'Troops to Teachers' program helps US soldiers find teaching careers
Posted January 16, 2015
Fayetteville, N.C. — How do you get out of the military and start a new career?
Ask Joseph Gonzalez.
The retired Army sergeant first class used to battle enemy forces as a soldier in the Vietnam War. These days, he's surrounded by young faces at Fayetteville's Reid Ross Classical School.
Troops to Teachers helped him go from keeping soldiers ready to fight to teaching U.S. history and social studies.
"In the military, if somebody doesn't show up for work, they get an Article 15 and go to jail," Gonzalez said Friday. "If somebody doesn't show up for class, or they're late – and it's a 15-year-old – that's a whole different bottle of wax.”
The drawdown of U.S. forces has many in the military looking to find new careers, and Gonzalez says he thinks Troops to Teachers could help them in their efforts.
It's a U.S. Department of Defense program designed to help eligible military personnel from all branches become educators.
After 20 years of service, Gonzalez used Troops to Teachers to get his teaching degree from Fayetteville State University.
The military has planned two free seminars next week for people like him wanting to go into teaching.
The first is set from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Bragg Training and Education Center at Fort Bragg.
On Jan. 22, another is planned from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the John A. Lejeune Education Center at Camp Lejeune.