Military Matters: Balancing school and the military

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Like any other student at Meridian Community College, taking classes, notes and completing assignments are just a normal part of the day.

For Staff Sergeant Patrick Carll, those are things he has to balance with being in the military.

"It can be difficult at times, I have to make sure my priorities are straight as far as my job goes,” said Carll.

After joining the military in 2014, Carll later decided he wanted to go back to school after being out for about 10 years.

"I was looking for something different, after talking with a few friends it became obvious that this was going to be a good choice,” said Carll. “I didn't at the time before I joined realize the educational benefits but now that has come into play and I’m glad for it."

Carll now works in Installation Personnel Readiness at the 186th Air Refueling Wing at Key Field, a job he has learned to master all while working towards a degree with a focus in business administration.

"I kind of eased into it just a little bit at first and then realized that I could balance the two out as long as I had the support at home and the support at work,” said Carll.

Carll, now a sophomore at MCC, recently received a Community College of the Air Force degree. He says credits from MCC applied directly to that degree.

Command Chief Ronald Arthur says the Community College of the Air Force is a higher institution serving only enlisted personnel in the U.S. Air Force.

"It continues to strengthen not only our professional education but our civilian education as well,” said Arthur.

Carll said leaders on base along with his family have played a large role in balancing school and the military.

"Without their guidance of telling me that I can do it or the support of my family while I’m at home to facilitate the time I need to do my assignments, there's no way I could have done it,” said Carll.

… But he did. Carll says he's nearing the end of his journey at MCC and plans to continue his education after graduating there.