Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, joined other members of Congress to urge Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to immediately reinstate the tuition assistance program that the Army, Marines and Air Force have all suspended.
The members of Congress wrote a letter to Hagel highlighting the importance and value of the program, according to a press release from Vargas’ office.
According to recent news reports, service members took 870,000 courses and earned 50,500 degrees, diplomas and certificates over the course of past year, according to the press release. In the Army alone, more than 201,000 soldiers participated in the tuition assistance program in fiscal year 2012.
“Sequestration has forced the Department of Defense to make difficult cuts, resulting in the suspension of the tuition assistance program,” said Vargas in the statement. “It is essential that we provide our servicemen and servicewomen with the resources to pursue an education and better themselves both personally and professionally.”