Southeastern Council on Military Education


President's Message

Dear Colleagues and SECOME members,

Over the next couple of months, the Board of Directors and the Members at Large will be focusing on the agenda content for the 2016 Symposium to ensure that we are meeting not only our members’ needs, but the military-affiliated students’ needs. We have already been getting great feedback from our members and we anticipate this year’s symposium to be the largest event in the organization’s history!

But keep in mind that the “early bird gets the warm!” Because the venue is in the ideal location of downtown historic Savannah, space is limited. Within this economy, we know that it is important to be cost effective when choosing to participate in a professional development event, so please pay close attention to our early bird specials when registering for the event. We would hate to see anyone miss this opportunity!

Warmest regards,

Ashley Adamovage

President, SECOME

Operation college Promise Certified Veteran Service Provider Program - March 9-11

The University System of Georgia and Armstrong State University are proud to announce that we will be hosting the Operation College Promise Certified Veteran Service Provider program March 9-11, 2016.  The fee pays for lunch each day, breakfast on Thursday and Friday and a welcome reception on the 9th. It also includes registration, materials and transportation to the site visit. Attendees will be part of a distinct group, as there are less than 350 Veteran Service Providers in the nation that have received certificates from Operation College Promise.  The conference begins at noon on March 9th and will end at 5:00 pm on the 11th. An overview of the modules that will be covered can be found on the attached flyer. Operation College Promise has finalized negotiations with hotels in the area and the info is available at their site. 

2016 Service Member and Veteran Academic Advising Summit - April 14-15

ACE's second Service Member and Veteran Academic Advising Summit will identify ways to support military-connected individuals in the college application and admissions process and examine how academic advising can help those students reach career goals. The April 14-15 Summit will address mobilizing a national campaign to expand partnerships between educators, employers, and other key stakeholders aimed at aiding in a smooth transition from the military to postsecondary education and civilian employment.

Register now to be a part of the Summit, which will bring together experts in military-connected student populations, admissions and academic advising, veteran employment, and transition assistance to:

1. Identify concrete, actionable items based on the five themes identified at the first Summit for better supporting military-connected individuals in the application and admissions process;

2. Carefully examine the relationship between education and employment and ways in which those providing academic advisement on post-secondary education for military-connected students can help these potential students navigate their education to accomplish their career goals;

3. Mobilize a national campaign to increase and enhance localized support networks in communities throughout the country utilizing existing networks and resources to increase partnerships between educators, employers, and other key stakeholders to aid in a smooth transition from the military into education and civilian employment.

At the first Academic Advising Summit in 2014, more than 100 educators, representatives of veterans' organizations, service members and veterans, and federal officials discussed how to best help service members and veterans through the college application and acceptance process. The outcome was a report containing five themes and recommendations for improving programs and services. 

Register today for the 2016 SECOME Symposium!

Take advantage of our early bird, discounted prices. Hurry! This special will end soon!

Please visit our registration page for more information.

Call for Proposals!

We are now accepting proposals for those who would be interested in presenting or speaking at the 2016 Symposium.

We are looking for professionals who wish to share insight on how higher educational institutions, as well as military installation education branches can better serve the military-affiliated student. We are also looking on sharing services and programs to help the military-affiliated student transition into a career and/or into civilian life.

Don't want to present? That's ok! Take a quick survey to share your thoughts on what you would like to see at the symposium.

What's in the News

GI Bill Transfer Rules Unchanged, Housing Allowance Cut

An eleventh-hour change to Department of Veterans Affairs legislation scrapped a plan by lawmakers to increase the service obligation required for troops who wish to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouses or children.

The bill, which was passed by the House yesterday, originally included a provision requiring troops to serve 10 years on active duty plus a two-year service obligation to qualify for the transfer benefit. Instead, lawmakers opted to keep the requirement at the current six years of service, plus a four-year service obligation.

A plan to slash in half the housing allowance for military dependents using the transferred benefit remained in the bill and was approved as part of the vote. A similar version of the legislation will be considered by the Senate before heading to the president's desk for approval before it becomes law.

The provisions, part of the Veterans Employment, Education and Healthcare Act, halved only the payment for children of service members using the transferred funding -- not spouses. The congressionally mandated Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission last year recommended eliminating the entire housing payout for both groups.

Children who have already been transferred the benefit under the old rules will be grandfathered into the full housing allowance, as will those transferred the benefit up to 180 days after the change is signed into law. Troops who have not yet reached six years of active service are not eligible to transfer the benefit and will not be able to lock in the current housing allowance rules.

