Target: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
Goal: Bring back Marine Corps’ tuition assistance
Over 200,000 people are enlisted in the Marine Corps, and the average age for joining is 19. For many of these young people, the Marines is not only a promising career for the civil service aspect, but for the tuition assistance that will further their prospects in the civilian world. Active duty Marines get up to $4,500 per fiscal year, or $250 per credit hour, for tuition assistance. But sequestration cuts have suspended the tuition assistance program and may or may not cut assistance for soldiers who already use it.
While some Marines are from well-to-do families, often joining the Corps as officers after obtaining a degree, most enlisted soldiers are not. These soldiers have few other options for college assistance. While $4,500 per fiscal year is very helpful, it doesn’t cover tuition at most colleges to begin with. But along with the GI Bill, it helps soldiers continue to have a meaningful career after their service.
Meanwhile, Congress is getting a pay raise. Senators already make $174,000 a year, and almost all of them were millionaires before they took office. Cabinet members and other higher-ups earn even more. Also keep in mind that prisoners can attend cut-rate college classes, but Marines no longer can. Please urge the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to continue ensuring soldiers’ futures to thank them for ensuring America’s.
Dear Mr. Hagel,
We are petitioning for the benefit of the Marine Corps, a devoted group of young soldiers who are fighting for a better future for themselves and their country. In poorer areas, especially rural, the Marine Corps is the best way to obtain college financing. Sequestration cuts froze the $4,500 a year that active-duty soldiers get for college, which will undoubtedly cause many soldiers to have to leave school.
Many soldiers are joining the Marines to pay for college. This ensures a future for them, especially if they get wounded in Afghanistan and are no longer able to work in military capacity. But it also ensures that people will continue to join the Marines in the numbers we need. We believe that people who are willing to risk their lives for this country deserve as much gratitude as possible from it, which would certainly include college tuition. We urge you to continue tuition assistance for the Marines and for all other branches of the military through sequestration and after.
[Your Name Here]