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NEWS | Jan. 24, 2022

Open the door to more military career options

By Cheryl Phillips 88th Readiness Division

As you look at ways to advance your military career, consider improving your GT score.

It sounds simple. And it is if you’re willing to study and take the necessary steps to retake the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, the multi-part exam that all Soldiers took at a Military Entrance Processing Station when they enlisted.

But before you retake the ASVAB, think about taking the Basic Skills Education Program course first. The course is designed to help Soldiers improve their math, vocabulary and reading comprehension skills and ultimately raise their General Technical score.

A higher GT score will open the door to more options, like getting a new MOS or becoming an officer or warrant officer.

Connie Schauer, education services specialist and test control officer, with the 88th Readiness Division Education Center here, instructed the course. She also was a member of the Human Resources Command committee that developed the BSEP course pilot that Schauer presented to the students.

One of the 19 students taking the BSEP course held here Jan. 19-24, 2022, was Staff Sgt. Samuel Jordan, who’s “hoping to raise my GT score so I can submit a warrant officer packet.”

Fellow student Sgt. 1st Class Marco Joseph, a 92A automated logistical specialist with the 416th Theater Engineer Command, also wants to submit a warrant officer packet. “That will give me more options. Civil affairs sounds great, too.

“I want to have more opportunities to do more things and finish my military career on a good note,” he said.

For Sgt. 1st Class Widad Salimlako, raising her GT score will allow her to obtain a new military occupational specialty, since her current MOS O9L linguist is going away. She is currently working with Task Force McCoy in support of Operation Allies Welcome. She’s assigned to the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Jordan, a 92Y supply specialist assigned to the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, said the course is “a push a lot of us need.” He didn’t prepare to retake the ASVAB previously because of a lack of time and other excuses. “But I can focus on the course here.”

Joseph echoed the lack of time in his life that includes three kids and a demanding civilian career. “I’ve tried to study on my own. But here I have the time to study and go over everything. I jumped at the opportunity to take the course at Fort McCoy.”

He noted that “there is no education center next to my unit and I would have had to travel to Fort Knox [Ky.],” to take the BSEP course, which is farther from his home than Fort McCoy. When Joseph heard the course was offered here, he thought “wow, this is an opportunity. I’ll jump on it.

“I can also take the ASVAB here” at the 88th Readiness Division Education Center at the completion of the BSEP course, Joseph said.

All three NCOs encourage other Army Reserve Soldiers to take the BSEP course. Jordan already has, noting that the in-person class “fosters a better learning environment” than studying on your own.

Salimlako recommends the course “especially for junior Soldiers so they can develop themselves for a better career.”

“If you really want to get a GT score of 110 or above, this is a great way to knock out the course” and prepare for the ASVAP, Joseph said.

If you’re interested in taking the BSEP course, taking the ASVAB or taking advantage of other services offered through the 88th Readiness Division Education Center, call 608-388-7311 or 7274. The Education Center is located in Building 50, Room 123. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and also weekends by appointment.