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Accelerate Your Career with the CDET Program and LSU Online

Newsroom | Articles April 17, 2024
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The Marine Corps College of Distance Education and Training (CDET) is dedicated to empowering service members with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles. But did you know that your military education can also propel you toward a rewarding civilian career? The partnership between CDET and LSU Online & Continuing Education makes this a reality. 

Learn how Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) Jason Pierce leveraged his military background to earn the online Flores Master of Business Administration (MBA) from LSU! 

Meet Jason Pierce

To give our readers some context, could you share a bit about your background and career within the US Marine Corps? 

As an active-duty Chief Warrant Officer 5 in the United States Marine Corps, my journey has been extraordinary. I started this path in 1996 at 18 and have been dedicated to military service ever since. Throughout my nearly three decades of service, I have focused on Supply Chain Management as my Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). I am currently a Senior Supply Chain Management Officer for the Marine Corps and am stationed at the Pentagon.

To me, this role is more than just a job. It represents the trust that has been placed in me to ensure that our Marines have everything they need, precisely when they need it, to carry out their critical missions worldwide. My journey from being enlisted to becoming a Chief Warrant Officer 5 in the Marines has been a remarkable service adventure. It is a privilege and an honor to serve our country. I approach this with a sense of responsibility, knowing that the decisions I make impact not only the brave men and women in uniform but also the security and well-being of our nation.

How did you first discover the CDET program, and what drew you to pursue it in your professional journey?

Embarking on an educational journey through the College of Distance Education and Training (CDET) Program, I found an opportunity that bridges military service with the academic excellence of higher education. Our partnership with Louisiana State University (LSU) offers a pathway to transform our Distance Education Programs (DEP) into degrees and certifications. The dream of becoming an LSU Tiger resonated with me, but my ambitions soared even higher toward securing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from this prestigious institution. 

The prospect of graduating with an MBA from LSU, a top-ranked institution, signified more than just an academic milestone; it represented a gateway to my future aspirations, marrying my extensive experience in the Marines with the rigorous analytical skills and strategic thinking fostered by a premier business education.  

This partnership is a launchpad that propels motivated Marines towards fulfilling goals back into the civilian world. It equips us with credentials and confidence to transfer into corporate America, where we can continue to lead, innovate, and inspire. 

Deciding to pursue an online MBA while serving in the US Marine Corps is no small feat. Can you shed some light on what influenced this decision and the challenges you faced during the process?

Serving in the Marine Corps is filled with complexity, unpredictability, and a whirlwind of responsibilities that take me across the globe. Yet, amidst this demanding environment, I have always harbored a deep-seated conviction about higher academia. Pursuing academic excellence was a professional and personal goal to grow and sharpen my strategic problem-solving skills.

However, I found myself navigating the dance of time management, carving out moments for study amidst nights and weekends on my time. This meant making sacrifices, choosing textbooks over leisure, and lectures over languid evenings. Yet, these sacrifices were a testament to my belief that with resilience and discipline, one can surmount the hurdles of time and duty, emerging not just as a leader in uniform but as a lifelong learner equipped to inspire change and innovation in every walk of life.

Going through LSU Online & Continuing Education to pursue my MBA harmonized perfectly with the rigorous demands of my schedule. The flexibility of this platform has been a lifeline that allows me to weave my educational aspirations into the fabric of my daily commitments. Currently, I am elevating my academic portfolio by pursuing an online Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies through the same online platform.

The LSU Online & Continuing Education experience transcends its adaptability; it has created a vibrant community of learners, each with its unique responsibilities. My cohort is a testament to this diversity, comprising individuals with distinguished careers, demanding travel schedules, unwavering dedication to their professions, and the joys and challenges of family life. Together, we have found in this online platform not just a means to advance our education but a gateway to enriching opportunities and resources that empower us to achieve our dreams without compromising our professional or personal lives.

My journey with LSU Online & Continuing Education has been an incredible testament to the power of technology in breaking barriers and fostering an environment where growth, leadership, and learning flourish.

Given your experience, what advice would you offer to fellow Marines on effectively utilizing these funding opportunities for their education?

From the comprehensive support of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to the foundational Montgomery GI Bill, the empowering Tuition Assistance Program, and the collaborative Yellow Ribbon Program, the avenues for furthering one's education are varied and valuable. These opportunities are not just benefits; they recognize the sacrifices and honor earned.

I encourage my fellow veterans to embrace these resources. If they have not allocated these benefits to family members, seize them for personal and professional growth. These programs are more than just financial aids; they are keys to unlocking potential, transforming futures, and continuing the journey of service in new, impactful ways. Remember, you have not just earned these opportunities through your service—you deserve them. It is your time to build on that foundation and to continue making a difference, equipped with the knowledge and skills gained through these invaluable educational benefits.

Start Your Journey Today! 

Graduates from CDET are eligible to receive six graduate-level credit hours toward the online Flores MBA and the online Master of Leadership & Human Resource Development, which both require 36 credit hours. Interested in taking advantage of this opportunity? Learn more about the CDET program, and explore the eligible degrees! You can also see LSU Online’s military support services and the LSU Military & Veterans Student Center.

Jason’s inspiring path is a testament to the exciting possibilities available through LSU Online. Take the first step in your own educational journey today!

Ready to reach your goals?

Take the first step forward by completing the form and our enrollment team will contact you soon to discuss:

  • What program meets your academic and career goals
  • Financial aid options (employer funding, military benefits)
  • Receiving credit for past education (transfer, professional development)
  • The admissions process and timeline
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