Getting Assigned to a Rotational Deployment Unit? You Can Still Take College Classes

One of the reasons young men and women enlist in the military is for the benefits awarded to them to help them pay for college. Although many wait to use the GI Bill until after they've already completed their time in the military, service members are encouraged to take college classes while they serve.

If this was your plan when you enlisted but you've just received orders for a rotational deployment unit, don't worry. You can still take online college classes while you're in the military. Here's what you need to know. 

Rotational Deployments

Many military service members are serving in rotational deployment units. Many people think that rotational deployments are not only more cost-effective but foster a higher level of readiness as well. The training, while you are deployed, is intense yet you will still have time in the barracks to take self-paced online college classes. 

Accessibility to WiFi for Your Laptop

While deployed in these rotational units, you will still have a lot of the same amenities while deployed as you do at your home base. Depending on where you're deploying to, you may or may not have WiFi in your room, but you can typically find WiFi in the recreation room and other common areas in your barracks. Ask your chain of command or someone else in the unit who went on a previous deployment about the WiFi situation.

Alternatively, it's also highly likely that the base you're deploying to will have an education center with computer stations and WiFi available for troops like you who want to take online college classes while deployed. However, keep in mind that the education center's hours are limited. 

Timing Your Classes

Depending on your branch of service and your home base, your deployments can last any number of months to a year or more, but your time at the home base will typically be longer in a rotational unit. Of course, sometimes there are other variables as well, particularly COVID travel restrictions, which could change the length of time you're deployed. With all of this said, select a self-paced, online university for military service members.

Plan your college classes around your rotational deployment schedule with the more challenging classes while you are at your home base and the less challenging ones while you are deployed when your time is shorter. That way, you'll have several more months to work on the more challenging classes.