At the age of 18, Heidi Moss decided to join the Army straight from school. However, after six years’ service and having been identified as a potential officer, she became aware that further education was required to meet her aspiration to become an education officer. Here, Heidi explains how she juggled Army life with studying for a degree…

HEIDI’S journey towards earning a degree began in Bielefeld, when an education officer suggested she should start studying with The Open University.

“He advised that through the use of Army Education Centres, the Army had the structure in place to support military students with their studies and that exams could also be taken overseas,” she said.

This meant Heidi could embark on a psychology degree and, over the years, she has successfully combined her studies with operations in Bosnia, an exercise in Denmark, a posting to Sierra Leone and various assignments throughout the UK.

“The support I received from my chain of command varied from unit-to-unit,” she explained. “But my line managers were all very supportive and I completed many experiments and studies on other soldiers and officers in the various locations.”

As Heidi’s aspirations changed and she realised a commission was not for her, she managed to tailor her degree for life beyond the Army.

She said: “I completed the remaining courses in criminology, which I enjoyed. I was medically discharged from the Adjutant General’s Corps as a Warrant Officer in 2008 after 19 years’ service and graduated in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) in criminology and social psychology.

“I have used the skills learnt since then working in children’s safeguarding with local government.”

However, the transient nature of Army life continues as Heidi’s husband was recently posted to the Middle East.

“I have just left my job to join him,” explained Heidi. “However, I’ll use my degree to find work within the emergency relief field whilst abroad.”

Heidi said that she would “thoroughly recommend” studying for a degree in service as the experiences encountered daily can be used to help with your studies.

“Studying takes discipline of mind and time, all of which I had learnt within my service so generally found this manageable,” she explained. “I completed summer schools on some of the years of study where I attended full-time ‘real’ university and met an eclectic mix of people, some of which have remained friends to this day.”

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