Military Student Profile - Dave Kugler
Graduate Program: Master of Science, Aviation
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force
Military Service: 1983-2003
Military Job: Pilot, B-52 and B-1
Are You Using the GI Bill?
To what degree does the GI Bill cover your school expenses?
What prompted you to return to school?
Twenty years had passed since completing a Master’s Degree. With the availability of the GI Bill and a desire to return to the aviation industry, now was a good time to pursue a second graduate degree. The University of North Dakota offered a distance learning program well suited to my needs and location.
Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?
By participating in a distance learning program, there wasn’t much adjustment required since “the campus” was online. I have enjoyed the opportunities presented by my program to visit the home campus however, and throughout the program I’ve always felt it was easy to fit in without any major adjustments.
What has your experience been like at your school?
I have very much enjoyed this program and look forward to aviation industry opportunities following graduation. Students and faculty have both been great to work with online and in person. There has also been a great deal of appreciation shown for military service and the experience it provides.
Do you believe your experience has made you a better student? If so, how?
Without question my military experience has made me a better student. The self discipline required of military service applies directly to performing well as a student. The experience gained in written and oral presentations has also directly contributed to doing well in these areas as a student.
What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
Veterans interested in expanding their education should most definitely take advantage of the VA benefits they’ve earned. While doing so, it’s important to remember people appreciate veterans’ service, but now is the time to adjust to a new school or career and not to expect schools and companies to adjust to military ways of doing things.
I had the opportunity to complete a graduate degree at the University of North Dakota on campus 20 years ago while serving on active duty and have really enjoyed the opportunity to pursue a second one now via a distance learning program thanks to the GI Bill. This program is probably the best way I know to transition from a military career to a civilian one while updating one’s credentials at the same time. Veterans should most definitely take advantage of this “thanks” for their service.
Your student quote
"Learning is a lifelong project. Every chance to learn is living."
Learn more about the MS in Aviation.
If you are an active military student or veteran student and would like to share your profile, contact Susan Caraher.