By James BrabenecMay 9, 2019
FORT SILL, Okla., May 9, 2019 -- Capt. Steve Haley said throughout his Army career, he's talked with enlisted Soldiers considering leaving the service and reminds them to have a plan written down of what they will do.
For those committed to staying but looking for other opportunities or career paths, he has an answer for that, too. This comes, in part, from being in their shoes as a prior enlisted Sailor, which he believes helps him relate with what they're going through.
"Soldiers can look at me and see I was one of them, and they can be where I am at," said Haley, the special projects officer for the Office of the Chief of Air Defense Artillery. "I'm really big on mentorship and development."
His four years in the Navy netted him a petty officer 2nd class rank when he opted to leave the service and return to college to finish his degree.
"I've done the crappy jobs, but I'm here now because I worked hard," said Haley.
He's also made good use of his time completing a master's degree and is a big advocate of the Army's tuition assistance program to further a Soldier's professional and personal development.
He said the Army offers many commissioning programs, and it's just a matter of finding the right fit. For him it was Officer Candidate School.
"Any Soldier who says to me, 'I want to be an officer like you' and wonder how to do it, I ask them, 'How many classes are you taking now?'" he said. "With the Army paying 75 percent of a Soldier's schooling, sometimes more depending on where you go, take some classes or just do one at a time.
"Just start," he said.
More information is available at the Truman Education Center about tuition assistance, commissioning programs, or other routes to career advancement. Call the center staff at 580-442-3201.