Four Decades of Serving the Military

Nov. 7, 2014

Four Decades of Serving the Military

ST. LOUIS (NOV. 7, 2014) - Forty years ago, at the request of the United States military, Webster opened a location at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and offered courses directly to the men and women serving on the post.. Almost at the same time, Webster University opened locations at Scott AFB, Illinois and a bit later at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. These programs provided military personnel access to quality higher education on base/post.

Today, Webster University offers in-class and online classes to service members, veterans, their families, government civilians and government contractors on 39 military installations in the United States.  Our 40 years of delivering unmatched academic quality and military student support has consistently ranked Webster University as one of the country’s most military-friendly institutions of higher education in the country.

“Given the complexity of the world and the value of an education in any profession, higher education is absolutely critical for all service members,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, 2nd Infantry Division Commander and a ’86 Webster graduate with a master’s in management. “An officer should strive to complete a master’s degree, and for many NCOs, a bachelor’s degree is a goal that they should strive for in order to remain competitive with their peers.”

Vandal said his master’s in management afforded him the perspective in dealing with challenges as a leader in the U.S. Army. “Many of the courses that I took had a direct application to my leadership position, not just the business classes.”

He added that Webster’s program also offered him the flexibility needed to complete the program while being on active duty. He had to skip a semester of courses due to a deployment, but was able to easily make up the units later by doubling up on units when his schedule permitted.

“Obtaining an advanced degree is important to those serving in uniform, as education not only means a better chance for promotion, but it also helps prepare our service members for life after the military,” said Brigadier General Mike Callan, USAF (Ret), Associate Vice President for Military & Government Programs and head of Webster University’s Office of Military Affairs. “Today, nearly 4,500 of our 22,000 students around the world are military students, and among our 25,000 military alumni, we count more than 200 active-duty and retired generals and admirals, including several who are serving at the Pentagon, Combatant Commands and Service Headquarters.”

Today, Webster University is recognized as being "Military-friendly," "Vet-friendly" and a VA Yellow Ribbon participant. It also has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report, GI Jobs, Advanced Military Education as a top program for members of the military, and recognized as charter member status in both the Service Opportunity College and the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding.  

At the request of the U.S. Air Force which said it needed programs to train its officers on how to protect digital data and computer networks, Webster University launched a new Cybersecurity master’s program in Colorado Springs. The program has expanded to Ft Belvoir, VA and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC.  It will be expanded to the St. Louis region this year.

In 2012, Webster created the Office of Military Affairs and hired Callan as associate vice president for Military and Governmental Programs. Callan provides leadership and strategic direction for Webster's alliances with all branches of the military related to the development and delivery of education programs and develops and strengthens relationships with federal and state agencies.

Last year, the University expanded its services to include our civilian first responders. A first responder is a law enforcement officer, firefighter or paramedic who responds to active emergencies and now they enjoy our military tuition rates. Additionally, the University also created a military tuition assistance program to temporarily cover military financial aid that was suspended to the active duty-members because of the budget stalemate in Congress that resulted in a shutdown of the federal government.

For more information about Webster University’s military programs, visit