with diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, which highlights a disease at least 29 million Americans have, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are two main types. Type 1 diabetes is when the body canno...
by Shira Rosner


“The Cherry Orchid” teaches lessons on regrets and letting go

The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts held a production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” directed by Lisa Rothe earlier this month. At Rathaus Hall M-11, the play firs...
by Lea Passione


Queens College is center of America’s Got Talent auditions

Jugglers, singers, musicians and break dancers were some of the 1,600 applicants at the Q Cafe and Rathaus Hall on Nov. 14. They all were applying for America’s Got Talent, the popular reality show on NBC that first began i...
by Erica Finocchio



CUNY affiliates with The Rubin Museum

Students and faculty could, on a Friday night, learn about Himalayan Asian culture thanks to a recent partnership between The Rubin Museum and CUNY. “What this partnership provides, which is really exciting, is that in addit...
by Philipp Regala


Students are right to be concerned

In the past week, college students have been protesting, pressuring and bringing attention to racial injustice on their campuses. Of course, controversy developed because of this over political correctness and free speech for j...
by admin



Policing in New York City needs to change

Sophomore Yibin Mu uploaded a video on Oct. 25 showing an officer apparently placing him in a headlock, a disturbing image for anyone to see. Mu rode his skateboard at Columbus Circle in spite of signs barring it. An officer, o...
by admin


NABA helps students with business opportunities

During the 1960s, many black accountants felt there were not enough promotions for them in the corporate world. However, in 1969, nine accountants decided to create NABA to help members network and challenge discrimination. ...
by Irving Cruz


Photo by Brandon Jordan
Meeting rooms, like the one above, at Rosenthal Library are a space where students can work, for example, a class presentation.

Library offers convenience through Mediascape rooms

Large glass doors, luxury couches, smooth chairs, a wide roundtable and a 36-inch TV. This is not a fantasy, it is a Mediascape room at the library. In 2008, the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library announced it would renovate all six...
by Brandon Hernandez