O’Ban bill awarding academic credit for military training to become law

Stock PhotoSenate Bill 5969, sponsored by west Pierce County Sen. Steve O’Ban, was approved by the House of Representatives today and will soon be signed into law by the governor. The measure awards academic credit for military training so veterans may earn college degrees faster and more affordably.

“I’m extremely grateful to the House for passing my bill without any changes,” said O’Ban, a Republican who represents the 28th Legislative District. “We ask so much of our brave men and women in uniform, and we should make sure we give back in return when presented with the opportunity. The law created by Senate Bill 5969 will not only assist troops returning from deployment and transitioning into civilian life, but it will help those veterans living in Washington who always dreamed of getting a degree.”

O’Ban noted that military training, experience making life-and-death decisions, mastering complicated information-technology and communications systems, and managing millions of dollars’ worth of equipment could easily equate to certain types of college instruction. Additionally, O’Ban pointed out that Washington’s public colleges and universities would still be required to verify an individual’s military transcript issued by a branch of the armed services.

Each college or university will be required to create a policy stating how it will implement the new law, and provide a copy of its policy to any enrolled students who listed prior or present military service in their admission applications.