The Troops-To-Teachers Program for Military Personnel

TTT - Troop To Teachers

Teacher holding papers in classroom
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Since 1993, more than 20,000 military veterans have made their way to the classroom as teachers for their follow on career after military service. According to the Department of Defense program and Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES), military members with 4 year college degrees can become teachers in the school systems and teach kindergarten through twelfth grade.

What Is the Troops to Teachers Program?

Troops to Teachers is a federally funded programs that helps transitioning and recently separated service members become teachers. If they are interested in a career in teaching they receive help translating their leadership, training, and core values to teaching in kindergarten through grade twelve.

The program also provides assistance meeting the requirements necessary to become teachers, and helps them find employment as a teacher when they become eligible.

Other goals of the program are to:

  • Reduce veteran unemployment
  • Increase the number of male and minority teachers in today's classrooms
  • Improve American education by providing motivated, experienced, and dedicated personnel for the nation's classrooms
  • Address teacher shortage issues in K-12 schools that serve low-income families and in the critical subjects—math, science, special education, foreign language, and career-technical education.

The program began in 1993 during the military downsizing of the early 90's as transition assistance towards a teaching career. The military members who have become teachers have established a good reputation for the program with school administrators and principals. Schools are also seeing a higher retention rate from former military members than teachers who just finished college.

The cultural diversity of the military is proving an added bonus, as the program is providing individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Teaching positions are available at the elementary, middle and high school levels in suburban, small towns, rural and inner-city areas.

There is a higher demand for math, science and special education teachers. Positions for other subjects are obtainable, but applicants may need to be more flexible with location.

Who Is Qualified to Apply For TTT?

Military members with a baccalaureate degree or higher are eligible to begin the teaching certification process to become an academic subject teacher.

However, many service members may already qualify to become a vocational/technical teacher. mMilitary members only need the equivalent of one year of college courses and six years of experience in a vocational or technical field to begin the certification process.

How to Become Eligible and Apply

Military members from all of the armed forces can use tuition assistance for their teaching certification while on active duty. Members may also be eligible for financial assistance for teacher certification expenses—a $5,000 stipend or up to $10,000 bonus based on eligibility.

A commitment to teaching for three years in a “high-need” school district or at a high school with a high percentage of low-income families is part of the obligation for receiving some forms of financial aid.

To complete the process, individuals can use an Alternative Certification Program (ACP) or University Teacher Preparation Program. Military Members within the European theater may benefit from an ACP, since this method offers online courses to obtain the teaching certification.

Program Costs for Service Members

There is no cost to participate in the program for the military member. This is free on the job training. The TTT program provides counseling, referrals, and job assistance to all current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces who want to transition to a teaching career.

The Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) are authorized by statute which permits the Secretary of Defense to make grants to states in order to support efforts of recruiting eligible current and former members of the military for the Troops to Teachers program.

This helps to facilitate the employment of participants as K-12 teachers, and career or technical teachers in Vocational Schools. Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 grants help the states selected provide services for a term of up to 5 years through May 2023.

There are 31 state TTT offices nationwide that offer placement assistance for the more than 50 states and territories participating in the program. Offices can assist military members with state certification requirements. Service members can take advantage of the TTT Web site to correspond with representatives and receive alternative certification information.

Each state has different certification requirements, so it's important to check what they are. Military Members can consult their TTT representative on job availabilities, or check the Department of Education Web.

Service members interested in the Troops to Teachers program can get more information from their state TTT office, stateside DSN 312-922-1241 or on-line at