Southeastern Council on Military Education


Summer 2018:

2018 SECOME Symposium

October 22-25, 2018

You’re invited to “Walk in the Steps of Heroes.” SECOME is honored to announce the 2018 Symposium will be held aboard the World War II USS Yorktown historical aircraft carrier in Charleston, South Carolina.

Annual symposiums allow members and guests to collaborate and share best practices to support the military-affiliated student. The 2018 SECOME Symposium, The Institutional Responsibility: Ensuring Military Student Success, is geared towards current trends within military education, as well as state and federal policy. Speakers are internationally acclaimed and educate attendees on best practices and topics affecting military affiliated personnel today.

Education Services Officers from each Armed Services Branch are also well represented. Other agenda topics will include DOD and VA compliancy standards, employment engagement strategies, strategic partnership and community development, career services for student veterans and military spouses, transitional services, and much more!  REGISTER HERE!


What is a member at large?

Typically, a member at large is a board member who doesn't hold an officer position. The principle duty as a member at large is to serve on the board.  For SECOME, we encourage members to be active in the direction and planning for the organization.

What are the responsibilities?

Per the SECOME by-laws responsibilities include

a. Serve as a representative of their constituencies.

b. Participate in the active planning of the business of the organization under the

direction of the principle officers.

c. Be responsible for the committee participation and the compilation of appropriate

reports, also attending required meetings for participation.

What are the benefits?

 Members at large provide their expertise to the Executive Board, allowing SECOME to make more knowledgeable decisions.  Members at large have a front row seat to what SECOME is up to!

Other great reasons to become a member at large-

  1. Learning more about nonprofit governance as well as getting hands-on experience with such tasks as strategic planning, financial management, and innovative directions.
  2. Honoring and actively demonstrating your leadership skills. It’s not just a resume booster!
  3. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at internal organizational systems such as nonprofit management, human resources, marketing, fundraising, resource and program development, volunteer resource management, and so much more!
  4. Finally, serving as a Member at Large can add a competitive advantage to your resume if you are interested in serving on the SECOME board.

How do I become a member at large?

First, be sure your membership is up to date.  Then volunteer!  Notify a member of the board that you are interested and email your resume and application to  Once you have approval from the Executive Board, you will be notified and invited to the next board meeting.

New VA Under Secretary for Benefits sworn in and ready to serve Veterans

Donna Stratford, VBA Corporate Communications

Paul Lawrence, Ph.D., was sworn in as VA’s new Under Secretary for Benefits on June 12.

As under secretary, he will oversee and lead the Veterans Benefits Administration in administering VA’s programs that provide financial and other forms of assistance to Veterans, their dependents and survivors

“I am honored and humbled to be able to help serve our nation’s Veterans,” Lawrence said. “We are indebted to them for their sacrifices, and owe them nothing less than to ensure they get the benefits they have earned.”

Growing up in a military family, Lawrence learned early the honor and respect due to our nation’s Veterans. He served in the U.S. Army, where the former captain graduated from the Airborne School.

His father was a combat Veteran, who served in Korea and Vietnam and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

“My dad was incredibly proud of his service and the men and women he served with. I can best honor his memory by working as hard for our Veterans as he would expect,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence has 30 years of experience working closely with federal leaders as a senior management consultant. Prior to his confirmation, he served as vice president at Kaiser Associates.

Although it is early in his tenure, Lawrence has already identified his top three priorities for driving VBA forward:

  • Provide Veterans with the benefits they’ve earned in a manner that honors their service
  • Ensure we’re strong fiscal stewards of the money entrusted to us while aggressively advocating on behalf of Veterans
  • Foster a culture of collaboration

“There have been a number of improvements in recent years in way we deliver benefits to Veterans,” he said. “I look forward to working with our VBA team, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, Veterans service organizations and congressional representatives to ensure we continue the forward momentum. We must never forget that we are here to serve Veterans and their families.”