|Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems &
Helping Soldiers receive civilian and military testing education
services is the main mission of the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC)
Education and Learning Center at Fort McCoy, according to Mary Miller,
the center’s education services specialist.
“The center provides assistance, counseling, and computer access to
Active-Duty, Guard, and Reserve Soldiers and their Family members to let
them know what incentives and benefits are available to them for their
civilian education, and to assist them to get those benefits,” Miller
Karen Strickland checks in on the
Go Army Ed website on a computer terminal at the 88th Regional
Support Command Education and Learning Center at Fort McCoy.
Observing the operation is Mary Miller, the center’s education
services specialist. Strickland is an administrative services
manager at the center.
Miller explained the center, which is located in building 50,
provides counseling on the Montgomery GI Bill, both Active, Chapter
30, and Reserve Chapter 1606; Chapter 1607, which also is known as
Reserve Education Assistance Program; and Chapter 33, which is the
new 9-11 GI Bill and is the only federal GI Bill that can be
transferred to spouses and dependents.
The center also provides contact information for the State of
Wisconsin GI Bill program, which provides free tuition and fee
repayment to eligible servicemembers if the servicemember went into
the service in the state of Wisconsin. The program also is available
to eligible dependents if a servicemember is 30 percent or more
disabled. The center provides application information to Soldiers
applying for their Student Loan Repayment and Health Professional
Loan Repayment programs. Handouts are available on all of these
programs at the center.
The center also has brochures and contact information for accredited
local schools and online schools.
Also available is a new handbook, DANTES College Career Workbook,
which can help Soldiers determine career interests. This is a
The majority of the center’s workload involves assisting Soldiers
from all components with Federal Tuition Assistance applications and
paperwork, and with the Go Army Ed system, Miller said. Since the
Army Reserve joined the Active Duty with using the Go Army Ed
system, www.goarmyed.com, in
January 2010, the Fort McCoy Education Center has access to assist
Active-Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers with their Go Army
Ed accounts and with their tuition assistance requests and
paperwork. The National Guard aligned with the Go Army Ed System in
The Fort McCoy Education and Learning Center also offers testing
services at no cost to the servicemembers/students. The center’s
test examiner is able to offer college test proctoring to military
as well as civilian college students in the Fort McCoy community and
surrounding area in the paper-based versions of the DANTES
Standardized Subject Tests (DSST), the ACT, and the SAT. DSSTs are
used to award students college credits that count toward military
However, the Fort McCoy office cannot administer College Level
Examination Program or Excelsior exams, as they are computer-based,
and Fort McCoy is not a DANTES computer test site. These exams must
be taken at a national test site, which generally is a public
“Our primary testing focus remains the successful completion of Army
Personnel Tests,” Miller said. “We offer the AFCT (Armed Forces
Classification Test), in-service ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational
Aptitude Battery) to assist servicemembers in raising their GT
(General Technical) score for military occupational specialty (MOS)
changes or promotion. The Fort McCoy Education and Learning Center
has several practice test sets available to help insure readiness
for the AFCT exam.”
Miller also said their office administers the AFAST (Army Flight
Aptitude Selection Test) for those interested in a flight MOS as
well as language tests, such as the DLAB (Defense Language Aptitude
Battery) exam for those wishing to qualify for language school as
well as the DLPT (Defense Language Proficiency Test) and OPI (Oral
Proficiency Interview) exams for those already fluent in another
language. Servicemembers who meet a specified proficiency level on
the DLPT/OPI exams may qualify for additional bonus pay.
Viterbo University of La Crosse, Wis., currently offers
undergraduate-level college courses in the center, which are open to
both military and civilian personnel. Ten computers are available
for use by eligible personnel.
The facility is open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday,
and from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fridays.
Information is available by calling 608-388-7311.