Legislation Opens Door for Residents to Commission in PA National Guard

Cadets check out the interior of a helicopter
Image via Valley Forge Military Academy and College
Cadets check out the interior of a helicopter.

Valley Forge Military College is the direct beneficiary of a PMAAP Program Bill approved in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that now moves to the desk of Gov.Tom Wolf for signature.

Senate Bill 1194 establishes what is known as the Pennsylvania Military Academy Assistance Program (PMAAP).

Introduced by Sen. Bob Mensch (R), the legislation establishes 10 new scholarships for residents of Pennsylvania to become commissioned officers in the Pennsylvania National Guard at VFMC.

“This program is based on current educational assistance programs which have been successful in allowing individuals interested in military service to obtain top-notch education while pursuing a path toward serving our country,” Mensch said. “Most importantly, the cost of this program can be absorbed by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, so there is no added cost on the taxpayers.”

Those accepted to the program will earn their Associate’s degree in any one of 10 competitive majors at VFMC concurrent with training in VFMC’s Early Commissioning Program (ECP).

At graduation, they will commission as officers in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and then matriculate to one of Pennsylvania’s state universities. All tuition is included in the PMAAP and room and board is provided by VFMC.

“This is welcome news for those who seek a VFMC education and enables those planning to serve in the Pennsylvania National Guard to receive the financial support they need to do so,” said Colonel Stuart B. Helgeson, USMCR, (Ret), president of Valley Forge Military Academy & College. “Further, it recruits hometown talent and keeps them in service right here in Pennsylvania.”

Historically, 70 percent of those commissioning in Pennsylvania leave the Commonwealth to complete their service elsewhere. Upon graduation from VFMC, the candidate would have an obligation to serve eight years as a commissioned officer.

Bill 1194 has passed both houses of the General Assembly and is expected to be signed by Gov.Tom Wolfe in the near future.

Valley Forge Military College is a private two-year college committed to equipping young men and women to boldly face the challenges of life. It is the Military College of Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Valley Forge Military Academy & College.

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