Introduction to Distance Education: The U. S. Military

January 19, 2014

Dr. Fred Saba

Dr. Fred Saba

The U. S. military has been at the forefront of new developments in distance education, and is one of its largest users throughout the world. In the 1970s the U. S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) ( use of correspondence education had increased to a point that it was operating one of the largest U. S. post offices in Fort Eustis, Virginia to keep up with the demand worldwide. Today, The Army Correspondence Course Program (ACCP) is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and is responsible for the formal nonresident extension curricula of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

In the last two decades, all branches of the military have heavily adopted the use of telecommunication satellites, and the Internet to offer various types of training and education via videoconferencing and web-based programs.

In addition the Distance Education Program (DEP) at the US Army War College offers a rigorous program of instruction that results in the award of the Graduation Certificate as well as the  Master of Strategic Studies degree. The DEP is accredited by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a program for joint education, Phase I Senior Level (JPME I). The Distance Education Program requires 15 hours of study each week  that is delivered via the Internet.

The College of Distance Education (CDE) is the educational outreach program of the Naval War College.  It provides executive-level education to officers of the various military services and to senior employees of the Department of Defense and other Federal departments.  Three delivery methods are employed by the College: faculty-led evening seminars, a web-enabled program, and a CD-ROM based correspondence program. These courses mirror, to a large degree, the program of study offered to resident students at the College’s Newport campus.

The Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning (AFIADL) was established in 2000 “to exemplify recognition of the importance of distance learning and advanced distributed education” according to Kim Bowling, then the Colonel of USAF and Commander of AFIADL. Currently, the public Website of the Air University that offers distance education programs is going through updates and is not of all its pages are available for review.

The Marine Corps Training and Education Command (TECOM) is the home for The College of Distance Education and Training. The mission of the College is to design, develop, deliver, evaluate, manage, and resource distance learning products and programs across the Marine Corps training and education continuum in order to increase operational readiness.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) provides worldwide education support to the active duty members and veterans the armed services, as well as their family. Established in 1974, DANTES is celebrating 40 years of service in 2014. The program has an informative blog DANTES Pulse that offers timely information about recent developments about educational resources and opportunities.