Leaving the Military? Consider a Career in Education

It is never too early to begin thinking about your next career path for future success.

The total number of members serving in the Armed Forces was 1,334,911, as of November 2016 (Source: dmdc.osd.mil). Now, imagine that all of you will one day separate or retire from service and transition to the civilian workforce. It is never too early to begin thinking about your next career path for future success. Many of you know exactly what you want to do, but many do not. Some of you will seek careers using the skills you have honed while serving. Others will try to find other career paths. No matter what you choose – teaching is a definite option you should not overlook. Teaching can provide valuable mentorship to the next generation . It can also provide great personal satisfaction and so much more.

With your military leadership and professional skills and help from the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program, you can transition into teaching traditional, vocational and/or technical subjects. Becoming a certified teacher is just the first step too. You may likely decide you enjoy the academic environment and move on to pursue advanced careers in education. You could serve in school counseling, curriculum development, and administrative positions too.


Teaching is one career path that many transitioning Service members should consider. Why? Because you are well prepared to meet the overall needs of diverse learning environments because you have experience, skills and traits that "fit" in this career field and that will help you succeed in the classroom. Skills like:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Written and Verbal Communication
  • Drive and Initiative
  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • Global Perspective

Troops to Teachers (TTT) is the DoD/DANTES program that focuses on careers in teaching by supporting military members and veterans who choose to pursue a second career as K-12 public, charter or Bureau of Indian Affairs teachers. The program provides the following assistance to eligible participants:

  • Counseling
  • Information about state certification requirements
  • Routes to state teacher certification
  • Employment facilitation
  • Financial support

FACT: In FY16, 8,120 Service members and veterans were approved to be TTT program participants.


Active, separated and retired members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, Reserve components and National Guard may apply for the TTT program. A member of the Armed Forces is eligible to participate in the program if your last period of service was characterized as "Honorable." A member selected to participate in the program before retirement or separation from service may continue to participate after separation if your last period of service is characterized as "Honorable." For more information on eligibility, go to www.proudtoserveagain.com/About/Eligibility


Teaching is an admirable career and one that allows you, as a transitioning military member, to continue to serve in your community after serving your nation. The services TTT provides make this program an extremely valuable option when determining your next career. Counseling, navigating state requirements and financial assistance, in the form of a stipend or a bonus, may be available if you meet education, military service and application requirements.

A stipend is a payment of up to $5,000 to cover expenses incurred by you to obtain the required educational level, certification or licensing. Keep in mind that this may not be available to you if you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. A bonus is a payment of up to $10,000 as an incentive to teach in an eligible or high need school. The maximum amount of financial assistance provided, if eligible, is $10,000. For more information, visit https://proudtoserveagain.com/Participants/FinancialAssistance


The first step to begin this life-changing mission is for you to complete and submit the Troops to Teachers online application. Before beginning the application process, you should have the following information available:

  • Military Service Information
  • Education (there is no minimal education requirement to become a member of TTT)
  • Teacher Certification (if applicable) or Career Technical Teaching Interest (optional)
  • K-12 Teaching Related Employment (if applicable)

You can begin the application process by going to the TTT website, www.proudtoserveagain.com and selecting "APPLY" on the top left of the screen. Continue through the online application answering various questions about your military service and any teaching experience. You’ll be asked to submit three (3) preferred State choices for certification information and employment facilitation. Next, you will be need to identify certification/licensure and employment information, if applicable. At the end of the application, you will be prompted to upload supporting documents such as: College Transcripts, Certifications, Licenses, or Teacher contracts. You will also be required to upload applicable military service documents such as: DD-214, NGB-22, Selected Service Contract or Yearly Point Summary. Submit all documents that apply to your status. Finally, before clicking on the Submit Application tab, review each section for correct data input.

Once the application is submitted, the TTT National Office will contact you by email to confirm it was received. The email will provide information on the services you are eligible to receive, based on military service time, education and application date. The TTT National Office is available to assist you with individualized counseling to include program and state certification information. You may also contact a TTT Program Specialist by emailing TTT@navy.mil.


The TTT website also has a variety of information to assist you with any questions before applying. FAQ’s and an interactive state map on the main page allow you to learn more about the program. State specific certification and employment information is available by selecting a state you may be interested in teaching in. Visit www.proudtoserveagain.com for all of this information.

Other sources of information on the TTT program include:

  • Facebook: TTT.DANTES
  • Twitter: TTT_DANTES
  • LinkedIn: Troops to Teachers – DANTES/DoD (company page)

The Troops to Teachers Program was established to help transitioning military members and veterans begin new careers as K-12 school teachers in public, charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Since 1993 when the program began, 20,000+ participants have been hired. In FY16 alone, 1,047 participants were hired, with 333 of them receiving a bonus. The program works! Share this information and encourage other military members to consider teaching as a second career. You will make a difference in young people’s lives and positively impact your own community.

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