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Part of Western Governors University

Alumni Resources for military members.

Welcome, WGU military alumni!

WGU was designed to work for students like you: current or former military members and spouses who need an online degree program that can follow them anywhere. 

Now that you're a proud WGU alum, we want to continue to work for you. Check out some of the resources we've gathered especially for our military alumni.

Alumni stories.

Sarah's MSN from WGU Helped Her Save a Rural Hospital

From Military to Everyday Hero: Man Dedicates Life to Service

A Trailblazer in IT Issues a Passionate Call for More Women to Join the Field


Mathew Bates
B.S. Network Operations and Security
U.S. Army

“High school was never something I looked forward to when I was a kid. In high school I struggled with homework, reading, writing, and math. I had an IEP for these subjects. In 11th grade, I took a computer repair and web design class, and for the first time, I enjoyed going to school. However, I still dropped out because my high school required me to take credits I did not need to graduate. I can see how this might be a strange reason to drop out of high school, but I could not justify sitting in classes I did not need when I had a baby on the way and needed to provide for her and her mother. Nevertheless, my parents were not too happy about this decision and I ended up homeless, sleeping on couches, and working odd jobs. Until I found a night high school that let me study at my own pace from home and did not require classes that I did not need to graduate. Best of all I could work and afford to buy my unborn child a crib.

"My father and mother served in the United States Marine Corps and Navy, respectively. So military service was a part of my family and upbringing. I joined the Army because I could pick a career in information technology. I had responsibilities and going to a brick-and-mortar school before getting a job would not allow me to take care of my family properly. In 2006 I joined the Army and became a 25B Information Technology Specialist.

"Fast-forward 12 years and two deployments later I graduated from a local community college near Fort Lewis, WA. Career progression in the Army is very competitive and a college education is necessary in my job field. I did well and had great grades. I attribute that to the discipline and values the military instilled in me. But I was glad to be done because it took me five years to earn that degree. Taking three classes at a time and all the assessments and due dates made it hard for me to continue my education during deployments and missions."

If only I would have found WGU sooner. I wanted to stop going to school and give up on trying to reach my goal of getting a master's in IT, but WGU changed my mind. Not only did I complete my B.S. in Network Operations & Security at a faster pace with no deadlines and more flexibility, but WGU made me successful in the interim by allowing me to earn serval industry-recognized certifications that helped me get promoted and expanded my capabilities as I changed fields to cyber defense. WGU has made me a believer in higher education not being a waste of time, and I will be coming back to get my master’s degree from WGU. As a service member on active duty, my job can take me all over the world, and I could have unpredictable hours. But not once during my time at WGU was I unable to study around my family time with my wife and four kids or my missions. My classes were on my phone and any computer I had access to at any time. So, thank you WGU for supporting me while I support my country. WGU gave me freedom from the conventional classroom. WGU provided me the opportunity to be successful. There is nothing more American than freedom. Go Night Owls!”

Ralph Richmond
B.S. Business Management
M.S. Management and Leadership
U.S. Air Force

"I come from a military family, so it came as no surprise when I joined the United States Air Force after graduating high school. I spent seven years in the military and deployed multiple times to Afghanistan as a flight engineer. After separating from the Air Force, I became a Quality Engineer at Boeing, working on the KC-46 Tanker program for the Air Force. I was presented an opportunity to deploy as a government contractor in 2016 and have been doing that ever since. I started as an Airborne Sensor Operator on a United States Army contract performing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. To progress further in my career, I needed to complete an undergraduate degree. While deploying overseas, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Business Management and was promoted to Operations Manager. The Operations Manager oversees the entire program that serves the United States Army in conducting flight operations in multiple theaters.

“I am responsible for program deliverables, interface with the government, and directly supervise all program personnel. I am passionate about mentorship and professional development. What I enjoy most about my current position is the influence I have on others and their professional development.

“To further my career and stand out from my peers, I completed my Master of Science in Management and Leadership. I chose WGU for my graduate program because of the self-paced competency-based education. My job and lifestyle do not allow me to attend brick-and-mortar institutions because I spend a significant part of the year overseas, and WGU allowed me to use what I've learned throughout my career while building on the competencies I needed to succeed at my pace during my free time. My wife also attended WGU for her Master of Science in Nurse-Education. Watching her complete her courses and enjoy her experience was a huge factor in my decision process for choosing WGU. Because of my MSML completion, I am now next in line for a Program Manager position as my company acquires new contracts.

“My best experiences were my two mentors in my undergraduate and graduate programs. They were both positive influences on my journey through the programs, and I look forward to staying in contact with them. WGU mentors are passionate about their students and how their degree programs will change their lives. I have nothing but good things to say about my experience with WGU, and I look forward to the opportunities that will present themselves as a result of my hard work and educational accomplishments."