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Free Education and a Laptop (for some), Too!


Updated February 07, 2005
WASHINGTON -- (GUIDE NOTE: See latest eArmyU Program Details)

Beginning Oct.1 (2004), access to the Army Continuing Education System’s eArmyU program will be available to most active-duty enlisted Soldiers.

The Army launched eArmyU in 2001, to offer eligible enlisted Soldiers the opportunity to work toward a college degree or certificate online. The program began with selected installations and so far, more than 46,000 Soldiers have taken courses from 29 institutions.

With the program’s expansion to the entire Army, the eArmyU “Technology Pack” or “laptop” option will be offered solely as a retention and readiness tool in support of Army Transformation and the Army Campaign Plan, officials said, by encouraging re-enlistment into combat forces/operational units.

The eArmyU "no laptop" enrollment, now called "eCourse enrollment," will be offered to the majority of other active-duty Soldiers, officials said.

With eCourse enrollment, Soldiers use their personal computers to participate in the program on a course-by-course basis. There is no longer a service-remaining requirement with the eCourse option, officials said. However, they said Soldiers must have sufficient remaining time in service to complete the eArmyU course in which they are enrolling.

The Army-wide expansion of the program comes with some critical changes in Soldier enrollment eligibility, officials said.

Enrollment in eArmyU’s “laptop” option (referred to as Technology Package) will be limited only to Soldiers who re-enlist for assignment in a combat forces/operational unit, as defined by senior Army leadership in the list below.

Laptop program enrollees will receive a state-of-the-art laptop to use in their participation, and will be required to successfully complete 12 semester hours in three years instead of the current two years. Soldiers must have three years time-in-service remaining at the time of program enrollment, and must have concurrent enrollment approval from their commander and the ACES Counselor.

Both “no-laptop” and “laptop” students receive several tools to support their success as an online student, including an Internet Service Provider account, textbooks, eArmyU “Boot Camp” tutorial, an email account, online academic tutoring, digital library services, and 24/7 helpdesk and technology support.

For the purposes of eArmyU, the following assignments are now considered combat forces/operational units:


  • 1st Armored Division (Wiesbaden, Germany)
  • 1st Infantry Division (Wuerzburg, Germany)
  • 1st Cavalry Division (Fort Hood, Texas)
  • 2nd Infantry Division (Camp Red Cloud, Korea)
  • 3rd Infantry Division (Fort Stewart, Ga.)
  • 4th Infantry Division (Fort Hood)
  • 10th Mountain Division (Fort Drum, N.Y.)
  • 25th Infantry Division (Schofield Barracks, Hawaii)
  • 82d Airborne Division (Fort Bragg, N.C.)
  • 101st Air Assault Division (Fort Campbell, Ken.)

Army Cavalry Regiments:

  • 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Fort Polk, LA) *will become Stryker Brigade Combat Team 4 (Fort Lewis, Wash.) in Apr 05
  • 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Fort Carson, Colo.)

Stryker Brigade Combat Teams:

  • SBCT 1 (3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - Fort Lewis)
  • SBCT 2 (1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division - Fort Lewis)
  • SBCT 3 (172d Infantry Brigade - Fort Wainwright, Alaska)
  • SBCT 5 (2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division - Fort Shafter, Hawaii) -- **planned for 4th quarter Fiscal Year 2005

Separate Brigades:

  • 173 Airborne Infantry Brigade (Vicenza, Italy)
  • 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Fort Riley, Kan.)
  • 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Fort Riley)
and Army Special Operations Command

Additional changes may be made in modularity and restationing initiatives, officials said.

eArmyU.com, the program’s distance-learning portal, currently allows enrolled Soldiers to access 146 post-secondary certificates as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master's degree programs from 29 regionally-accredited college and university partners.

Soldiers are ensured that they can transfer education credits across institutions because only Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Army Degree, or SOCAD member schools, may offer undergraduate programs as part of eArmyU.

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