A bill approved in the Pennsylvania General Assembly has established the Pennsylvania Military Academy Assistance Program (PMAAP). Valley Forge Military College is a direct beneficiary of the program.
Introduced by Senator Bob Mensch (R), VFMC class of 1965, 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 are 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.