Army, Marines Stop New Tuition Assistance Enrollments
By Jim Garamone
Source: American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON – Budget problems have forced the Army and Marine Corps to cancel the tuition assistance program, service officials said. Navy and Air Force officials said they are studying the way forward with the program and expect decisions next week. Thousands of service members take advantage of the tuition assistance program, which allows them to take college courses that prepare them for their jobs in the military or as they transition to the civilian workforce.
However, the current fiscal situation forced service officials to make difficult choices, said Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “Each service is responsible for funding and administering tuition assistance funding,” she said. The Defense Department’s comptroller issued guidance “indicating that the services should consider significant reductions in funding new tuition assistance applicants, effective immediately and for the duration of the current fiscal situation,” Hull-Ryde added.
Army officials announced that soldiers will not be permitted to submit new requests for tuition assistance. Soldiers currently enrolled in courses approved for tuition assistance are not affected, and will be allowed to complete those courses, said Lt. Col. Tom Alexander, spokesman for the Army’s personnel chief.
The Army is taking this step because of the combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration. “The Army understands the impacts of this action and will re-evaluate should the budgetary situation improve,” Alexander said. Soldiers with questions can get answers at their local education centers.
The Marine Corps cancelled its program when across-the-board spending cuts under a “sequestration” mechanism in budget law took effect. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered the Marine Corps to cease new enrollments in the voluntary education tuition assistance program. The Marine Corps falls under the Navy Department.
Mabus said in an all-Navy order that the actions are needed “to preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward-deployed. Reductions in lower-priority forward operations, and significant reductions in all other operations, training and maintenance are a result of this selection process.”
BLACK COPS PROVIDE DILEMMA, SOLUTIONS IN MODERN POLICING
Jacksonville, FL – A black police officer in plain clothes chasing a dangerous suspect can cause citizen onlookers to think that the black cop is the bad guy. A white police officer viewing this very same scenario may shoot the black cop. A consistent dosage of negative depictions of African American males on TV, radio and in movies are partly responsible. The second edition of Controlling Blue: Race Media and Policing is the first book to take a look into the plight of black police officers and to examine the effects that race and media have on policing.
Many police departments are experiencing racial issues; both in the communities they are serving as well as within their departments. Black officers often walk a line between two social realities – dealing with being black as a cop and being black as a person in the society. As more blacks have become police officers, some interesting occurrences have taken place.
Among them is the previously mentioned killing of black police officers in plain clothes by white officers. Negative perceptions can cause some black officers to show a similar fear and hatred toward other Blacks. Author Opio Sokoni states that leadership has been one of the most important factors in addressing these problems. A chief can determine whether racism by officers will be addressed swiftly or considered a minor priority.
The second half of Controlling Blue is ambitious in its layout of an improved citizen review of the police. Sokoni states that a strong board should have majority civilian input and investigatory and subpoena powers. In addition, he writes about the effectiveness that civil lawsuits and the U.S. Justice Department can have in bringing about change within local law enforcement.
Finally, this research looks at informal mechanisms such as citizen surveillance and a better method for good cops to report bad cops. Opio Sokoni states, “This is an important book for anyone looking to understand and decrease racism within an important area of the criminal justice system – policing.”