Also included in the bill were two Fry Scholarship expansions for spouses of troops killed in action after September 11, 2001, and a measure allowing Guard and Reserve members on medical hold from injuries received on active duty to earn their GI Bill faster than has traditionally been permitted.

Two new military bills could help families transition state to state

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Life could get a whole lot easier for some military families headed to Georgia. Two bills are on the table in Georgia, as a part of an initiative to help military families transition from state to state.

One is making it easier for military spouses to transition into the Georgia workforce and the other is making sure families don't lose their medical benefits when they come to Georgia.

The bill making it the farthest right now is the Military Spouses And Veterans Licensure Act. This is the bill that is going to make it easier for military spouses or veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce to get a work license.

It would require professional licensing boards, like the Georgia Board Of Cosmetology for example , to allow veterans and military spouses to qualify for temporary licenses, licenses by endorsement and expedited licenses.

Military Spouses And Veterans Licensure Act passed in the house with flying colors, 164 voted yes and no one voted no. That bill is headed to the Georgia Senate Tuesday.

The one still stuck in the house is the Bridging The Health Care Act. Under that law, active duty service members with special needs family members would be able to to register their family members for a medicaid waiver. Military families transitioning out of military service would also be able to do this under this law, if passed.

The progress of the Bridging The Health Care Act Bill has been much slower. Both bills went to the house in late January, but not much has happened with the Bridging Health Care Act.

Both bills are two of six bills that the "a promise kept initiative" is pushing. The goal of the initiative is to help military families already here in Georgia and those planning to move here.

Veterans Employment Initiative Helping Transitioning Military Service Members

JACKSONVILLE -- Gov. Pat McCrory’s efforts to make North Carolina the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation are expanding.

The governor created a Veterans Employment Initiative which launched at Camp Lejeune Wednesday.

"I'm pursuing information systems," said 3rd Class Navy Corpsman Samuel Majekodunmi.

Majekodunmi will be out of the Navy by August 2018. He will also be heading down a different career path.

"Changing career completely from what I'm used to has been a challenge," said Majekodunmi.

That's when he decided to attend an information technology job fair.

"I really just wanted to have some of that knowledge of people who are actually in it and for the best advice really," said Majekodunmi.

He heard advice from former Marine Marie Thompson, who served 20 years before landing a job as the State Chief Information Risk officer.

"Being able to mentor and help transitioning Marines as much as possible is something that I feel very passionate about," said Thompson.

Thompson received an email telling her she was appointed to speak on the panel about her experience transitioning from Marine Corps Cyber Security to her state job.

"I want them to understand that there is life after the Marine Corps, and that it isn't necessarily the end all, and that you can transition and transition well. There are many opportunities out there, many benefits out there and that they should rely on what they've learned in the Marine Corps to help them in that transition, and they will go far," said Thompson.

Majekodunmi is gathering information from job fairs like this one to make his transition into the civilian world as easy as possible.

"I don't even know if it's something that I really even want to do the more I get into it, but [it] enables me to tell me a broad view of what it's really about, and I can make decisions on what path I need to take," said Majekodunmi.

An Aviation Job Fair will be held Feb. 17 at Marine Corps Air Station New River.

A Career and Hiring Fair will be April 20 and 21 at Camp Lejeune.

7 Secrets for Successful Military Career Transitions

By: Lewis Lin, Source:

Transitioning from military to civilian life can seem like a daunting task. Here are my top tips for a successful military transition:

1. Attend a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshop

TAP was created to give employment and training information to armed forces members within 180 days of separation or retirement. TAP offers a three-day workshop that all ex-military job seekers should use. The workshop covers the following topics:

  1. Career exploration
  2. Job search strategies
  3. Resume, cover letter, and interview preparation

You can find the participant manual from the TAP workshop here.

2. Think about transferrable skills

How can you describe your military experiences for a corporate role? Take for example:

  1. If you trained over 200 people on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, think how your training preparation, delivery, and results could apply in a corporate classroom setting.
  2. If you helped the Navy save $3 million dollars by administering 37 government travel accounts, think how this experience could apply to a financial controller position.
  3. If you were in charge of an aircraft repair department, think how the Six Sigma principles you learned could apply to a manufacturing or operations job.

3. Find military-friendly employers

Several employers appreciate the qualities ex-military personnel bring to a civilian job. Furthermore, you’re likely to find co-workers who formerly served in the military. They can mentor you as you ease into a new working environment. For example, P&G has a networking group called “Blue and Grey” where ex-military employees help one another. Home Depot, General Electric, and Proctor and Gamble actively recruit former military officers. For more military-friendly employers who are currently hiring, visit’s Career Center.

