W. Myles Bjork–
Military Branch: United States Marine Corps
Years Served: 16
Highest pay grade: 225 A
Military Occupational Skill/ Career Field: Information Technology
Program Area of Study: A.A. Multidisciplinary Studies, B.S. Information Technology, M.S. Information Management-Project Management, M.S. Business Intelligence
Roles & Responsibilities of last position in the military: As a Warrant Officer serving as an Information Systems Technician, the services I provided allowed all military and civilian members to communicate where there were no avenues of communications before. I helped to make the internet work for the war-fighter essentially.
Tell us about yourself:
I have been married for more than 18 years with two great children, and I live in Mobile, Alabama. When I joined the Army in 2000, I provided tactical communication support as a switch operator maintainer (25A/31A) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was promoted to Warrant Officer where I served more than 10 years, ending my career as an Information Systems Technician (225A). After an injury while on duty, I retired from the military in 2016. My degree and military experience have helped me advance in my civilian career. I provide all types of information technology support for the Government Publishing Office Secure Printing Facility located at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Our facility prints secure documents for customers such as the State Department, Veterans Administration and Department of Transportation.
What prompted you to earn your degrees?
Lack of quality care at the VA as well as explaining my injuries and service to civilians.
What skills did you bring with you?
Earning my degree in the Army was important in two ways. It allowed me to grow intellectually and see things from a different and more educated perspective, which allowed me to bring more value to the teams I was helping in and out of country. Secondly, it helped with promotion and pushed me ahead of my peers in the education department. Promotion boards can be very competitive.
Why did you chose Grantham?
Based on my busy military schedule, an online degree program was a necessity. I prefer the flexibility of a self-paced curriculum. It works best with my mentality and work ethic. Grantham’s reputation for serving the military made it a natural fit.
Even when deployed, I was able to continue moving forward with my degree. This made me even more committed to a Grantham education.
What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use?
I used my Post 911 GI Bill benefits in conjunction with the Heroes Fund.
What has been your experience as a student?
Grantham faculty and advisors are there to help me succeed. Not only are the instructors very helpful, but they are knowledgeable, too. They have worked in the areas where they teach and can help with real-world applications. While I earned my degree, occasionally field exercises or deployments would interrupt a class; however, my instructors were very willing to work with me so I could complete a class. And if I needed to talk with a professor, they were happy to talk with me by email or even Facetime. This is why I am completing my fourth degree with Grantham.
Did your military experience make you a better student?
My military experience provided discipline and structure to be a good student, but motivation and focus are important. I wanted a degree to advance my military career and provide for my family so I applied myself to the challenge.
What benefits have you seen from your education at Grantham?
Being an Army Warrant Officer was a prestigious distinction when I retired from the military, and my education helped make me even more competitive in the field. It was very helpful in securing this position and my previous positions in the civilian sector.
I currently provide all types of information technology support for the Government Publishing Office Secure Printing Facility located at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. And I plan to continue advancing in Information Technology.
What is your advice for other veterans or military returning to school?
Grantham University has been an important part of my career growth. I appreciate that and hope to be able to give back to other students. If someone is considering earning their degree, they should start now and not stop. It’s important to run your race and make it to the finish, if not for you then for your family.