University of Maryland University College students come from all walks of life. Student veterans have different interests, different goals, and different reasons for choosing to serve, but they all have one thing in common: access to a variety of tools to help them to succeed.

Jonathan Garrett is a good example. He is taking classes at UMUC while on active duty, and among the resources he's using to help him succeed is MIL-VET Checkpoint. Jonathan shares his experience and insights as a military student and a MIL-VET Checkpoint user.

Tell us more about yourself, where you're from, and how you decided to join the Air Force?
I was born in Idaho and later adopted at age seven. My family relocated to Georgia where I grew up. I had no idea I was going to join the military until a few months before graduating. Some recruiters kept coming in to my JROTC program and eventually wore me down. I have loved moving to California and living in Europe most of my last 10 years in the military.

As you approach the end of your undergraduate degree with UMUC, do you have any plans to celebrate when you're done?
I am celebrating with every passed class! I love learning and have other big plans for when I am done with this degree program. I am studying for an officer's test, so I could possibly flip to the other side of enlisted. I am also going through the Defense Acquisition University to get some military-specific certifications. Learning never stops for me!

Being a frequent user of MIL-VET Checkpoint, what do you like about the tool? Do you have any suggestions for future improvements?
I like the tool because there's so much good information on it. There are ideas and posts that are truly helpful for the vet getting back into school. The suggestion I would have for improvement is to advertise it. The only reason I knew about the MIL-VET Checkpoint is the SALUTE honor society.

What has been the most challenging part of taking classes while active duty?
Managing my time. Taking classes while being on active duty has got me in a specific routine. Every Monday I find out my assignment and start doing the reading for Wednesday. Thursday I complete my initial posts, and Sunday is review day when I complete everything else required for the week. Initially, I tried to complete only one class at a time, but more recently I've have taken 4-5 courses per semester. It is all about time management while on active duty.