4. Adjust from military to corporate speak

A key to getting the job is fitting in -- not only do you have to demonstrate the right skills, but you also need to adopt the right body language and speech. Here are a few examples:

  1. Be wary of military jargon. Rather than say you were the “black swan” expert, explain that you developed contingency plans for rare events.
  2. Rather than use military time, use civilian time. That is, instead of confirming an interview for 15-hundred hours, use 3 pm.
  3. No need to address your professional contacts as Sir or Ma’am. You can typically address them by their first name.

5. Connect with recruiters and headhunters who focus on military to civilian transitions.

Two of the key leaders in the field include Lucas Group and Bradley Morris. Lucas Group has helped 25,000 officers and technicians to transition from military service into civilian careers, usually matching more junior personnel with technical and sales roles, and senior personnel with director of business development roles. Bradley Morris is another military-focused headhunter that boasts a 96% customer satisfaction rate.

6. Play up your strengths as an ex-military candidate.

Military veterans are known for precise communication, individual accountability, impeccable execution and natural leadership. Don’t forget to showcase this during the interview. All four skills are in high demand, regardless of position. Give yourself credit for strengths that many non-military job candidates lack. Other key skills to play up: poise, ingenuity, and ability to handle stressful situations well.

7. Network, network, network.

Applying for jobs online may seem like an efficiency way to get jobs, but the reality is it doesn’t work well. For any given job opening, recruiters are bombarded with hundreds, possibly thousands of openings. To rise above the noise, you’ll have to network.

Start with veterans who are now in the corporate world. Don’t rush to ask for a job. If there’s no job available, the remaining time becomes one big letdown. Instead, take time to know the person. Ask how they approached the transition from a military to civilian career. Only at the end of the conversation is it ok for you to ask whether or not they are aware of any job openings. To connect with veterans for your career search, visit the Career Network.

Sesame Street Supports Military Families in Transition

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2016 — Elmo, Big Bird, and Abby Cadabby are teaming up with the Defense Department to support thousands of military families as they transition to civilian life, according to Transition to Veterans Program Office officials.

On Jan. 27, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched a website devoted to helping families cope with the changes associated with transitioning into civilian life, the officials said. The site, located at, includes several videos for children and adults, an activity book called “My Story, My Big Adventure Activity Book,” and other resources that military parents can use to help their families communicate through the transition process, the officials said.

The products are intended to increase the ability of parents to communicate with young children in age-appropriate ways and create awareness among transition service providers of the importance of including the whole family, particularly children, when addressing transitions for active duty service members, the officials said. The products are available online and will be distributed through a variety of networks where military families and children are present, both on and off military installations, the officials said.

 “We are grateful to Sesame Workshop for their efforts to assist our transitioning military families,” said Susan Kelly, director of the Department of Defense’s Transition to Veterans Program Office. “Transitioning out of the military can be challenging for families, and we hope these products will help ease that transition.”

The Defense Department has worked with the Sesame Workshop in the past to use Sesame Street’s familiar characters to help preschool-aged military children understand aspects of military life, such as the deployment of a parent, moving to a new home, and the injury or even death of a parent, the officials said. Previous examples of resources that have been developed through this collaboration between the Sesame Workshop and the Department of Defense can be found through Military OneSource:, the officials said

The latest collection of resources about the transition of military families comes through collaboration with the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, along with personnel from DoD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office and the Military Community and Family Policy office, the officials said.

Focus Groups

The department assisted the Sesame Workshop in conducting research on this effort by organizing focus groups in 2015 with transitioning families at installations across the nation, including Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Eustis, Virgina; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; Miramar Air Force Base, California; Camp Pendleton, California; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, New York; the officials said.

According to the Sesame Workshop, focus group responses indicated that transition-related challenges, such as finding employment and adjusting to a change in family roles, could increase anxiety in military children, possibly resulting in academic or behavioral challenges, the officials said. The Workshop’s materials emphasize communication throughout the transition process and underscore the benefits of making new friends and maintaining a positive attitude through change, the officials said.

Rosemary Williams, the deputy assistant defense secretary for military community and family policy, said the long-standing working relationship with Sesame Workshop has great benefits for military families.

 “Their unique ability to translate difficult topics into language easily understood by children and trusted by their parents is most unique,” Williams said. “These fun and engaging products will only help military families as they adjust to new changes with the same resilience that marked their service to our nation.”

The products can also be found at the Sesame Street for Military Families website and through a mobile app available for Apple and Android users under the same name, the officials said.