Tuition assistance cuts will effect more than 11 thousand Ft. Ho - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Tuition assistance cuts will effect more than 11 thousand Ft. Hood soldiers

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Education has always been a resource and benefit for soldiers, and with the recent budget cuts forcing soldiers to tap into their veterans benefits, soldiers may be losing their competitive edge.

"It's always a concern with how the soldiers will proceed, some of the feedback we have received, first off the army is in a process of downsizes and there will be approximately $80,000 soldiers separating over the next couple of years," explains Education Services Officer at Fort Hood Mike Engen.

The army was warned about severe budget cuts in the case Congress was unable to agree on a budget, but no one ever expected for them to tap into soldier's education. News Channel 25's Markeya Thomas spoke to Sergeant Jeremiah Rocap, who received tuition assistance prior to the cuts, and is sad to see the benefit be suspended.

"The army is an important career move for a lot of people," explains Sergeant Rocap. "Some people join to build something in the future, I know I did, and to have the tuition assistance cut is a stumbling block for that career progression for a lot of soldiers."

The message to soldiers is now move up or move out, as the army plans to downsize with 80 thousand soldiers separating over the next few years.

These cuts are forcing soldiers to tap into their GI Bill and other veteran benefits or use federal financial aid to fund their education.

More than 11 thousand Fort Hood soldiers used tuition assistance in the 2012 fiscal year, attending more than two hundred schools across the country.

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