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Life as an OWOD

February 08, 2011 | First Lieutenant William Howland

A little back story:

My last day of active duty was 11 September 2001.  I signed my DD 214 and my DA 31in between the two plane crashes in New York.  I was stationed in Atlanta at Ft. McPherson, which was small enough that I could get back to the barracks just in time to watch the live feed of the second impact.  Though I wanted to stay in for patriotic reasons, I let my discharge stand and enlisted in the Guard. 

I left active duty to pursue a degree in Architecture at Louisiana Tech University.  Since I became a member of the Louisiana Guard, I have been deployed to Afghanistan and to emergency service in six hurricanes and a tornado.  I rode out Hurricane Katrina in the Louisiana Superdome.  Somewhere in all of this, I got behind in my school work and ended up withdrawing from Louisiana Tech.  I had over 150 credit hours but no degree.  I won’t go into the specifics but it was an interesting ride. 

The whole point of this back story is that I attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in August of 2007.  I had enough hours to commission but not enough for a degree.  I am currently an OWOD or an Officer without Degree.  I am finishing up my bachelor’s at Excelsior College in New York.  Today I found out that they had reviewed my hours and given me three more transfer hours.  I am only six hours from my Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies with a focus in History!  I will not be an OWOD after June of this year.  It only took me a decade.


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