Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway will welcome eight Army Wounded Warriors into the Wounded Warrior Education Initiative Program as part of a joint announcement Feb. 6 at the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. This pilot program, initiated by the Secretary of the Army, allows severely wounded Soldiers the opportunity to complete a master's degree, then return to the Army and work in assignments where the Combined Arms Center benefits from their education and personal experiences.

Active-duty Soldiers will remain in the Army, and those who are retired due to injuries will either assume positions as instructors or will convert to Department of the Army Civilian status and move into positions where their master's degree will best support the Combined Arms Center. Soldiers will incur an active-duty service obligation of six years upon completion of the Army-funded program.

To be eligible for this program, Soldiers must be enrolled in the Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) program. The AW2 program, in existence since April 2004, provides long-term support to Soldiers who are 30 percent or more disabled, and their Families.

The education initiative includes three phases: 1) selecting service members based on interest, education background, and experience to match the needs of the program; 2) developing an individual education and support program to prepare the Wounded Warrior for service in Army education and training institutions; and 3) job placement once the developmental program is complete. The program offers opportunities for service at several levels of non-commissioned officer and branch training, as well as at all levels of officer education.

The Army Wounded Warrior program and this new education initiative are part of the Army's commitment to Warriors in Transition, focusing on wounded and severely wounded Soldiers and their Families. The criteria used for selecting the initial eight Soldiers in the pilot program included having a bachelor's degree, a strong desire to participate in the initiative, and a desire to continue to serve.

Soldiers will be assigned to the Combined Arms Center with duty at the University of Kansas.

The Army approached the University of Kansas to participate in this program due to its established relationship with the Combined Arms Center and because of its superior academic reputation and accessibility for disabled students.

This program helps Wounded Warriors recover and enhances their lives, bringing their valuable experience back to the Army, and helping develop the Army for the future. Major Dina Wandler, who oversees the program in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, says the Army is committed to providing quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, recognizing their service and sacrifice. "We're changing the way we meet Soldiers' and Families' needs during this era of persistent conflict," she said, "and this is one way to continue in our commitment to compassionate care on all fronts," Wandler said.

- 30 -

More information on the AW2 program can be found at or by calling 1-800-237-1336.

Page last updated Thu February 16th, 2012 at 06:26