College of Arts and Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)


Edward J. Waldron


Education, Military, GI Bill, United States Armed Forces Institute, Students' Army Training Corps, Army Specialized Training Program




Scholars have explored the United States military from the lens of battles, campaigns, operations, and leaders with depth and zeal. When discussing the influence of the Army on education in America, the G.I. Bill is consistently the main topic of conversation. However, the contributions of the Army to American higher education are much more complicated than simply the passage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. A wide variety of programs and efforts championed by the Army during the first half of the twentieth century lack in-depth research and analysis. This study examined the American military transformation from the American Civil War through World War II resulting from technological advancements, changes in military and veteran programs, reforms and partnerships between the Army and higher education, and the American need for manpower to conduct large-scale operations. The evidence revealed that the Army had a significant effect on the beginning of literacy and intelligence testing in America, the development of the standardized General Educational Development (GED) test, and the changes in training technical experts and leaders in college-level programs. Programs such as the Students’ Army Training Corps of World War I and the Army Specialized Training Program of World War II not only trained hundreds of thousands of recruits, but they also demonstrate the influence of the military on post-secondary education in America. Overall, the numerous Army programs had a significant influence on education in America years before the World War II G.I. Bill.

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