Vouchers expedite advanced education for senior enlisted members

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs

A path to providing senior enlisted personnel with expedited higher-education opportunities was announced March 29, via Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 073/17, the call for applications for the FY-17 Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) program.

The AEV program offers post-secondary, Navy-relevant education at the baccalaureate and master’s level and provides financial assistance to chief, senior chief and master chief petty officers.

Tom Smith, Enlisted Professional Military Education Program coordinator for the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), said this program is a significant investment in the future of enlisted leadership, offering a fully-funded education.

“For senior enlisted members interested in or currently pursuing advanced education in Navy-approved areas of study, the AEV program is an extremely valuable resource,” said Smith.

Examples of approved, Navy-relevant degrees include: strategic foreign languages, construction management, security management, emergency and disaster management, human resources, engineering, information technology, nursing and business administration, among others. Degree programs other than those specifically listed by the NAVADMIN must be validated by the AEV program coordinator at NETC.

Financial assistance for baccalaureate degrees covers 100 percent of tuition, books and related fees up to $6,700 per year for a maximum of three years, with the total program cost capped at $20,000. For master’s degrees, it provides 100 percent of tuition, books and related fees up to $20,000 per year for a maximum of two years, with the total program cost capped at $40,000.

Master Chief Information Systems Technician (IW/SW/AW) David Campbell was recently selected for the Command Master Chief program and will soon head to the Senior Enlisted Academy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is using the AEV program to get his Master of Science in Management, Strategy and Leadership from Michigan State University.

“The AEV program is a very valuable talent management tool,” said Campbell. “The education gained can enhance a Sailor’s ability to make strategic decisions, communicate more effectively and interact at a more professional level. It can open doors for Sailors both in the Navy and in their post-Navy career.”

Eligible applicants include E-7s with no more than 17 years time-in-service (TIS), E-8s with no more than 19 years TIS, and E-9s with no more than 23 years TIS. TIS is computed to Oct. 1.

At a minimum, baccalaureate program applicants must have an associate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning or the equivalent amount of college credits already earned. Master’s program applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.

AEV is available to personnel transferring to, or currently on shore duty with sufficient time ashore to complete the degree program. Prospective applicants on sea duty may still apply if they provide an education plan that shows their ability to complete the program as specified in the NAVADMIN. Selectees are expected to enroll in the fall 2017 term.

If an applicant is already invested in furthering their education through tuition assistance or other financial assistance programs, they may still apply for AEV. However, AEV and tuition assistance benefits may not be combined, nor may AEV be used to earn more than one degree at a time. Lower division or prerequisite courses may be authorized if they are part of the approved education plan.

A service obligation of three times the number of months of education completed or three years, whichever is less, is incurred upon completion of or withdrawal from the AEV program. This obligation is discharged concurrently with any other service obligation the participant may have already incurred. Use of AEV does not obligate the Navy to retain a member on active duty.

Applications for AEV are currently being accepted by NETC (N525). The deadline for submission for the FY-17 program is May 26 and the selection board will convene in June 2017. An endorsement by both the applicant’s commanding officer and command master chief must be included in the application.

Application details, format and more information can be found at the Navy College website,

For more information contact Tom Smith, NETC N525, at (850)-452-7271 (DSN 459) or email at